'These timely, thoughtful and well-written essays are essential reading as we explore the changing tasks of design in these new times'

John Thackara author of In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World (MIT Press) founder of Doors of Perception, leading thinker in social design.

'Alison J. Clarke's anthology is a must-read for anyone interested in the growing links between design and anthropology. As designers add social science theory to their box of tricks and theorists seek relevance and impact for their ideas, Design Anthropology is where it all comes together.'

Jeremy Myerson, Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre at Royal College of Art London

Design Anthropology Symposium

11.11.2010, 18:00
At the Seminarraum A,
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Oskar Kokoschka-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna


18:00 – Welcome
Rector and President of the University of Applied Arts Dr. Gerald Bast

18.15 – Roundtable discussion chaired by Alison J. Clarke (Angewandte) featuring:
Maria Bezaitis (Intel)
Jane Fulton Suri (IDEO)
Harvey Molotch (NYU),
Rick E. Robinson (co-founder E-Lab)

19.15 – Book Launch
Design Anthropology: Object Culture In The 21st Century. Introduction by Angela Foessl (Springer) and Alison J. Clarke (Angewandte)

19.30 – Drinks Reception


University of Applied Arts Vienna
At the Seminarraum A,
Oskar Kokoschka-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna

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For further information:

Design History & Theory die Angewandte

Öffentlichkeitsarbeit die Angewandte

Rick E. Robinson

Rick E. Robinson is a partner in Sideriver Ventures, a new product ventures firm, and a partner at HLB, a design and innovation consultancy. He is a senior research scientist who has spent the majority of his career developing and applying innovative approaches to understanding consumers. He holds a PhD in Human Development from the University of Chicago and is a thought leader across multiple industries, working with diverse companies such as BMW, McDonald’s, Sony, and Pfizer. Robinson has been using observational research as a basis for new product, service, and strategy solutions for nearly 20 years. He was a co-founder of E-Lab, a research consultancy that pioneered new research approaches for understanding the interactions between people and products. In 1999, E-Lab was acquired by Sapient, where Rick became chief experience officer. After Sapient, he became global director of Ethnographic and Observational Research at GFK/NOP World. Among his clients have been Ford, General Mills, General Motors, Hallmark, Intel, Nabisco, Novartis, Samsung, and Unilever. Dr. Robinson lectures widely on research and methodology, and he is the co-author of The Art of Seeing (Getty Publications, 1991) with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He is currently developing a design research online journal with the AIGA and EPIC professional societies and making a book on the principles of ethnographic practice for design and product development.

Harvey Molotch

Harvey Molotch, professor of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies at New York University, conducts research on product design as well as urban development and security. His books include Urban Fortunes (with John Logan, University of California Press, 2007) and Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be As They Are (Routledge, 2003). With Laura Noren, he has edited the forthcoming volume Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (New York University Press, 2010). Before coming to NYU, he was centennial professor at the London School of Economics, chair of Sociology and professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as visiting professor at Northwestern University, University of Essex, Lund University, and SUNY Stony Brook. His awards include: Distinguished Contribution to the Discipline of Sociology, Award for Lifetime Achievement in Urban and Community Studies (Lynd Award), Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Sociology of Environment and Technology (Buttel Award), and Outstanding Scholarly Publication in Urban and Community Studies (Robert Park Award).

Maria Bezaitis

Maria Bezaitis became director of Intel’s People and Practices Research Group in June 2006. Previously, she held management positions in marketing and research at Apopleo, Inc., a wireless strategy and network integration firm based in Chicago. Prior to that, she spent four years leading ethnographic research teams and developing the Advanced Research competency at Sapient Corporation, a business consulting and technology services firm. She started her professional career at E-Lab, a firm that pioneered the use of ethnography for product and service development, where she was a managing partner.

Bezaitis has written and presented on topics including collections and seriality, photographic images and identity, media literacy, user experience, and the role of social research and design for technology innovation and development. Bezaitis earned a BA in French Literature from Dartmouth College and a PhD from Duke University in French Literature and Cultural Studies.

Jane Fulton Suri

Jane Fulton Suri plays a global leadership role in IDEO, evolving content and craft, human insight, and design thinking in support of client projects worldwide. She came to design from psychology and architecture with a pioneering ambition to integrate social science-based perspectives with design practice and to foster a community of collaborators. Jane believes that design, like life, is about seeking creative harmonies with elements of our world – a belief also exhibited in her enthusiasm for wilderness sports. She is author of Thoughtless Acts: Observations on Intuitive Design (Chronicle Books, 2005).

Alison J. Clarke

Alison J. Clarke is professor and head of Design History and Theory, University of Applied Arts Vienna and research director of the Victor J. Papanek Foundation. She previously tutored as senior academic faculty at the Royal College of Art, London. She received a Masters with Distinction in Design History from the RCA/V&A and gained her doctorate in social anthropology at University College London. She is a former Smithsonian Fellow of History, and author of Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America (Smithsonian Institution Press), later optioned for an Emmy-nominated documentary film. Her work considers the interplay of contemporary design, fashion and anthropology and she has co-organised several interdisciplinary conferences in this area including Interior Insights: Design, Ethnography and the Home (RCA, London) and The Death of Taste (MAK, Vienna/ICA, London) as well as authoring numerous related academic articles. She is co-founding editor of Home Cultures: Journal of Architecture, Design and Domestic Space, presenter of Home BBC2 TV series, and expert contributor to the recent The Genius of Design BBC2 TV series. Alison’s agent is Capel and Land, London.