Anthropology of Design:
Since 2006 my teaching practice has focused on understanding the role of design in generating and prototyping new forms of social life by creating paths of communication and objects that forge new ontological categories and relations. Designing, as professional practice, is closely associated with industrialization and mass consumption. With globalization and the spread of social media, professional designers have become active agents of social transformation even in so-called traditional or highly regulated social contexts.
An anthropology of Design, tracing the place of design in everyday social life and interaction, is a growing area of my research. Working within an architectural design studio, I am a participant-observer of the role that designers play in urban life. Two other topics of specific and ongoing interest are the emerging field of designing public services and the relationship between craft and design. My research on these topics supports the development and systematization of social research methods specifically for design firms. My insights are being developed into a new book project titled Infrastructures for Life: The Role of Design from Sumptuary Consumption to Servicing the Public Good.