Accounts of a Critical Artefacts Approach to Design Anthropology

Tau Ulv Lenskjold



This article aims to contribute to a discussion of what design anthropology brings to the deployment of critical modes of engagement and artefacts in design. And, conversely, discuss how this specific framing of design anthropology may add to its disciplinary potential. I propose to do this by discussing how design provocations and critical artefacts, as transitional devices, and at different stages in a design process, can evoke a critical stance or render intrinsic controversies visible, while turning the artefacts into objects of mediation between heterogeneous assemblages of stakeholders, contexts and concerns.

By framing design anthropology within a distinctly speculative and critical approach to design, this article furthermore brings into question the value of ethnographic inquiry as merely implications for design, and goes on to suggest a richer and more interventionist application of anthropology with specific relevance for the scaffolding and articulation of a critical stance in design.  



Critical design; design anthropology

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