Academic and scientific journals publish many different types of articles, and the names and categories they use to label and describe those documents are still more numerous. Scientific journals tend to focus on different kinds of articles than humanities journals do, and even when they publish similar kinds of articles, they often refer to them differently. This means that each basic type of scholarly article tends to have more than one name. What might be called a research article in one journal, for instance, might in another be labelled an empirical article, an original article, a full article or simply an article. A review article in one periodical could be referred to as a survey paper in the next, and the Brief Communications section in one journal might be entitled Micro-Articles in another.
In 2011, when I first began my career as a researcher in the context of business and design, I knew almost nothing about the field I had decided to work in. I lacked a basic understanding of how products are designed, how businesses work, and how to work with people in this world.
What I did know was that my anthropology training was highly relevant, but I needed to learn as much as I could to supplement it. I devoured every possible resource I could on these topics, from websites and blogs to journals and books. Doing so helped me effectively transition into being a researcher in industry, translate my skills to non-anthropologists, and do my job with passion and success. I felt less like an impostor and more confident in myself.
With a background in theater and anthropology, design consultant Martha Cotton was right at home on the Design Indaba stage. Her talk probed the audience to think more about the relationship between design and business.
“I feel like we are at a really interesting and crucial moment as a global design community. Because we are at a crossroads, our choice is for people to lean in and cross the path together; or to find it all pretty scary, worry and lean back,” says Cotton.
Cotton, who is a consultant for Fjord North America, also works as a professor at Northwestern University where she teaches design research.
She says of her business clients, “my clients … have started to really look towards the way me and my design colleagues look at the world and solve problems and say we would like to learn to be more like you.”
She gave the Design Indaba audience the challenge of creating a prototype for a concept of their choice. The crowd enjoyed the interactiveness, some coming through with brilliant models and business ideas.
For Cotton, the importance of the exercise was to show the difference in thinking, as many people chose to do the design first, where others thought up a business plan before anything else.
But in the end she showed off the collaborative process between those two fields, mimicking the exact interchange happening between industries right now.
“What you have done is demonstrated the mindsets of a designer, you collaborated, you worked as teams,” she explains.
Adding: “ When you have a collaborative mindset, you actively crave the input and inspiration of those around you and you realize the inputs of you as an individual are less important of the greater whole.”
WATCH HER PROFILE AND VIDEO AT INDABA