Design Anthropology

Design Anthropology: Object Cultures in Transition

by Alison J. Clarke

Alison J. Clarke is Professor of Design History and Theory, Director of the Victor J. Papanek Foundation at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-5903-3 (paperback)

    978-1-4742-5905-7 (epdf)

    978-1-4742-5906-4 (epub)

    978-1-4742-5907-1 (online)
  • Edition:
    Third Edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
Design Anthropology
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Design Anthropology brings together leading international design theorists, consultants and anthropologists to explore the changing object culture of the 21st century.

Decades ago, product designers used basic market research to fine-tune their designs for consumer success. Today the design process has been radically transformed, with the user center-stage in the design process. From design ethnography to culture probing, innovative designers are employing anthropological methods to elicit the meanings rather than the mere form and function of objects. This important volume provides a fascinating exploration of the issues facing the shapers of our increasingly complex material world.

The text features case studies and investigations covering a diverse range of academic disciplines. From IKEA and anti-design to erotic twenty-first-century needlework and online interior decoration, the book positions itself at the intersections of design, anthropology, material culture, architecture, and sociology.