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Designs and Anthropologies

Frictions and Affinities
Edited by Keith M. MurphyEitan Y. Wilf



The chapters in this captivating volume demonstrate the importance and power of design and the ubiquitous and forceful effects it has on human life within the study of anthropology. The scholars explore the interactions between anthropology and design through a cross-disciplinary approach, and while their approaches vary in how they specifically consider design, they are all centered around the design-and-anthropology relationship. The chapters look at anthropology for design, in which anthropological methods and concepts are mobilized in the design process; anthropology of design, in which design is positioned as an object of ethnographic inquiry and critique; and design for anthropology, in which anthropologists borrow concepts and practices from design to enhance traditional ethnographic forms. Collectively, the chapters argue that bringing design and anthropology together can transform both fields in more than one way and that to tease out the implications of using design to reimagine ethnography—and of using ethnography to reimagine design—we need to consider the historical specificity of their entanglements.

Published in Association with School for Advanced Research Press.

Subjects: Anthropology

Contributor Bios
Keith M. Murphy is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include design, letterforms, language, and politics.
Eitan Y. Wilf is an associate professor of anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He studies the institutional transformations of creativity in the United States.