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What are the range of ‘communicative acts’ that successfully traverse ethnography and business/insights/strategy? Is it .ppts and white papers all the way down?

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Intel, Tony Salvador, and Design Anthropology

by Ioanis Hristodoulou The notion that design anthropology would be intertwined into the echelons of the CPU giant Intel is perplexing at first. Why would a “CPU company need to get involved in the usability of a system” (Yoshida, 2011)? Why would Intel need to conduct a tremendous amount of ethnographic research if all they are manufacturing are microchips? This essay explores these questions and examines Intel’s role in design anthropology on a worldwide context, exploring the work of Tony Salvador, who directs research in Intel’s Experience Insights Lab. Tony’s official role is to “identify new, strategic opportunities for technology caused…

Elizabeth F. Churchill / A Profile

Part of an on-going series profiling people, institutions and programs in the EPIC People community. by Katharina Rochjadi, Swinburne University of Technology At 7 am sharp on a Monday morning, Skype broke the silence with an incoming call. On the line was an affable, well-spoken woman with a British accent. It was Elizabeth Churchill, a familiar name in the EPIC community and a founding member of its steering committee. It was a great pleasure to speak with such a prominent figure in ethnographic praxis. Elizabeth is Executive Vice President of ACM SIGCHI and Director of User Experience at Google. Until…

Maria Bezaitis / A Profile

Editor’s Note: This week’s blog entry is a part of our on-going series profiling people, institutions and programs from the EPIC People community.   By Amina Benhima, Swinburne University A PhD in French Literature and Cultural Studies from Duke University (1988-1994), Maria Bezaitis may appear to have a surprising career as a scientist inside Intel’s Interaction and Experience Lab. But as she says, her vast literary studies exploring modernist literary movements in the context of new technological developments, ultimately led her into such a field of work. Bezaitis felt she had learned about “the changing nature of everyday life” and…

Models of Enchantment and the Enchantment of Models

By Simon Roberts, Partner, Stripe Partners This is a piece about certain types of objects. Those objects are models. I want to suggest that models are objects that are central to the various practices in which EPIC People are engaged for three reasons. Firstly, they help manage situations of uncertainty. Second, they are tools for communications. Third, they represent technologies of enchantment. Let’s take uncertainty first. Like it or not, life is full of uncertainty. “Given the inherent ambiguity of all reality and the nagging suspicion that we always exist on the edge of existential chaos, objects work to hold…

Scurvy and the Practice of Insights Research

By Peter Levin, Intel Corporation I. Intel recently ran an internal marketing conference, where a research firm shared with us a dozen or so technology trends, each with potential to “disrupt” our business. To narrow down discussion about these trends, we were asked to “vote” on which of these trends we thought were most important. And then we could focus our attention on those. While the conference ended up being interesting (maybe more for the networking than the content), I left wondering things like why voting would matter for determining the consequences of future shifts on our markets. And I…