Designer Erin Lynch recently interviewed Amélie Lamont, a NYC-based design anthropologist, and the result is quite stimulating, particularly also on the topic gender and racial gaps in the design industry.
According to Amélie, “design anthropology focuses on better understanding human value systems. As designers, when you understand human value systems, then you can begin creating holistic solutions that directly impact your community.”
A design anthropologist would be brought in to help a project that wanted to know how the end product would affect human culture and values. Honestly this should be the case for all projects, as anything designed by humans has the potential to impact human society. If we’re getting narrow, I’d say they’re most needed when it comes to digital products that directly affect social culture and values–like social media products.