“Doing Design Ethnography”

Crabtree, A., & Rouncefield, M. (2012). Doing Design Ethnography. London: Springer.

We know, in other words, how to organise our activities and how to do that as a real world, real time sociological accomplishment that other members of the settings we live and operate in know, recognise and can orchestrate their actions with too. (2)

The promise of ethnography was not that it would provide answers that other methodologies cannot provide but that it could respecify problems. (15)

Ethnography cannot be reduced to just going and looking and gathering a corpse of exhibits. It is not mere method of observation and data collection. It first requires immersion in everyday activities of a setting or place, situating oneself in the ‘phenomenal field’ as it were and seeing what is done there from a native’s or a members’ point of view (23)

There are two key components to ethnography then: fieldwork and analysis, and it is with regard to the latter that the clatter of tongues is most pronounced (23)

the ethnographer’s task is … to describe the achieved ordinariness of a setting’s naturally accountable activities in details of the haecceities that observably and reportably animate them. (36)

Your task as an ethnographer is to uncover the methodical character of naturally accountable activities. (63)

Quick and dirty studies provide designers with an informed sense of what the work of a setting looks like ‘on the ground’ and enable them to identify areas of work that are relevant to systems development (77)

Visiting a place requires that members first figure out where to go. (143)

Ethnography is not a method. It is an analytic perspective on fieldwork … (177)

The purpose of ethnography as we know and understand it is to uncover and explicate this ignored and indispesable domain of social life to find the ‘animal in the foliage’ (Garfinkel et al. 1981), the seen but unnoticed methods and distinctive machineries of interaction they constitute that the actual conduct and organisation of a setting’s work relies upon. (188)