The readings for each of the two Design Masters Programmes are detailed below.

MSc Design Ethnography

(all available online or through the UoD Library)


Blinkoff, R. (2011). Men pee standing up the value of an anthropological-perspective. Retrieved from – A blog post providing quick introduction into why ethnographic ways of knowing – which are rooted in observation.

Jordan, B. (2007). Transforming Ethnography – Reinventing Research. CAM (Cultural Anthropology Methods), 9(3), 12–17. Retrieved from – One of the most important figures in the movement of anthropologists out of the academy and into the commercial world explores the impact on ethnographic ways of knowing that move precipitated. 



Li, J. (2008). Ethical Challenges in Participant Observation : A Reflection on Ethnographic Fieldwork, 13(1), 100–115. – However we try, ethnographic fieldwork is ultimately an affair fraught with ethical problems. Li provides a balanced consideration of these.

Wang, T. (2012). Writing Live Field Notes: Towards a More Open Ethnography. Retrieved from –  Writing field notes has been something rarely discussed within the anthropology literature, still less re-thought. Tricia Wang is deeply engaged with the idea of extending our approach to the representation of the field at it’s most fundamental level – the fieldnote. This from her fantastic blog Ethnography Matters.



Salvador, T., Bell, G., & Anderson, K. (1999). Design Ethnography. Design Management Journal, 10(4), 35–41 – The anthropologists who arrived at Intel in the 1990s in many ways founded the entire field (albeit building on the work of others at places like PARC). 

Dourish, P. (2007). Responsibilities and implications: further thoughts on ethnography and design. Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Designing for User eXperiences, 2. Retrieved from – Dourish has been a long standing critical reviewer of the relationship between design and ethnography and this paper poses some thought provoking challenges to the DE community.



Bauwens, V. (2010). Building a user observatory: from ethnographic insights to effective recommendations. interactions, October 2010, 63–67 – An account of ‘selling’ the idea of ethnography as a tool for business and design to the Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom, and then delivering the goods through the creation of a “user observatory”. Useful insight into the problems design ethnographers face in companies.

Ehn, B. (2009). Ethnography in the Marketplace. Culture Unbound, 1, 31–49. Retrieved from – Another reflection on design ethnography in commercial settings – this time drawing lessons from the doing and the reporting of ethnographic research, as well as the selling and facilitating of it within companies.



Gartner Fellows Interviews. Retrieved from – Genevieve Bell interviewed on get take on why anthropology has found a place in the corporation, and the trends emerging that continue to make that an important tool for business and design.

Jordan, B. (2009). Blurring Boundaries: The“ Real” and the“ Virtual” in Hybrid Spaces. Human organization, 68(2), 181–193. Retrieved from – She was part of the birth of Design Ethnography and more recently has been tackling where we go next, in particular through thinking out how we manage fieldwork that crosses the real and the virtual spaces.


VIEWING / LISTEN (all available online or via the UoD Library)

VIEW – – Steve Portigal talking at LIFT 11 on driving innovation through an understanding of cultural patterns and shifts.

VIEW – – Jan Chipchase speaking at PopTech 2011 on doing anthropological research around the world for Nokia and more recently Frog Design.

VIEW – – Biller, G. and Scovel, K. (2008) Getting People to Talk, An Ethnography & Interviewing Primer

LISTEN – Sam Ladner gives a great breakdown of how to pick the right research method for the job.

VIEW: As introduced in this blog post – – two great satirical films poking fun at ethnography and raising some important questions about ethics, power and responsibilities in fieldwork: – Dunkles, Rätselhaftes Österreich – – Kitchen Stories by Bent Hamer. Available to borrow from the DJCAD library.


SET TEXTS FOR THE DESIGN ETHNOGRAPHERS (You will need to purchase these for ExR1)

Eriksen, T. H. (2001). Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology. Lace (Vol. 2nd, p. 364). Pluto Press.

Wolcott, H. F. (1995). The art of fieldwork. The art of fieldwork (p. 292). Altamira Press.


Master of Design for Services

There is a reading list available here on the MDes website which has been prepared specifically for this module.


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