Over at the excellent Ethnography Matters we have an invited guest post about SusLab, explaining the RCA’s work on the project so far through from an ethnographic perspective. From the conclusion:
…we hope to demonstrate, in the context of the wider political, academic and commercial debate over energy and behaviour change, what it means to design with people, rather than for people.
This is something that’s lacking from much of the behaviour change work that’s going on across sectors, both academically and commercially: the value of involving people in the process. Ethnography is a major part of this, and can provide powerful insights into opportunities for developing new products and services that actually take account of theÂ real contexts of people’s lives and everyday decision-making–in lots of areas, not just energy use.
If you’re interested in the links between qualitative and quantitative research in this kind of field – as well as others where the buzzword is ‘big data’ – I particularly recommend Tricia Wang’s ‘Big Data needs Thick Data’ from earlier last year, also on Ethnography Matters.