Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital
MASS Design Group
In April 2020, a study of The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City was conducted to better understand the challenge of adapting idealized infection control design guides to site-specific conditions during a pandemic. The study aimed to capture quick interventions that are working, offer a new hypothesis and framework to guide future design interventions, and share lessons to assist other medical facilities as they pursue their own necessary spatial adaptations moving forward. Three units repurposed for COVID-19 were studied. Using action cameras and cloud-based videoconferencing, clinicians helped designers remotely peer in real time to active COVID-19 units, create “heatmap” annotations of perceived risk by frontline clinicians, and conduct interviews with decision makers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health care systems around the world to provide safe and effective care. Leveraging spatial design, architecture, and design...
RUBEN PEREZ HUIDOBRO
How can a researcher adapt to the lack of agency in secure environments? HM Inspectorate of Prisons in the UK published in 2012 a thematic report about the use of the “person escort record” (PER) with detainees at risk of self-harm, highlighting the high number of deaths in custody. The PER was used during the transport of people under custody, and informed about their security and safety issues. As a result of this report, my team had the mandate to improve how security and safety risks were communicated. I needed to identify the needs and pain points of the people working on prison and court services, and I did so throughout multiple contextual research sessions. Due to the lack of agency in secured environments, I had the constant need to adapt and identify opportunities to bring to the team the information they needed.
Ruben Perez Huidobro is a Senior User Experience Researcher at Shopify. He has over a decade of experience in the UX field. He has...
A researcher who used to combine “thinking + feeling” lines on a journey map found herself on the feelings frontier by widely exploring new innovations in neuroscience, psychology, and mind-body connection, alongside the resurgence in popularity of “old” ways of healing – chinese medicine, crystals, tarot cards. Through her self-ethnographic journey, she found that by stripping back ethnography from the measurable, the scientific, the business cases she rediscovered its foundational backbone to carefully tune into and interpret feelings. She redefines ethnography as about finding truth and not judging it – even the parts that don't make sense right away and asserts that believing the tiny fragments of feelings and glimmers of intuition is the future of our practice. The new science and the old wisdom revealed that feelings are the root of agency, or “the feelings we have a say in the world we live in and experience, and it is our new frontier to help people articulate...
ADAHEID L. MESTAD
During recovery and transition to the ‘new normal’, the loss of agency for patients and families of patients who go through a major health disruptor such as transplant, cancer, or cardio-vascular disease can be profound. Considering this, how can acute care hospitals help solve for caregivers’ loss of agency? And what does the physicality of such effort in the confines of a hospital building look like? The goal of this case study is to (1) demonstrate how ethnographic thinking and design research can help a medical center understand the needs, values, rituals, and agency of a patients and their families; (2) show socio-spatial solutions that can support the transition to the patient’s and family’s new normal.
The ethnographic study showed that the patients and families who go through a major health disruptor struggle with the loss of agency in various ways. While loss of agency can be obtuse, four themes emerged as contributing factors to the overall sense of loss: (1) loss...
An interview with MARGARET MORRIS by ANNA ZAVYALOVA & GIULIA NICOLINI, Stripe Partners
Public debate has rightly focused on the perils and toxicity of new technologies, and questioned the motivations of the companies building them. Meanwhile though, people are creatively adapting technology to their own social and psychological needs. Margie Morris explores this crucial space of personal innovation for social connection and well-being in her new book Left to Our Own Devices: Outsmarting Smart Technology to Reclaim our Relationships, Health, and Focus.
Margie is a clinical psychologist, researcher, and inventor of technologies which support well-being. She led research on emotional technology at Intel, conducted user experience at Amazon and now teaches in the department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. Based on years of primary and secondary research as well as Margie’s own involvement in creating apps and other technologies, the book offers a fresh take on human-technology interaction,...
Critical Public Health Research Group, Prevention Research Center
Critical Public Health Research Group, Prevention Research Center
In the last ten years, an eclectic mix of electronic nicotine delivery products (‘e-cigarettes’) and practices have proliferated in the US with little restriction, producing a vast array of vaping mechanisms, flavors, and styles. At the same time, anti-tobacco movements have targeted e-cigarettes as a threat to public health and advocated for restricting e-cigarettes in much the same way as conventional cigarettes. While anti-vaping proponents associated with public health movements have typically regarded e-cigarettes as primarily harmful products that should be suppressed, vaping advocates regard e-cigarettes as harm reduction products that should be readily accessible to smokers. Distrust between these two warring “sides” animates the controversy over e-cigarettes. In our role as researchers conducting a qualitative study on e-cigarette use, we encountered...
This paper presents a clear and flexible model for understanding the concept of patient-centricity. This model emerged from our own ethnographic work in healthcare contexts, and was tested and strengthened with a literature review and interviews with experts and thought leaders in the healthcare industry. Our model posits that patient-centric care should be Personalized, Hassle-free, Active, Collective and Transparent (PHACT). Hospitals, payers, clinicians, Pharma and MedTech divisions (among others) can use these pillars as a guide to drive their transition to patient-centricity. The underpinning principle for the PHACT model is that ethnographic inquiry is the necessary path-maker for each stakeholder to understand the best ways to implement and maintain these five pillars of patient-centric care in their particular healthcare context....
Case Study—Opiate addiction is a significant public health crisis. In the past year, it has become a hot topic at all levels, including the political realm ahead of the presidential election. Triggers, treatment options and restrictions, the criminal justice system, and costs to society are all part of the discussion but the cultural milieu in which addiction occurs is poorly understood. This was a significant problem for our client, the maker of a monthly injectable that inhibits the ability of an addict to get high. Our client, basing their marketing strategy entirely on quantitative data, realized that they needed to get a deeper understanding of addiction and the roles caregivers, friends, and family play in the treatment and recovery cycle. Our team convinced our client, who was inherently nervous about executing qualitative work, that in order to create a meaningful marketing plan, they needed to understand the complexities at a deeper level than data could provide. Working with the client...
Artemis Research By Design
PechaKucha—Paradoxical thinking can reveal complex emotions and beliefs, even self-contradictory behaviors. It can also provide a gateway to the socio-cultural forces that underpin a topic. In a project on IT security, we encountered a participant whose paradoxical beliefs influenced his approach to managing risk in his personal life. Though as an IT security director, he ‘immunized’ his company against potential security breaches and data loss, as a father he chose not to have his son immunized against disease, even though he went to great lengths to protect him in every other way. This encounter inspired me to delve more deeply into the socio-cultural context surrounding the opposition to vaccination in the U.S.
Elizabeth Anderson-Kempe, PhD, is a partner in Artemis Research By Design, a consultancy that helps companies develop new products and services grounded in human-centered insights. A cultural historian by training, for over 18 years – in the US...
Stripe PartnersDownload PDF
PechaKucha—This presentation reflects on the cognitive impacts of running. It is a personal reflection on the desire (and need) I have to run. Running is an activity that has both banal and transcendental aspects. It’s physical, time consuming and sometimes verges on boring, but it also has impacts on conscious and unconscious thought. Multiple authors have explored the experience of running but I suggest that running allows me to think in more unconstrained ways than I can on other occasions. The cognitive affordances of running are, at least for me, creative stimulus. Its physicality is a refreshing break from the mental work of ethnographic analysis.
Simon Roberts is former co-organizer of EPIC and partner at Stripe Partners, a global strategy and innovation studio based in London. He has a PhD in anthropology and has formerly worked at Ideas Bazaar, Intel and ReD Associates.
2016 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, p. 545, ISSN 1559-8918,
ReD AssociatesMADS HOLME
This paper reflects on the evolving nature of ethnographic praxis in industry and argues that we must move beyond research and towards strategy in order to elevate our praxis, and to deliver real impact and value for our clients. Although this conversation is not new for the EPIC community, there has been a lack of models and examples – even in its tenth year – for how to do so. Taking a project with a medical device company that manufacturers voice prostheses for laryngectomees as a case study, we show how a team of social scientists used “Sensemaking” to determine a new commercial direction for innovation and to design a five-year portfolio strategy for our client. In doing so, we illustrate how our praxis can do more than deliver research insights or design, but also act as the core foundation that defines business processes and strategy....
Núcleo de Multimídia e Internet, University of Brasilia, Brazil MARCELO JUDICE
Núcleo de Multimídia e Internet, University of Brasilia, Brazil ILPO KOSKINEN
School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
This paper describes two projects, Vila Rosario and Vila Mimosa, two pieces of ethnographic research that aimed at improving public health in poor corners of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The research sought to improve public health in these two marginalized communities in Rio de Janeiro. The main objective of the paper is to explain how Surrealist techniques can be applied to enrich ethnographic fieldwork. The broader question of the paper is the tension between these imaginative techniques work with fieldwork, a tension that goes back to the disciplinary differences between design and the social sciences....
by DAWN NAFUS, Intel
There has been a good deal of discussion of the relationship between the EPIC community and new practices of big data. Will the data scientists have the final word on what people value? Are we ethnographers effectively getting disrupted by cheaper and worse data? In a wider sense, what kind of a culture would we live in when stories of lived experience get increasingly sidestepped in favor of a newly re-empowered aggregate? Story would surely still matter, but the population of people in any position to tell stories with data would narrow drastically. This is not an inevitability, of course, and members of the EPIC community have written about reclaiming quantification in various ways (above, also contributions from Neal Patel and yours truly here).
It turns out we are not the only ones asking these larger questions. The Quantified Self community is too, albeit for different reasons. I began my research in quantified self, admittedly, because the name alone suggested some of my worst fears about what technology...
by PETER LEVIN, Intel Corporation
Intel recently ran an internal marketing conference, where a research firm shared with us a dozen or so technology trends, each with potential to “disrupt” our business. To narrow down discussion about these trends, we were asked to “vote” on which of these trends we thought were most important. And then we could focus our attention on those. While the conference ended up being interesting (maybe more for the networking than the content), I left wondering things like why voting would matter for determining the consequences of future shifts on our markets. And I left wondering about the kinds of insights work we need to produce in corporate environments and the deep challenges we face in producing those insights.
In my previous life as an academic sociologist, insight really means a search for foundational causation and theory. For academics, foundational theory matters so much more than discovering the “next big thing.” Moreover, one can be a successful academic by doing all root-cause...
J.A. ENGLISH-LUECK and MIRIAM LUECK AVERY
In 2012, the Google Innovation Lab for Food Experiences convened a multi-year conversation between corporate food stakeholders, farmers, chefs, food experts, social scientists and business consultants to reimagine the impact of companies on their employees and the food system. Corporate care increasingly includes food. Food origins and preparations create impacts well beyond the corporate cafe, reaching into fields and families. In the project, Farms to Firms to Families, university-based anthropologists joined with the Institute for the Future to develop a Northern Californian case study on the implications of corporate care across the food system. Ethnographic observations and interviews of people in that system yielded a portrait of cultural values, schema for social change, and diverse practices. We then transformed ethnographic observations into alternative future scenarios, which could help participants in the Google Innovation Lab for Food Experiences, as well as a wider community of...