anticipatory ethnography

Building for the Future, Together: A Model for Bringing Emerging Products to Market, Using Anticipatory Ethnography and Mixed Methods Research

STEFANIE HUTKA, PHD Adobe Inc. Applied ethnography practitioners are often charged with learning from existing or potential customers, for a product that is either familiar to them or close in nature to what they have used before. There are particular challenges for emerging technologies, where the market is much less defined. Applied ethnography has the potential to help with predicting future market scenarios, honing the value proposition and product definition. Done well, these contributions help align siloed teams, resulting in better products being delivered to the right customers, faster. This case study will outline the approaches used across all product development stages for new creative design tools in the emerging field of immersive media - specifically, 3D and Augmented Reality. A collaboration model and best practices are offered, to guide practitioners to address both overt challenges (e.g., identifying which audiences to focus on), and hidden challenges (e.g., creating a human-centered dialogue in an ambiguous,...

Cities as Anticipatory Systems: Analyzing “Weak Signals” to Explore Beyond the Predictability of Their Future

NORA MORALES UAM Cuajimalpa SALOMON GONZALEZ UAM Cuajimalpa In the last decade, Future Studies have developed a very important corpus of theory and methods aimed to analyze the future of cities. Meanwhile the world is confronted with major challenges like climate change, global pandemics, migration, inequality and poverty, government agencies, professional urbanists, academia and other organizations, concerned with strategic planning, are looking for new ways to provide insight into how we approach unforeseeable challenges and integrate complexity and novelty for better futures. In this paper we reviewed the notion of “weak signal” as a retrospective exploratory method to think of cities as anticipatory systems (Boer, Wiekens, and Damhof 2018) of future emerging problems. Using qualitative retrospective analysis and secondary research we focused on three urban innovations in transportation, workplaces and food domains at different cities to understand how to anticipate unforeseen scenarios and explore new ways of generating...

The City as Organization: Ethnography for Alternative Futures

JORDAN SHADE International Business Machines Corporation, A Functional Democracy HAL WUERTZ International Business Machines Corporation, A Functional Democracy In this case study we use ethnographic outcomes from the study of the employee population of IBM, to inform new experiences for improving civic engagement in the resident population of Austin, Texas. In doing so, we experiment with a technique in speculative ethnography that uses research insights from a variant population with a variant challenge for in-depth explorations of a possible future. We demonstrate, first, that while in speculative thinking big ideas can be imagined, transposing ethnography enables a richer exploration of possible futures, and thus, further depth in ideas. And second, that by combining speculative thinking with existing ethnography, researchers and design teams can unearth bold experiments and jump start a design process that drives quicker learnings and impact in new contexts. Keywords: Culture Change, Speculative Design, Civic Engagement,...

Operationalizing Design Fiction with Anticipatory Ethnography

JOSEPH LINDLEY HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training, Lancaster University DHRUV SHARMA HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training, Lancaster University ROBERT POTTS HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training, Lancaster University Transmuting the entanglement of situations, contexts, artifacts and people, designers mediate the relationship between ‘what could be’ and ‘what is’. All design, then, has an implicit relationship with the future. Latency will always exist as part of this relationship, between the inception of a design concept, development and delivery of that concept, and the manifestation of that concept's potential impact on the world. As we move further into the heart of the Digital Revolution these periods of latency decrease, whilst the breadth and depth of potential impacts increase. Always an arm's length away, but with a velocity and mass greater than at any point in history, the momentum of the future today is greater than ever before. This paper describes the practicalities of operationalizing design fiction, using...