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Planning a Design Ethnography Experience is a Course

Planning a Design Ethnography Experience

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Full course description

Ethnography has long been used to understand how people live and why they do what they do. The principles used to collect and analyze this information are also very useful for designers who create products or processes to improve people’s lives. In this block, you will learn basic and core anthropological principles that guide ethnographic fieldwork and how these techniques are applied to design processes. Case studies will demonstrate how ethnography has been used in real-world design products, after which you will have the opportunity to plan a design ethnographic experience yourself.


"Ethnography is the art and science of describing a group or culture. The description may be of a small tribal group in an exotic land or a classroom in middle-class suburbia." - David M. Fetterman, 1998.


After completing this learning block, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between ethnography and design ethnography by understanding how the core anthropological principles are used in design

  • Recognize how design ethnography enhances the overall design of a product or process

  • Practice basic field methods for data collection

  • Identify stakeholders, develop a stakeholder map, and utilize it to engage with stakeholders in a meaningful manner

  • Structure a plan for conducting design ethnography



Block Developers: Aliya Jawad, Maria Young, Sara Hoffman, Shanna Daly

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