Design in Difference Course: Exploring our own biases

January 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm 4 comments

PIC: some student’s videos: Brian, Hunter & James [CM]
In the context of Design-Anthropology, our multidisciplinary [Business, Science, Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Anthropologists] class is learning the use of applied ethnographic methods in order to work with communities that are not their own. We hold to Wolcott’s definition that, in its evolution, Ethnography had been used particularly to study and understand faraway [geographically] cultures. Today it has become more problem or topic oriented, enabling the study of subcultures or subgroups within our same geographical location.

Pic: about fieldnotes, ethics & cases of design-anthropology application in Ghana & Chile [Kofi & Constanza]
Engaging in Ethnographic research is not the “only way” to understand culture, but is “a way” [Wolcott] that has many benefits. We explore them during the course. Yet, it is important that before engaging this type of inquiry, students reflect on their own biases. As they become “instrument of inquiry” we need them to make the Reflective question: WHO AM I, and which is my worldview. The task of making a videotaped self interview considering a particular scenario, helped the students to reflect which is the lens through which they will be filtering their observations. On the other hand, it also helps us and them to think about assumptions existing about design process, identity and working with others [how prepared they think they are].


Entry filed under: Design Anthropology, Design in Difference US, Methods.

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contact + citing (CC license)

Constanza Miranda PhD(c) design.anthro
* Currently @ DILAB
* Ex.VR @ Stanford's Center for Design Research [DesignXLab]
* Ex.Instructor @ PUC Chile [Design+Engineering]
Use citations ¡Citar es ético!
Creative Commons License
Design for Social Innovation initiative by Constanza Miranda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

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