The Art of Observational Research

Fall 2015
Mon Oct 19, Oct 26
Studio 2

This class focuses on observation as a research method for innovation and design. No prior research experience is required, just a sense of adventure and curiosity to explore new ways of observing everyday life. The first session will focus on learning a core toolkit of observational methods and techniques. The instructors, both cultural anthropologists working in different fields of design, will discuss how they have used these methods and techniques to do research in homes, bars, restaurants, car dealerships, urban neighborhoods, hospital operating rooms, and more. Students will then go out into the real world, working solo or in small teams, to conduct observations in response to a common design challenge. In the second session, students will share their findings and the class will work together to identify specific design implications from their research.

Accepting 30 graduate students. Apply here.

Teaching Team
Mike Youngblood, Associate Partner, gravitytank
Ben Chesluk, Senior Researcher for Ethnographic Research, American Board of Internal Medicine


The Art of Observational Research