Design+Ethnography+Futures proposes a new meeting of design and ethnography through a focus on futures. It is characterized by four concepts of sharing, making, moving and disrupting. We explore how the future orientation of combining design + ethnography approach invites new forms of changemaking, where uncertainty and the ‘not-yet-made’ is at the centre of inquiry. It brings the improvisory, playful, imaginative, sensorial and somewhat contested edges of both fields to create an opening to experiment with what might emerge out of an assembly of ideas, people, feelings, things and processes. In doing so, Design + Ethnography + Futures deliberately steps out of established disciplinary methodologies and moves into the future with people and challenges what we habitually do and think about. It questions the taken-for-granted, triggers genuine surprise, plays with the edges of boundaries and reconfigures ways knowledge is produced.
The program offered by Design + Ethnography + Futures is oriented around doing and some activities are deliberately provocative to ‘shake’ people out of their comfort zones and move away from just ‘talking’ or ‘writing’ as a research activity. A series of five “moves”, as workshops, have been put together, each led by a guest researcher who brings their own take on what can be co-created and explored together, whilst still contributing to the overall aims of Design + Ethnography + Futures. These ‘moves’ will be documented processually, culminating into an end of year symposium in early December 2014, to draw out key insights and collectively reflect on what has emerged.
Design + Ethnography + Futures was a program initiated by the School of Media and Communication through the Design Futures Lab and the Digital Ethnography Research Centre, and is supported by the Design Research Institute at RMIT University during 2014-2018.
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Read published works on D+E+F at:
Yoko Akama’s Academia page