The Anthropology of Data Design and Project Strategy


Much of what we do today as archaeologists and cultural heritage professionals is designing digital projects. From organizing field documentation methodologies to processing, analysis, publication, and sharing, we design workflows based on how content is best represented in a digital format. Transition to digital form is still rarely linear, even more so when you help others adopt digital solutions for their content. Given the cultural nature of projects we work on, at CoDA, we have adopted a human-centered approach to digital project design, where understanding and translating people’s needs come before choosing what technology to use. We engage in deep anthropological inquiry that focuses on humans interaction with materials and knowledge before deciding on technology, workflow, and data structure.

Inspired by the topic of this session, we reflect on how adopting a human-centered approach to digital project design can facilitate adoption of digital solutions. We share some of our user experience stories and what we have learned from them. We hope to inspire the audience towards changing our approach as technologists from being carriers of digital agendas towards more meaningful, impactful, and sustainable cultural digital projects.

Cite this Record

The Anthropology of Data Design and Project Strategy. Cinzia Perlingieri, Kelley Shanahan, Elena Toffalori. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431588)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16413