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Winter Programma

Bootcamp: Ethnography and Design

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Are you familiar with ethnographic research and curious about how you can turn your insights into action and pitch your research to an interested organisation? Are you interested in challenging yourself in a teamwork-based bootcamp environment to move your ideas from research to design to prototype and pitch in just over a week? Then come join our applied-anthropology and design coaches and learn-by-doing in a fast-paced setting! At the end of this intensive online bootcamp you will have developed new skills and methods to help transition from study to work, and create a portfolio project to show to a potential employer.

  • Dates, tuition, and deadlines
    Mode of instruction: Online (6 sessions over 2 weeks) consisting of live orientation and coaching sessions and guided self-study.
    Academic dates: Monday 17 January - Friday 28 January 2022
    Academic fees: €500 read more about what is included.
    Credits: 2 European Credits. Read more about credits and credit transfer.
    Winter course admission deadline: Wednesday 15 December 2021 is the final date to apply. Admissions for this course are processed on a rolling basis. 
  • Who is this programme for?

    For current university students (3rd and 4th year Bachelor and Master) in the arts and social sciences or design with an interest (broadly) in fast ethnography, design, prototyping, testing and action-led research. Also for working professionals with a background in arts and social sciences with a desire to update their skills in the field.

  • Programme description

    As social scientists, we have a tendency to look at the world carefully and with infinite nuance. Like other academic traditions and researchers, we like to take our time. However the broadly applicable skills that we learn in our degrees often have difficulty transferring to the fast pace of non-academic contexts.

    Organisations who employ social science graduates not only ask us to do research quickly but also to turn it into actionable advice while working with other disciplines - like design - towards achievable targets and innovative solutions. After graduation, businesses expect prospective employees to have already mastered these skill sets and directly apply them to their needs, without losing the nuance that research requires.

    The fact of the matter is that most social science students don't get the opportunity to do this quick, hands-on work in applied work scenarios. This online bootcamp provides participants with tools and frameworks for using ethnography and design to benefit work outside of purely academic fields, and impact organisations. The main question that we tackle together through the duration of the bootcamp: how can we do careful nuanced qualitative research, yet provide quick and actionable results?

    Throughout this online bootcamp, you will learn: 

    • How to work in a team on a fast-paced project;
    • How to experiment with fast ethnography; 
    • How to turn findings into quick analyses;
    • How to design and test a prototype, and;
    • How to pitch your recommendations.
  • Format and schedule

    Bootcamp format

    The bootcamp format is widely used for building high-quality work deliverables under time pressure with the support of coaches, peers and a solid setup. Aided by two applied anthropologists and one designer, this course will make use of the bootcamp format to take you and your team through the process of designing a question, building a research proposal, running fieldwork / gathering data, analysing and answering questions, designing and testing an intervention, and delivering a pitch with proposed recommendations to a stakeholder of your choice all within two weeks.

    You will learn by doing, and apply the methods and skills introduced in the bootcamp to a portfolio project for an organisation of your choice. This means participants gain practical research experience while simultaneously honing skills that are applicable and valuable in a wide variety of settings. 

    Day-by-day schedule

    This course will meet live (via Zoom) six times over two weeks. In the live sessions, participants will receive their daily assignments from the academic team, work through different questions, and learn vital new skills. The remaining days will give participants the time to complete their guided self-study assignments, and work on their final portfolio projects. 

    • Day one: Bootcamp kick-off and orientation. Participants will workshop and develop their research questions and work on their plan. 
    • Day two: Fieldwork and research. Participants will gather their primary and secondary data. 
    • Day three: Analyse data and initiate report. Participants will attend a demonstration about how to design an effective report and apply what they learned to their own project. 
    • Day four: Build and test interventions and finalize reports. Participants will work with the designer to build and test their prototypes with their stakeholders in mind. 
    • Day five: Create your pitch. Participants will turn their report into a pitch by learning how to transform it into an effective story. 
    • Day six: Feedback and looking to the future. Participants will reflect on their bootcamp experience, learn how to discuss and pitch their portfolio project, and strategize for the future.

    Live session information and assignments

    • This course will meet live via Zoom 3 times per week; every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The live Zoom sessions will begin at 15:00 CET and will last either two or three hours, depending on the content to be covered that day. Do you live outside of Europe? Calculate the time of the live sessions for your time zone.
    • A preparatory assignment will be due on Friday 14 January 2022, before the programme starts. 
    • Students will also complete individual and group in-course assignments and will present their portfolio of work at the end of week 2 of the course. 
    • Looking for more information? Visit our practical matters page to find out more.  
  • Academic team

    Corina Enache blends multidisciplinary education with practice. She has completed two bachelors in political science and marketing, an MSc in cultural anthropology from University of Amsterdam, worked for various companies across the world, and – for the last five years - run her own applied anthropology company, The Sweet Spot. Corina works alongside designers and other anthropologists for start-ups and companies from various sectors and universities in Europe and New Zealand. She is currently Lead Organisational Development at Transavia, Netherlands. Besides co-founding Interbuilding Applied Anthropology Meetup and Namla together with Rosalie & University of Amsterdam, Corina founded and hosts a social science podcast called The Human Show.

    Rosalie Post was educated as a 'typical theoretical anthropologist’, with a BSc in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam and a research MA from Uppsala University. After her studies she rolled into research on social housing, and eventually into housing policy consulting. She has worked in this field for a few years, studying, collaborating and consulting with national and local governments, institutions, and societal organisations such as housing associations and healthcare organisations. She is currently employed as a policy advisor/researcher with RIGO Research & Advies. Besides starting the Interbuilding Applied Anthropology Meetup and Namla together with Corina, Rosalie runs an art project called radical empathy.

    Nathan Sokoloff is a designer and researcher active in a handful of settings with regard to digital product development and design thinking. With an early interest in graphic- and web design, his drive for finding the right problems to solve has brought him towards research-driven, evidence based design practices that help give the end-user a voice and help business understand the value of User Centred Design (UCD). He believes that by gaining a thorough understanding of the end-user, you can build and test better, more fitting solutions.

    This course is a collaboration between Namla and the University of Amsterdam, and links to a variety of ongoing projects. If you want to find out more about Namla and its ongoing activities, connect or subscribe to their Linkedin page or contact the members of the academic team. 

  • Explore our community

    Want to get to know more about studying short courses at the University of Amsterdam? Follow us on social media and join our digital community. Get a feel for our programmes, city, and academic and social life, as well as upcoming courses. Learn more about studying with us through the eyes of past students and our community of passionate experts. 

    Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter 

    Want to hear more about this course? Listen to our interview with Corina Enache about what it means to do good research, transition from academia to work, and how we can learn to ethically intervene. 

Facts & Figures
Mode Online
Credits 2 ECTS, 2 weeks
Language of instruction English
Starts in January