Art & Design

A Field Guide to Design Anthropology

Our world is getting smaller.

As the colonialism of the past becomes the globalization of the future, it is increasingly important for designers to think critically about the cultural impact of their work. Do contemporary design methods support local cultures, or do they reinforce outdated models of hegemony?

This is a tough question. We all have preconceived notions about the world, and it can be just as difficult for designers as anyone else to think beyond these preconceptions. But if designers should hope to achieve more egalitarian futures, they must find methods to disrupt old ways of thinking and open themselves to new pathways and perspectives.

The methods outlined in the following Field Guide begin to provide such methods, creating opportunities for designers to challenge cultural biases and work alongside the stakeholders of designnot simply as faceless ‘users’ but as unique, beautiful, and complex human beings.

This online thesis project is still a work-in-progress.

Click the image above to view the project in full

Augmented History

The Augmented History project investigates the forgotten history of Reynolds Coliseum as a major cultural center for the city of Raleigh, NC and seeks to preserve this cultural history through the use of emerging technology in Augmented Reality.

Click the image above to view the project in full

Neighbor to Neighbor

As a joint project between North Carolina State University and IBM, I collaborated with a team of designers to develop solutions for a local nonprofit (Neighbor to Neighbor) working with at-risk youth in the Raleigh area.

Over several months, the team conducted qualitative research and interviews to pinpoint obstacles facing this organization. We then used IBM’s Enterprise Design Thinking workflow to generate solutions to these obstacles.

Click the image above to view the project in full

Decoding Wikipedia

The scope of this project is to visualize the data behind the data of a Wikipedia page. Who creates and edits these pages? Who views them? And, what does this tell us about the context of the information we so often take for granted? The following graphs each bring to life a different aspect of the data behind Wikipedia’s entry for “Imperialism,” so that we might be able to read the story between the lines.

Decoding Wikipedia
Click the image above to view the project in full

The United States of Diaspora

This infographic is part of a project to both investigate the causes of immigration to the United States, and to better understand the people who choose to come here.

Click the image above to view the full-size poster

Urban Segregation & Income Inequality – Raleigh, NC

As we move through our daily routines, going from home to work and back again, it can be easy to lose focus of those around us. Though we may interact with people of diverse ethnic backgrounds throughout the day, can we consider each other to be neighbors? Are we all part of the same community, or do our paths diverge once we head home for the night?

This interactive visualization, coded using Processing, attempts to uncover some of the hidden patterns of segregation in the neighborhoods that make up Raleigh, NC. Through it, we can see just how divided our community remains and the correlating patterns of income inequality that haunt these unofficial enclaves.

If we are to become a more integrated community, the first step is to understand the forces which divide us.

video demonstration of the interactive visualization

“Separate Is Not Equal”

The history of segregation and inequality in the United States did not end in the civil rights era. This short documentary of historical photographs features the voice of Leslie Odom Jr., reading “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written in 1963 by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The music is from Sweet Honey in the Rock’s rendition of “Eyes on the Prize (Hold On).”


This is a typography study created from the spoken word performance of “/peh-LO-tah/” by Marc Bamuthi Joseph:


A randomized collection of various Art and Design projects.