Monday, November 17, 2008

Introducing Ethnography

On Friday, Lauren and I introduced Ethnography to our 1st year Design Studies students; encouraging them to be visual listeners and critical thinkers. As it is important to publish our work, thoughts and ideas as designers, we also offered the students a chance to be published on our blogs. 

Lauren gave the students a quick presentation on Ethnography, referencing the work of IDEO and showing examples from Thoughtless Acts by Jane Fulton Suri. We the asked the students to go away and observe people and how they interact with the world around them, giving them 3 days to take a photo of a particular observation and write a little insight description.


 for his excellent portrayal of his critical thinking.

 for his excellent illustration of "adaptation"

Congratulations to these guys. Here are the images and insights they produced.


"I chose to look at the unusual tradition of using old newspaper as a wrapping/ packaging for chip shop foods.

To notice something lying infront of your eyes, is a process that can be processed in a very short period of time. Before your mind can begin analysing information, it searches for anything that stands out or seems a little more unusual than anything else. In my case, the newspaper clipping used for the packaging for a deep fried food seems almost rediculous. When the object or thought is identified, the unusualness of the item is emphasised until it cannot be taken to any further stage. As the newspaper is and has always been designed to present news and information to the reader, the connection between news and food is non existent. Although people may identify that they are recycling their paper goods and 'saving the trees', their is no reason to combine the overall idea together".


"The cooking pot. Not only a utensil for suitably cooking foodstuffs in but when next to a sink, a useful place to store cutlery waiting to be washed or if the pot is clean, a place to store clean cutlery needing to be dried and/or put away. One of the main reason why the pot is used is because there is a lack of storage space in the kitchen area for the individual to put their cutlery and other utensils. This does however make more sense than leaving forks and knives etc lying about were someone could injure themselves. Some other uses for the pot (not shown) include a helmet or hat and a low value drum (both of these are mainly practiced by children)".

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