The Studio for Ethnographic Design is a space in which graduate students and faculty across academic disciplines and divisions meet together to discuss research design and methods, debate ethical practice, critique ethnographic writing, present in-process research, and engage with experts and practioners beyond UCSD, who are at the forefront of redesigning the method for new arenas and platforms. SED is a response to calls by anthropologists for a more collaborative and experimental approach to ethnographic training and research design (Reese, Rabinow, Marcus, et al. 2008, Lassiter 2005) in order to address the demands posed by contemporary research with its wide variety of sites, subjects, and theoretical approaches. These shifts suggest that we have moved beyond the “language turn” to an “ethnography turn,” and from experimentation with representation to an experimentation with the method itself. From this vantage, ethnography functions as a technology, and as such can be designed in different ways to different ends (Fortun 2012). Indeed, ethnographically inspired methodologies have played an increasingly important role outside academia in a variety of professional, state and non-state settings. The studio thus becomes a site of pedagogical, theoretical and professional possibilities.

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