The auto-ethnographic turn in design

Editors: Louise Schouwenberg en Michael Kaethler

The Auto-Ethnographic Turn in Design is emerging from a growing recognition of design’s capacity to make sense of one’s world while at the same time to express and convey this personal insight or knowledge through rich, layered, and ultimately meaningful processes or objects. Auto-ethnographic design seeks to come to terms with one’s context and self—as well as the materiality that mediates these two. In doing so, it offers a vision of design that is free of commercial commissions, assumed users’ needs, or well-intentioned do-goodism, and reveals a sincerity and genuine commitment in the process of design that is too often missing.”

  • Auto-ethnography gives an authority to the designer as someone with something to say and a means to say it
  • Puts forward a broad scope of what auto-ethnographic design entails: situating the designer at the heart of the research and connecting this position to the culture of design and the broader cultural realm
  • Contains a wide variety of both conversations as well as practices related to this important turn within design