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robertogreco : designresearch   12

Paper Giant | Design Research, Strategy & Innovation - Melbourne, Australia
"We are a team of designers and researchers who use design thinking to make effective, evidence-driven products and services."
design  melboune  australia  chrismarmo  openstudioproject  lcproject  designresearch 
january 2016 by robertogreco
My Tribe Is an Unsophisticated People | CultureBy – Grant McCracken
"This is a photograph of Sara Little Turnbull (1917–2015). Sara was an designer and anthropologist. In 1988 she founded, and for 18 years she ran, the Process of Change Laboratory for Innovation and Design at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

I like this photo for a couple of reasons. Sara was caught at her desk, mid-task, mid-thought. She senses the camera and gives it a knowing look. What’s maybe most striking is her clothing. Ever so fashionable. Ever so anti-anthropological.

My tribe dresses badly. Jeans. It takes a lot of denim to clothe the field. We don’t ever dress up. The idea appears to be to dress as far down as possible without provoking the suspicion of vagrancy. When formal clothing is called for the anthropologist sometimes resorts to the clothing of the culture they study. Put it this way, no one ever looks like Sara.

A lot of this is “badge of pride” stuff. Anthropologists dress badly to make a point. They want you to know that they reject the conventions of a mainstream society, that they care nothing for the bourgeois respectability, upward mobility, and/or conspicuous consumption that animate the dress codes of the rest of the world. It’s not a punk violation of code. It’s just a way of saying “Look, we’re out.”

This strategy is not without it’s costs. As Marshall Sahlins, God’s gift to anthropology, used to say in his University of Chicago seminars, “every theory is a bargain with reality.” (By which we believed he meant, every theory buys some knowledge at the cost of other knowledge.) And so it is with every suit of clothing. It give you access to some parts of the world, but it denies you access to others.

This social immobility is not a bad thing if you are a nuclear scientist or a botanist. But it does matter if you are prepared to make claims to knowledge when it comes to your own culture, and anthropologists are never shy on this topic.

Anthropologists believe they know about a great deal about their own culture. But in point of fact, there are many worlds they do not know and cannot access, worlds of which they have scant personal knowledge and in which they have few personal contacts. Generally speaking, they don’t know anyone in the worlds of venture capital, advertising, graphic design, publishing, fashion, forecasting, strategy, philanthropy, art museums, professional sports, industrial design, user experience, startup capitalism, banking, branding, public relations, small business, big business, or politics. It’s a lot, the things anthropologist don’t know about their own culture.

Anjali Ramachandran recently heard Salman Rushdie speak in London and recalls he said something like,

“One thing I tell students is to try and get into as many different kinds of rooms to hear as many different kinds of conversations as possible. Because otherwise how will you find things to put in your books?”

Just so. Rushdie’s “many rooms” strategy is not embraced in anthropology. By and large, anthropologists encourage their students to stick to a small number of rooms where, by and large, they conduct the same conversation.

This is ironic not least because one of the field’s most recent and convincing contributions to the world beyond it’s own is actually a contemplation of the danger of living in a silo. Gillian Tett (PhD in social anthropology, University of Cambridge) recently published a book called The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers. This is a book about the compartmentalization of all organizations, but it might have been a study of the field of anthropology.

The further irony is that in its post-modern moment, anthropology claims to be especially, even exquisitely, self reflexive, but the sad thing is that it does ever seem to be reflexive on matters like this. Clifford Geertz used to say that much of anthropology is self confession. Too bad that’s no longer true.

Irony gives way to something less amusing when we see that this provincialism is not just self-imposed but enforced as a tribal obligation. Those who dare dress “up” or “well” or “fashionably” or, as we might say, “in a manner that maximizes cultural mobility” is scorned. As graduate students, we actually dared sneer at the elegant suits sported by Michael Silverstein. How dare he refuse this opportunity to tell the world how world-renouncing he was! There is something odd and a little grotesque about willing a provincialism of this kind and then continuing to insist on your right to make claims to knowledge.

Sara Little Turnbull knew better. She understood how many mansions are contained in the house of contemporary culture. She embraced the idea that anthropology was a process of participant observation and that we can’t understand our culture from the outside alone. Sara also understood that the few “ideas” that anthropology uses to account for this endlessly various data is a little like the people of Lilliput hoping to keep Gulliver in place on the beach with a couple of guy wires. Eventually the beast comes to. Sara could study contemporary culture because she didn’t underestimate it or constrain her rights of access."
anthropology  clothing  clothes  howwedress  grantmccracken  2015  saralittleturnball  anthropologists  ethnography  designresearch  centerfordesignresearch  salmanrushdie  processofchangelaboratory  anjaliramachandran  culture  gilliantett  marshallsahlins  provincialism  fashion  whatwewear  immersion 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Lazy, Forgetful Creatures of Habit — Research Things — Medium
"When we talk about designing and marketing, a lot of times we’ll focus on the techniques, the specific practices. Shop talk is fun.

The hardest part of any design project isn’t figuring out how to write well, or lay out a page, or code a website. We have a solid body of knowledge. The challenge is dealing with the humans. Humans are a pain in the ass. But we love them, because our work depends on them. And because they are us.

Humans, especially those of us who spend a lot of time on and around the Internet, all of us are

Lazy, forgetful creatures of habit.

That is your core behavior pattern right there. I just saved you a lot of work creating personas.

Being a lazy, forgetful creature of habit is completely rational. We only have so much energy and attention, and we have ever increasing demands on it. Why should you do anything that requires more work? Why should you go out of your way? Or commit something to memory, when Google will remember it for you?

But what works for each of us as individuals can make life very difficult for our businesses. How do you reach people who have so much competition for their attention and such well-honed abilities to ignore things? It’s not just “banner blindness”. People are often blind to absolutely everything that doesn’t match the thing they’re looking for. It’s baked into our brains — the part of pattern matching that happens below conscious awareness. (And we’re well on our way to notification blindness now.)

And how do you make sure you are working with a realistic view of the priorities of actual humans, instead of making assumptions or relying on wishful thinking? You ask yourself that question every day. “What am I assuming?”

(Wishful thinking is the lazy habit that will doom an entrepreneur.)

Established organizations are lazy, forgetful creatures of habit as well, because they are made up of humans — plus an extra layer of inertia. So, while you are considering the users of the new product or service you are designing, you had better think about all of the existing habits of the organization that has to support it. Those habits can be even harder to change because they are baked into the culture and the business model.

Many an ambitious new strategic direction with complete buy-in from the top has fallen apart because someone further down the chain lacked incentive to change what they were doing. And again, this is rational, or at least understandable, behavior on the individual level.

And researchers — design researchers, market researchers — they can be lazy, too. A lot of bad research is bad because the study was designed based on what questions were easy and oh so satisfying to ask, not based on what was going to yield the most useful information.

If your success depends on people taking action, or remembering your name, or doing anything at all new, you had better make it as easy and satisfying as possible. And the only way to make it as easy as possible is to be really and truly realistic about what makes something feel difficult to someone who is not you.

Optimism is the death of design. Cultivating a habit of critical thinking is the first step to saving it.

Next time, I’ll talk about the Fear."
behavior  erikahall  2015  laziness  attention  priorities  humans  design  designresearch  criticalthinking  forgetting  users  marketing  optimism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Presence and agency (with tweets) · davidpetersimon · Storify
"A collection of tweets from A Parede on issues within design research today"

"Pedro Oliveira

If there's one thing I learned so far in my journey into Design Research, is that designers don't learn/know/care how to do research. What I mean with that is: bad research does not "incite debate", it only brings criticism on how bad it is. What I found out, though Is that the biggest part of this failure comes from not acknowledging your own standpoint as a researcher. As simple as it might sound... Design researchers often think that their presence/point of view does not configure in itself a form of politics, and that is really naïve. and it saddens me to see that with not only with students but also with more "experienced" researchers. Bad research is bad research, period.

Luiza Prado

Adding to @pedroliveira_ 's tweets I've been thinking abt how often design research projects that focus on minority communities have nobody that actually belongs to/identifies w those communities on the design team. At best, they work w a facilitator/local leader which sends the message that those are ppl who can, at best, be interesting research objects, but never researcher subjects. No agency. Seen SO MANY DESIGN RESEARCH groups in germany working w turkish immigrant communities, w/o ONE SINGLE researcher of actual turkish descent. Which doesn't mean that the research is automatically invalid, but it does mean that in the world of design research these ppl don't get to have their own agency. Research objects, not researcher subjects. And what is the point of minding your methodology, team, whatever, if you don't give agency to those who are actually impacted by this?"
pedrooliveira  luizaprado  aparede  design  designresearch  agency  methodology  objectification  politics 
february 2015 by robertogreco
A PAREDE ツ hello[at]a-pare.de
"Oh Hai! We are A Parede, a brazilian design research practice in Berlin.
Our research interests are in Speculative and Critical Design, Gender and Sound Studies."
luizaprado  pedrooliveira  criticaldesign  speculativedesign  designresearch  gender  sound  berlin  brazil  brasil  aparede  designfiction 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Partido Alto is the Portfolio of Pedro Oliveira –
"I’m a Brazilian Design Researcher, currently a PhD Candidate at the UdK Berlin. I am also a frustrated musician.

My research and practice fall at the intersection of Design Research and Sound Studies. I’m deeply interested in investigating the social, economical and political agendas of our everyday relationships with listening, as mediated through designed artifacts. I explore these issues mostly through developing objects, performances and sometimes even workshops. As a design researcher dealing with relationships between people and technology in a broader level, I also investigate near-future scenarios and emergent systems.

Here you’ll find a selection of projects I’ve developed in the past few years. If you like, you can browse a more comprehensive list, check some research sketches and ideas, or take a look at my CV.

Moreover, there’s also a moodboard I keep online, as well as some rather old stuff I’ve made as a graphic designer."

[via: https://medium.com/designing-the-future/5a355cac2ca4 via @annegalloway ]
brasil  design  sound  pedrooliviero  designresearch  listening  realationships  brazil 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Design Fiction as Pedagogic Practice — What I Learned Building… — Medium
"Asking students to imagine a world and design artefacts to communicate a set of beliefs or practices though the utilisation of fiction has been an essential part of the BA Design curriculum for over a decade. But the thing I’m most surprised by is how little has been written about the role of fiction and speculation as part of design education. I can understand how DF can have value in a research context in order to provoke and convince an audience of a possibility space; a mode of questioning and coercion. I can also see its role in technology consultancy, as the construction of narratives, where products, interactions, people and politics open up new markets and directions for a client. But I think people have missed its most productive position; that of DF as a pedagogic practice.

I’m fully located in the ‘all design is fiction’ camp, so I’m not a big fan of nomenclature and niche land grabs. Design as a practice never exists in the here and now. Whether a week, month, year or decade away, designers produce propositions for a world that is yet to exist. Every decision we make is for a world and set of conditions that are yet to be, we are a contingent practice that operates at the boundaries of reality. What’s different is the temporality, possibility and practicality of the fictions that we write."
pedagogy  designfiction  teaching  learning  education  mattward  temporality  imagination  speculation  design  fiction  future  futures  designresearch  designcriticism  darkmatter  designeducation  reality  prototyping  ideology  behavior  responsibility  consequences  possibility  making  thinking  experimentation  tension  fear  love  loss  ideation  storytelling  narrative  howwelearn  howweteach  2013 
july 2013 by robertogreco
DrupalCon Portland 2013: DESIGN OPS: A UX WORKFLOW FOR 2013 - YouTube
"Hey, the dev team gets all these cool visual analytics, code metrics, version control, revision tagging, configuration management, continuous integration ... and the UX design team just passes around Photoshop files?

Taking clues from DevOps and Lean UX, "DesignOps" advocates more detailed and durable terminology about the cycle of user research, design and production. DesignOps seeks to first reduce the number of design artifacts, to eliminate the pain of prolonged design decisions. DesignOps assumes that the remaining design artifacts aren't actionable until they are reasonably archived and linked in a coherent way that serves the entire development team.

This talk will introduce the idea of DesignOps with the assumption that the audience has experience with a basic user research cycle — iterative development with any kind of user feedback.

DesignOps is a general approach, intended to help with a broad array of questions from usability testing issues, documentation archiving, production-time stress, and general confusion on your team:

What are the general strategies for managing the UX design process?
How do you incorporate feedback without huge cost?
What happened to that usability test result from last year?
How much space goes between form elements?
Why does the design cycle make me want to drink bleach?
WTF why does our website look like THIS?
* Features turnkey full-stack (Vagrant ) installation of ubuntu with drupal 7 install profile utilizing both php and ruby development tools, with all examples configured for live css compilation"
chrisblow  contradictions  just  simply  must  2013  drupal  drupalcon  designops  fear  ux  terminology  design  audience  experience  shame  usability  usabilitytesting  work  stress  archiving  confusion  relationships  cv  canon  collaboration  howwework  workflow  versioncontrol  versioning  failure  iteration  flickr  tracker  creativecommons  googledrive  tags  tagging  labels  labeling  navigation  urls  spreadsheets  links  permissions  googledocs  timelines  basecamp  cameras  sketching  universal  universality  teamwork  principles  bullshitdetection  users  clients  onlinetoolkit  offtheshelf  tools  readymadetools  readymade  crapdetection  maps  mapping  userexperience  research  designresearch  ethnography  meetup  consulting  consultants  templates  stencils  bootstrap  patterns  patternlibraries  buzzwords  css  sass  databases  compass  webdev  documentation  sharing  backups  maintenance  immediacy  process  decisionmaking  basics  words  filingsystems  systems  writing  facilitation  expression  operations  exoskeletons  clarification  creativity  bots  shellscripts  notes  notetaking  notebo 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Writing Live Fieldnotes: Towards a More Open Ethnography | Ethnography Matters
"I just returned from fieldwork in China. I’m excited to share a new way I’ve been writing ethnographic fieldnotes, called live fieldnoting…

At one point in time, all ethnographers wrote their notes down with a physical pen and paper. But with mobiles, laptops, iPads, and digital pens, not all ethnographers write their fieldnotes. Some type their fieldnotes. Or some do both. With all these options, I have struggled to come up with the perfect fieldnote system…

…the problem with a digital pen, notebook, and laptop is that they are all extra things that have to be carried with you or they add extra steps to the process…

I still haven’t found the perfect fieldnote system, but I wanted to experiment with a new process that I call, “live fieldnoting.” …

…updates everyday from the field. … compilation on Instagram, flickr, facebook, tumblr, and foursquare. I made my research transparent and accessible with daily fieldnotes. Anyone who wanted to follow along in my adventure could see…"
mobile  signs  research  flashbacks  moments  rituals  customs  location  travel  participatoryfieldnoting  socialfieldnoting  johnvanmaanen  ethnographymatters  rachelleannenchino  jennaburrell  heatherford  jorisluyendijk  gabriellacoleman  janchipchase  lindashaw  rachelfretz  robertemerson  photography  iphone  china  noticing  observation  transparency  2012  foursquare  tumblr  facebook  flickr  instagram  triciawang  howwework  process  wcydwt  notetaking  designresearch  fieldnoting  fieldnotes  ethnography  ritual 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Museum of Possibilities - a set on Flickr
"The city of Montréal needed designs to help inaugurate a public space within the new urban development of the Quartier des Spectacles, generating public interest in the vision & future of the area.

The ‘Museum of Possibilities’ was created for one day during Montréal’s city-wide open day for Museums. Members of the public could pick up a piece of paper & write down what they would like to have happen in that space in the future. Visitors entered the field of balloons to add an ‘entry’ to the museum of possible things which might happen on site. People also received a set of stickers so they could wander through the Museum of Possibilities & add a vote of approval for possible future events. This voting helped to turn ‘possibilities’ into probabilities & gave the client concrete data on public interest.

A collaboration w/ Melissa Mongiat, Mouna Andraos & Amélie Bilodeau, May 2010

www.livingwithourtime.com "
crowdsourcing  twitter  publicspace  designresearch  possibility  livingwithourtime  mounaandraos  améliebilodeau  montreal  opinion  imagination  balloons  museums  culture  community  the2837university  agitpropproject 
february 2011 by robertogreco

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