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Workshop 1: Beginnings.

Workshop 1: Beginnings

18th + 19th November 2013, 10:00am ­- 4:30pm

RMIT Design Hub, Pavilion 4, Level 10

Workshop 1 Program

Ethnography can often be retrospective and descriptive, and in contrast, design can often be future­oriented and generative. This two­day workshop explores the unique synergies of design and ethnography through a focus on futures. In doing so, it moves beyond disciplinary boundaries to experiment with new kinds of emergent practices that can be possible. The workshop focuses on participatory co­creation through dialogue, making and imagining with the aim of propositioning what Design + Ethnography + Futures could be.

In May 2013, two research clusters in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT, convened a panel discussion on Design and Ethnography. The discussants, two from each respective discipline, shared their concerns, criticisms, experiences and questions that arise when design and ethnography meet. The discussion traversed across topics that were central to a research­led process, the parameters of openness and constraints, on speculation to application, where and how the researcher is situated with others and the necessity to question assumptions, motivations and values that are brought to or manifest in a project. There was also mutual recognition that both design and ethnography generated rich understandings of phenomena through various interventions, modalities and mediums. These are necessarily fragmented, multiple and dynamic, and as it moves through people and time, from the past to the present, it can shape how we understand and take action for the future.

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RMIT University Design Research Institute Design Ethnography Research Centre Design Futures Lab Mediaccions Communities & Culture Network+

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