Environmental Perception : An exercise in Slow Ethnography
Duration : 1 Week . 2015
Location : Namburu Village, Andhra Pradesh
Slow Ethnography // Environmental Perception // Design Research // Contextual Enquiry.
The Task was to carry out Design Ethnography study in the village of Namburu, Andhra Pradesh.
During the course duration People of Namburu Village of Andhra pradesh were lived with, and studied in their natural setting and context; a detailed account of social life and culture was documented.
What is Design Ethnography?
Design ethnography is ethnographic qualitative research set within a design context.
The aim is to evaluate the bigger picture: users' environment, language, concepts, beliefs, etc. and develop an understanding of the culture of the group and their behaviour.
The resulting document fleshes out ways of living, perception and thinking of the people of Namburu.
Methodology followed for the study
The approach taken was studying and documenting macro level of things such as maps, settlements, houses all the way to micro level of things such as objects of daily use; with people and their context always at the center of things.
Villager’s activities, environments, objects, interaction were studied to understand how people live their lives and what they value.
People of the Namburu Village were unobtrusively observed and interviewed. Data was collected in the form of written field notes and sketches.
The method is called slow ethnography because of the choice of medium to document - Sketching as compared photography or video. The process is less abrupt, less intrusive and allows for a deeper understanding.
On Sketching as the Medium for Documentation
Sketching each and every detail of the intended setting on the spot, draws attention to the tiny details and quick photograph would miss and hence is much more insightful.
Sketch also helps build quick trust with the subject, as drawing portraits of the subject and their family members opens them up for further contextual enquiry.
Here are a few more sheets from the document !