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Applying ethnography in the analysis and support of expertise in engineering design

Ball, LJ and Ormerod, TC (2000) Applying ethnography in the analysis and support of expertise in engineering design Design Studies, 21 (4). pp. 403-418.

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Whilst many contemporary studies of design have claimed to be using ethnographic methods, the techniques which have been employed often diverge from the characteristics of pure ethnography as used in traditional anthropological and sociological research. We argue that this is entirely appropriate for applied ethnography that is conducted in pursuit of explicit design goals. In this paper, we explore the relationship between pure and applied ethnography, and their use in cognitive and social research. We also discuss how the outcomes of applied ethnography can be applied to i) the design of a computer-based design support tool and ii) the development of controlled experimental studies that retain sufficient ecological validity to capture realistic design expertise. We additionally argue that objectivity in empirical studies of design can be obtained only by triangulating observations across methodologies that embrace both ethnographic and laboratory-based, traditions. © 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Ball, LJ
Date : 1 July 2000
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 09:58
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 18:12

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