Critique as Collaboration in Design Anthropology


  • Laura Forlano
  • Stephanie Smith



critique, collaboration, design, anthropology, distributed


Design anthropology is an emerging field at the intersection of design and anthropology with a distinct style of knowing. This paper argues that in order to create transdisciplinary practices around collaboration for design anthropology, the field must understand existing practices of critique in the field of design. Based on a two-year National Science Foundation funded study of collaboration with designers and design educators in four countries, this article describes the culture of critique that underpins the collaborative practices of designers. In particular, designers often participate in a studio-based culture of critique, which is learned in art and design schools, even when it is not explicitly taught. Finally, as the field of design anthropology matures to include global networks of scholars and practitioners, it is useful to consider the ways in which emergent practices of critique as collaboration, supported by digital platforms, might move beyond the design studio and into distributed collaborations.


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