Do: Reflecting on the path of an ethnographic community


Szymanski, M. H.; Jordan, B.; Ohashi, A. Do: Reflecting on the path of an ethnographic community. Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC); 2010 August 29 – September 1; Tokyo, Japan.


Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC) is well known as the birthplace of ethnographic praxis in corporate research. In this presentation we reflect on this history and the future it supports by discussing PARCs path — where we have been, where we are today, and where we are going tomorrow. We show notable theoretical contributions to ethnographic praxis such as Jordans Interaction Analysis Labs and Weisers principle of ubiquitous computing. We describe our ways of working today through recent engagements with companies such as DNP, Motorola and Fujitsu. Finally we share our vision for the future of ethnographic work at a hybrid research institution such as PARC, including strategies for working with companies who not only want to benefit from ethnographic insights but want to be able to generate those insights for themselves.

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