Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Rejected!: Design Research, Publics and the Purging of New Technologies


Cite this article:

2018 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, p. 698, ISSN 1559-8918,

PechaKucha Presentation

A challenge for design research today lies in naming, knowing and accounting for people who are not direct users of our technologies, but who are nonetheless affected and compelled to interact with them in daily life. This Pecha Kucha takes us to the streets of Bogotá, Colombia, where a new bus system that was roundly rejected becomes a cautionary tale on the perils of ignoring the painpoints of ‘non-direct users.’ Drawing from pragmatist political science, I propose we can usefully understand this latter group as a ‘technological public,’ and I touch on key difficulties of designing for publics.

Lee Cesafsky is an urban geographer, transportation nerd, and Human-Centered Systems Design Researcher at Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley.