Halse et al: The Design Anthropological Innovation Model



ECDC is a speculative design project developed as a collaboration between the departments of sociology and design at Goldsmiths, University of London. Funded by the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Program, ECDC is one of several projects that explore how the UK can reduce its energy consumption by 80 percent before 2050. ECDC’s design process combines a number of methodologies, including fieldtrips, workshops, and the distribution of cultural probe packs in communities such as Whitehill Bordon Eco Town and Low Carbon Living Ladock. The workshops explore questions, such as ‘How is people’s engagement with technology affected by who they trust?’ In 2014, ECDC distributed Energy Babble devices to thirty homes. The Energy Babble is a domestic appliance that broadcasts comments and sounds sent from a network of Babbles. The ECDC team describes the Energy Babble as “familiar, playful, [and] ambiguous” and designed to provoke debate within communities. With the Babble network device, ECDC explores the imaginative and emotional dimension of energy usage and what they call the “potential” of people’s imaginative application of technologies. 


Joachim Halse is an Associate Professor at School of Design, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He works in the transdisciplinary field of anthropology and design, where he experiments with building a productive interaction between anthropological studies of everyday life and design oriented articulations of new possibilities. The innovation potential of everyday life is one of the areas that Halse explores in his research. He is interested in expanded user-involvement where the user is not simply included in the final stages of the design process to testify to the ease of use of a given product and is instead taken seriously as a dialogue partner for design and development throughout the whole design process.

Professor Eva Brandt leads The Codesign Research Centre (CODE) at the School of Design, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Her research is closely associated with practice and is typically carried out in cooperation with companies, design agencies, and/or partners from the public sector. Her research approach is experimental, and she often draws on theories from other disciplines such as anthropology, ethnology or the world of theatre and other artistic disciplines. Brandt’s work mainly involves interdisciplinary projects that involve a wide range of stakeholders such as researchers, designers, technicians and end-users. The design approaches, methods, and tools that she develops are dialogue oriented and usually playful, experimental and explorative in nature. They belong in the category that is often referred to as co-design and are essentially about developing various ways of ‘rehearsing the future’. She co-edited the book Rehearsing the Future, which is an outcome of the DAIM project.

Brendon Clark is the studio director and a senior researcher at the Interactive Institute Stockholm. He completed his PhD exploring the emerging field of design anthropology and developed a framework for organisational negotiations at the front end of design research projects. His research interests lie at the intersection of anthropology and design (Participatory Design) with a nod toward business and innovation. He focuses on exploring collaborative practices and full-bodied interaction that seek to re-think linear processes of research, analysis, design, intervention, and evaluation—exploring the implications for knowledge generation and knowledge transfer in praxis settings. Brendon worked on the DAIM project while completing post-doctoral research in design anthropology at SPIRE at the University of Southern Denmark’s Mads Clausen Institute for Product Innovation (MCI). He teaches PhD and MA-level courses in Scandinavia (e.g., Umeå Institute of Design, University of Southern Denmark, Chalmers & Göteborg University) and he is a project leader for projects such as Lead User Innovation Lab, Language as Participation, and Språkskap.

Professor Thomas Binder leads The Codesign Research Centre (CODE) at the School of Design, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Binder’s research is about understanding how design processes generate new knowledge, and how an emphasis on knowledge building and learning can connect the designer’s classic design skills with more open design processes based on dialogue with users, for example in the fields of service design, strategic development and change processes. Binder has worked with design laboratories, where designers and non-designers collaborate on ‘rehearsing the future’ at the intersection between the known and the unknown. Through workshops and other activities where designers and stakeholders co-create future oriented experiments, a learning zone is established in which the possible comes within reach. For this learning zone, Binder has developed methods and approaches for collaborative inquiries such as a documentary video that serves as design material, design games, and scenario and prototyping methods based on improvisation. These design laboratories were used in the DAIM project.