One of my most cherished and preferred forms of work is to gather and facilitate workshops. When I am able to I open them with these workshop ways of working:
The seventh way is my favorite. The most charitable interpretation.
For me it means that no matter what someone else is saying or doing, that likely they are just doing it as a way to meet and unmet need they have. Its a way of reminding myself of empathy and to be kind to others, which in turn reminds me to be kind to myself. All of which are important practices I focus on in life.
I found a great article today at 3quarksdaily titled At the Intersections of Design, Ethnography and Global Governance By Aditya Dev Sood. I highly recommend reading the whole extensive article.
Here is my favorite excerpt:
Both Design and Ethnography require one to look at the world in a visionary way: to see with one’s mind’s eye the subtle and hidden relationships that are not always visible on the surfaces, but discerned in the interaction of people and things. To see the way things are, however, is not precisely the same as to be able to see how they could be. I often think of the ideal dynamic between ethnographers and designers as akin to the heat cycle of the internal combustion engine. For the process to work right, we have to be able to move from people to product and back again, but as of now, we mostly train people to become virtuosos of material-cultural production with an amateur or folk knowledge of culture and social behavior. Or conversely, we train specialists in observing culture, who are painstakingly shy of actually producing new cultural artifacts in the world. To extend the metaphor of the heat cycle, this means that the sum of Design and Anthropology can be plotted as a line that courses back and forth without creating an area, a polygon, corresponding to new value. In the professional sphere, of course, designers and ethnographers do work together to create such value, but they must first learn one another’s languages and ways of working.