EPIC 2010

In Tokyo for EPIC – Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference. 6th edition. [Link]

How to improve the design of things –

  • take people seriously – be human-centered
  • look beyond the artifact – design systems, scenarios, stories, experiences, interactions
  • don’t assume the designer knows it all – find out, pursue research and conduct fieldwork

Ethnography, anthropological fieldwork aimed at understanding a culture and society, offers a suite of research practices to achieve precisely these ends. Intel, among a growing number of companies, has invested heavily in this design research, contextual research, design anthropology, as it also gets called.

[Link – Ken Anderson from Intel in Harvard Business Review]
[Link – Genevieve Bell from Intel]
[Link – Business Week 2006]

Have a look at Xerox’s PARC Forum, here in Palo Alto –
[Link] – a special series this year on ethnography – [Link]

The theme this year is the nature of this ethnographic practice –

My line – if we are serious about human-centered we need to consider what we mean by “human”, and the Humanities are a good place to start doing just that.

As an archaeologist I naturally take a long term view, and one that sees things (artifacts, places, ecologies) as an integral part of being human – maybe human-centered isn’t quite what many people take it to be.

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