Research

Ethnography For Designers

Students outside performing onsite observations.

Galen Cranz, Professor of Architecture

Project Description

Ethnography for Designers (Routledge, 2016) teaches architects and designers how to listen actively to the knowledge people have about their own culture. This approach gives structure to values and qualities. It does this by noting the terms and underlying structure of thought people use to describe aspects of their culture. By responding to underlying cognitive patterns, the architect can both respond to the user and interpret creatively. Thus, ethno-semantic methods can help designers to enhance their professional responsibility to users and, at the same time, to feel fulfilled creatively. This book is a practical guide for those teaching social factors and social research methods to designers and for those using these methods in practice.

Professor Cranz holds a Ph.D. in sociology and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. She teaches social and cultural approaches to architecture and urban design. Emphasizing ethnography as a research method, she brings users' as well as creators' perspectives to our understanding of built environments.