Call for Papers: Design Ethnography : Ethnographic Design

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, November 14-18, 2012
Organizers: Maria Lucia Vidart (Rice University) and Zakcq Lockrem (Social Agency Lab)
Discussant: Keith Murphy (University of California-Irvine)

In recent years, anthropologists have questioned the status of “the thing” and in that process new questions about anthropological design and the relation with “object-oriented” disciplines have emerged. In the anthropological corpus, “the thing” has shifted from being a non-existing other, a material tool or a technology product of sociocultural relations,  to a key player in (re)producing social, cultural and political dynamics. Therefore, anthropology is starting to pay close attention to the behavior of objects humans make as an entry point in understanding what being human is. This shift of perspective has opened new collaborations, new points of dialogue, between anthropological design and design-based disciplines. In these new “para-sites,” to borrow George Marcus’ term, it is not at all uncommon to find crossings between anthropological knowledge and urban planning, computer design, policy making, marketing practices, art, and architecture among other disciplines. How are these crossings, this cross-pollination, shaping the way we see, feel and understand the world and our place in it? By bringing together a group of experts who work at the intersection of anthropology and design-based disciplines, this panel explores the ways in which new methodological practices and theoretical stances are both reshaping the design of anthropological projects and design processes in other fields.

Preliminary abstracts should be sent to Zakcq (zlockrem(at) and Maria (mvidart(at) no later than March 31. Please contact us as soon as possible with your intention to submit.