Creating Breakthrough Ideas
The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry
by Susan Squires, Bryan yrne
November 2002, 256pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-89789-682-5
$86, £64, 72€, A123

Explores the opportunities and challenges facing ethnographic researchers and designers who are learning to collaborate as they create breakthrough ideas.

Research, design, and development firms are actively recruiting anthropologists and other social scientists, as ethnographic research becomes more central to the creation of appropriate new products, services, and marketing strategies for U.S. and global markets. To be successful designers, professionals must learn new processes, develop training programs, modify communication styles, and share their methods to make their work possible. The current volume is written by social scientists, designers, and entrepreneurs who create new products and services. They provide frank and insightful discussions about the opportunities and challenges facing researchers and designers who are learning to collaborate.

The book highlights several major topics in order to focus on critical aspects of the industry’s highly related features. It provides background information about ethnography, decsribes and analyzes the industry, presents case examples of working practices and discusses emerging methodology based on three fundamental kinds of projects (discovery, design, and evaluation). The book suggests ways emerging design professionals can (1) improve their own performance, (2) change the working processes of the industry itself, (3) contribute to basic ethnographic research, and (4) craft training programs for the next generation of professionals.

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