Friday, March 21, 2003

FORGOT TO MENTION: (Adam's talk at Brunel reminded me) In cahoots with Elizabeth Anderson, our Sapient liaison to the INCITE team, I...that is, she and I both presented to design students at the Royal College of Art about the role of ethnography in design. Collaborating with designers is something that both Elizabeth and I have done for a few years now, and is always an interesting and usefully anxious activity. We discussed a little of the history of sociology/anthropology's role in industry, our own work therein, and the vicissitudes, as we've found them, of collaborating across those disciplines. I take the students' critical scrutiny to have been a measure of their engagement (for example, the question: "doesn't research constrain design?"). Some were particularly keen to talk about the ethics of working in the commercial world, and so were we. I was mightily pleased by the fact that they really stuck it to us on this. Thanks to Alison Clarke (see 'People') for the invite and the nice lunch in the secret room.