A whirlwind tour of all I learned during a year-long ethnography of mobile phones and computer use in the Chinese countryside: the facts (ICT devices are often gifted, not bought; ICT is for entertainment, and that’s a good thing; people go online without knowing it; farmers enjoy playing Farmville; old people know a lot about the Internet even if they have never used it); the lessons (do manual labor, trust grandmothers, enjoy widely discrepant versions people give of the same facts); the rules (stay still, but never procrastinate on doing interviews).
Our broken healthcare system badly needs the attention of the (UX) design (research) communities. But for these communities to have an impact, they must become better aware of: what about their typical work limits what they can achieve in fixing healthcare; the socio-cultural characteristics that offer substantive resistance to healthcare system change; what is happening in healthcare that might go part way to achieve the change needed; and what they can do differently to prepare themselves to have a substantive impact.
I’m a conceptual artist and an ethnographer. My artwork explores the tensions between private and public acts, versions of the self, and codes of behavior. Crossing the boundaries and mixing the lines between conceptual art and ethnography has renewed my interest and commitment to both disciplines. Focusing on two photographic series, “Room” and “Reality TV,” I discuss my research interests, personal career trajectory, and how ethnography functions in a conceptual art context.
Cell phones have become ubiquitous devices that help us to navigate and interact with the city. We use them for almost everything from talking to emails to surfing the web. Through these interactions we leave behind geo-local ‘data trails’ that enable assumptions and observations about our behaviors with one another and our environment. In the context of the current hype around data this session explores questions around the use of digital data as new means for behavioral user observation and the impact of these methods on the field of user observation and field studies.
Robin Beers - Biz is Human, Jan Yeager - Added Value Cheskin
Family, as a foundational structural unit of society, is undergoing a morphological shift enabled by scientific and technological advances that have expanded methods and pathways for reproductive success and are consequently pushing the boundaries of traditional forms. Single women and men, as well as gay and lesbian couples, are building families with the help of donor sperm, eggs, and surrogates and this “open source” approach to reproduction is creating new types of families and new types of family constructs.
New configurations of work, promising great hope and great risk for society, are emerging. In sites such as Innocentive people can self-organize to solve vexing scientific challenges. The large-scale production of work can be managed rapidly through micro-task labor at sites such as Mechanical Turk. The broad spectrum of technical developments has the potential to liberate people from binding and hard to secure organizational bounds and threatens to prompt de-skilling and organizations’ abilities to sustain innovative practice.