Brendon Clark

BW Brendon ClarkAssociate professor in design anthropology
Mobile: +46 070 460 4811
skype: brendon29



I was raised in Carmel, California by a Danish mother and an American father. Between a BA in social sciences (1995) and an MA in anthropology (2002), I spent 3.5 years in Bolivia working in community development projects focusing on basic sanitation & health education (US Peace Corps).  After an MA in anthropology at Northern Arizona University, I stumbled upon the Scandinavian tradition of Participatory Design in 2002 joining a User-Centered Design group at the University of Southern Denmark. I completed a PhD in the topic and have been working with design anthropology ever since.

Before joining UID, I was studio director and senior researcher at the Interactive Institute, Stockholm studio.  We worked very much with experiential learning processes for collaborative change projects.

What I do at UID

I  am involved in teaching on both master programmes and the PhD programme, as well as working with subject development in research as well as in education.


Over the last 11 years, I have been teaching design ethnography and collaborative/participatory design here at UID, predominately in the interaction design program. Developing radicle empathy with users and even stakeholders in design processes has benefited greatly from theory & methods of anthropology and the social sciences. However, there is much more potential in the designers' repertoire that, combined with social sciences theory & practice, can create unique forms of inquiry and intervention. That is part of what the emerging field of Design Anthropology explores. My goal here is to support designers in developing their own unique forms of engaging others in the world,

Talk to me about:

- design process, user studies & collaborative design

- performance & emergence

- improv theatre

- design anthropology


Within the mixed worlds of design and anthropology, industry and academia, my research interests lie in the exploration of generative exchanges (in contrast to one-way knowledge transfers) between various actors in the different types design & change processes  (stakeholders, researchers, designers, users, etc.).  Prototyping both processes and practices, and working with speculative and emergent future(s).

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