Course Catalog - 2023-2024



Department: Anthropology
Grade Mode: Standard Letter
Language of Instruction: Taught in English
Course Type: Seminar
Credit Hours: 3
Must be enrolled in one of the following Level(s):
Description: This course offers an introduction to design anthropology in theory and practice. Design anthropology is a fast-developing interdisciplinary field that incorporates concepts, research methods and creative practices drawn from design and anthropology. Design anthropology draws upon anthropological insights into social relations and cultural forms in order to challenge expert-defined design practices with more collaborative and contextually sensitive processes of design co-creation. In the first half of this seminar, we will explore the history of social design and how anthropological culture theory and its insights into the interpretation of meaning (e.g., Geertz) have directly impacted practices of social design. We will also explore how design’s concern with innovation and futurity has attracted interest from public anthropologists interested not only in analyzing the world as it stands but also changing it for the better. In the second half of the course, the seminar will incorporate studio exercises where students will work in teams to practice social design skills through public-engaged projects to identify problems that are susceptible to social design solutions. Graduate/Undergraduate Equivalency: ANTH 461. Recommended Prerequisite(s): There are no specific prerequisites for this course. However, introductory level familiarity with anthropological theory and practice will be helpful. Design skills will also be useful, although are not required since the seminar’s focus will be on design ideation. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for ANTH 661 if student has credit for ANTH 461.