Anthropology and Social Design Round Up

John Sherry is an anthropologist who is also chair of the Department of Marketing at Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business. I had coffee the other day with John, and was struck by how similar some of our approaches are. What unites us is an interest in behavior, for me behavioral health and for John consumer behavior, and a belief that anthropology can help unite interdisciplinary understandings of behavior and experience.

John has several online papers that focus on experience, embodiment and context. First up is Speaking of Art as Embodied Imagination: A Multi-Sensory Approach to Understanding Sensory Experience (it’s a large pdf, give it a moment).

Another good one is Fruit Flies Like A Banana (Or, When Ripeness Is All): Meditation on Markets and Timescapes. And here’s a short piece on Sporting Sensation. For more, check out his online cv with pdf links.

I’ve also come across a new blog uiGarden, which is about “Weaving Usability and Cultures”. (I covered similar blogs on “anthropology, design, business” back in April). Several posts there at uiGarden caught my attention:

A View of the Future: Trends Research, Ethnography and Design
Why Do People Become Attached to Their Products
Story Telling
Design for Emotion: Ready for the Next Decade?

And now for a more traditional round-up:

Irene Guijt, An “Aha” Moment in the Development Sector
Stories and practical examples, not grand narratives, as making the difference

Jason Palmer, Interview: The Cellphone Anthropology
Interview with Jan Chipchase, bringing anthropology to cellphones everywhere (for more on Chipchase, see our own Cellphones Save the World.)

Dori Tunstall, Design Anthropology: What Can It Add to Your Design Practice?
“Anthropology is engaged with issues of the global flows of people and goods, human rights and social justice, global feminism, technology adoption, the social effects of the environmental degradation, and local sustainability practices—all issues that have become important to designers.”

Dorothy Leonard and Jeffrey Rayport, Sparking Innovation through Empathic Design
Pdf from Harvard Business Review—anthropology and understanding customers better than they understand themselves

Jean Yves Chainon, AP Study of Young Media Consumers: “They Want the Back Story”
Anthropological research brings insight to fighting the decline in newspaper readership

Susan Guibert, Turning Scholarship into Service: Social Design at Harvard
Creating design solutions for problems in the developing world, including a sterile umbilical cord cutter for Nepal and marketing iodized salt in Haiti

American Radio Works, Design of Desire
Chris Julen, Ochen Kaylan, and Ellen Guettler take on the consumer economy—a neuroanth mix aiming towards the pop sci side…

Deborah Solomon, Questions for Enrique Peñalosa: Man with a Plan
Former mayor of Bogotá speaks of enlightened planning and the importance of sidewalks in city life

Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab
Using machines to change us—can they create world peace in 30 years?

Darcy Frey, Crowded House
Urban design that is data, people and density-driven, or social architecture, Dutch style

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