Beyond Design Ethnography: How Designers Practice Ethnographic Research
Edited by Prof. Nicolas Nova along with Lysianne Léchot-Hirt of HEAD-Genève (CH), and Fabienne Kilchör and Sebastien Fasel (Emphase.ch)
Head-Genève, January 2015
What do designers mean when they say they’re going to do “ethnography” and “field research”? What are the relationships between observing people and designing products or services? Is there such a thing as a “designer- ly” way of knowing people? This book is a report from a research project conducted at HEAD – Genève that addressed the role of people-knowing in interaction/media design. It describes the wide breadth of approaches used by designers to frame their work, get inspiration or speculate about plausible futures. This book presents practitioners’ tactics and illustrates them with several cases. Unlike many resources on user-centered design, it takes a broader approach to design by considering cases in which design is not only a problem-solving activity, but a tool to speculate about the near future, reformulate problems or propose a critical discourse on society. In doing so, this book helps designers, students and consultants to challenge their own perceptions and update their approaches.