breaking

Single yellow tulip in red tulip bed, Park Avenue, New York City

red_tulips_yellow_parkavenue_median_spring
たくさんの赤色のチューリップのあいだに、黄色のチューリップが一つ咲いています。ニューヨークのパークアベニューで。

Visiting New York City the last week of April, everything was in bloom, and tulips seem especially popular this year. I love how on Park Avenue the beds of red tulips have random yellow tulips breaking the conformity.

What rules do you break for design? An essay in Ethnography Matters

デザイン人類学についての記事が出ました。たまには規則を破ったほうがいいと思っています。差し当たり、記事は英語だけで申し訳ありません。

A very exciting blog started recently called Ethnography Matters. Contributors include applied anthropologists and experienced practitioners, graduate students and professors, design and technology consultants. It’s a very intelligent and public discussion.

My Guest Post is called “Outside In: Breaking Some Anthropology Rules for Design.” Design and industry are becoming more aware of the value of ethnography. I wanted to raise the question of how to make visible the full range of theories and perspectives from our academic training as cultural anthropologists. And when to break the rules.

Although it’s tempting to put a happy gloss on past endeavors, I also think there’s been a lack of public discussion about the employment realities in anthropology over the past decades and how they have led to an inward focus. This silence serves very few people.

My essay is about reclaiming the productive parts of academic training, while also gleefully breaking old academic rules. I am curious whether the younger readers, particularly graduate students, will have a different perspective. Do academic rules still limit creativity and innovation?

What do you think? Have you broken professional rules to be a better designer? Can we be simultaneously thinkers and practitioners?