What makes a product iconic? How did IKEA really conquer the home-furnishings market from Sweden to China? Why do design innovators spend more time observing consumers than making new things? Design Anthropology charts the radical turn to ‘the user’ that has transformed our contemporary object culture. Featuring leading design thinkers, Design Anthropology offers a provocative insight into how different groups, from South London urbanites to Australian aborigines, use designed objects to make sense of their everyday lives. As design corporations ‘go native’ they now look to us – our homes, our spiritual worlds and our intimate rituals, for their inspiration. Design Anthropology is a must-have read for everyone in design, creative industries, sociology, anthropology, marketing and cultural studies – and for anyone interested in what is really at stake in our material world.
"These timely, thoughtful and well-written essays are essential reading as we explore the changing tasks of design in these new times"
John Thackara, Doors of Perception
"Alison Clarke's anthology is a must-read for anyone interested in the growing links between design and anthropology. Featuring essays by leading writers working at the intersection of both fields, it is a well-constructed foray into a world where material culture meets design research, where practice and theory intertwine. 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 and Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design, Royal College of Art