The topic of Ethnography and Critical Design are things I am familiar with from university studies. In English Composition we wrote extensively about ethnographic approaches and studies and how we can dive into the in and out groups of a culture or organization and analyze them. I definitely can understand the importance of this to design as a whole, especially critical design. To understand a design, we must first understand the culture or the circumstances that led to the creation of those designs, because they are as the article puts it “materialized ideologies” meaning they are the products of the circumstances that they were made under.

Learning detailed information about a group you’re designing for, the things that are important to them, and how they live and exist can give us a lot of insight into how we design because we can identify what we can do to appeal to them and how we can exist within the context of them. A phrase I liked from the article was also “representing another’s reality” which is really strong in my opinion because when we design for others or we build from others we really have to create every condition that surrounds them around ourselves.

I agree with the idea that graphic design would greatly benefit from a greater use of ethnography and social theory to better utilize things from a culture to make things that relate to humans better. There were some ideas I did not quite understand like the degrees of freedom in design, but I did like a lot of the topics that were brought up and definitely agree that the task of introducing it into design is extremely complex and difficult work, but I hope designers as a whole begin to utilize it more.

Referenced article