The Role of the Ritual

When we build insights, we are trying
 to elevate something that has been observed during anthropological fieldwork into something that has profound meaning for the design process and allows us to identify problems that can be addressed as we build a product or service. This is not always easy, because people are often looking for…

From Entertainment to Experience

No longer shrouded by the stigma of nerdiness, today’s comic conventions are more than just a place where adults gather to play dress-up or meet their real-life superheroes – they’re where the future of entertainment unfolds. Drawing hundreds of thousands of self-proclaimed nerds, as well as the companies who court them as customers, comic conventions…

Understanding Body Politics in Retail and Fashion

In retail, fashion, or even wearable tech spaces, it’s easy for designers and design researchers
to focus either on the technical innovations of fabrics and clothing, or on the aesthetic and expressive aspects of a garment. Innovation in these spaces largely focuses on the created object and its production, rather than the cultural consumption of the…

Designing a New Class of Luxury

An Intimate Look at the Dorchester Collection Hotel Group Resting in the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, sits what many believe to be the world’s oldest hotel – Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan. Established in 705 AD on the banks of a natural hot spring, its foundational magnetism came from healing and relaxing baths that, over the…

On the Origins of Progress

What do we mean when we use the word “progress”? How do we track progress? What drives progress? What is it that actually progresses? We all know what the word means, but I challenge you to answer these questions to your own satisfaction, let alone anyone else’s. Our collective inability to do so demonstrates the…

Gaming as an Empathy Tool

In a world traditionally known for Minecraft, MOBAs, and first-person shooters, a sub-genre is forming. Those taking only a peripheral glance may mistake gaming as ‘just another’ entertainment platform, but the medium itself offers an immersive gaze at the human condition. After all, with gaming comes the ability to live through experiences – and not…

The Myth of Simplicity

Simplicity. As a concept, an idea, or an aesthetic, it connotes ease of use, elegance, efficiency, and flow. We like to think of ourselves as creatures that crave, appreciate, and enjoy simple things. But human beings are anything but simple; as semiotic forms of expression, our simple things (and the relationships we have with them)…

Temporality and Innovation

Using Design Anthropology to Imagine and Design for the Future  What is Temporality? Anthropologists use the term “temporality” to talk about the way we experience time; temporality allows us to think about how time is, what it feels like, and how it exists in our lives. Whereas time can be understood as the objective movement…

What Is an Excellent Insight?

In the economy of innovation consulting, insights are an important currency. Insights are how we package our understandings of human experience, and they are bought and sold every day because business leaders know that the human context is the heart and soul of meaningful and differentiated offerings. Insight is core to how consultancies deliver value…

Intelligence Delivers Excellence

Why Adopting a Threat-Focused and Intelligent Approach to Financial Crime Will Help Drive Fintech Success The 21st century has been characterized by an interconnectedness that impacts every aspect of business and society. This level of connection itself is not new, especially in business, where there have always been long, connected chains of actors, actions, and…

Q&A with Catherine D’Ignazio

MISC spoke with Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor of Data Visualization and Civic Media at Emerson College, about the possibilities for feminist data visualization; the power, pleasure, and limitations of visual data; data literacy; industries of accountability; and the future of inclusivity. Last year, you wrote an article called “What would feminist data visualization look like?”…