Why Anthropology?

While I’m trained as an applied anthropologists, mostly my work is around green building work.  So when one of my green building newsletters came with an article heading, “Anthropologist on the Design Team: The Making of An Unangan Home,” I took notice.

Mostly, we anthropologists “pass,” with job titles hat don’t reveal our training.  I find that sharing my training aloud results in finding a lot more anthropologists out there than I would ever have imagined.

Anyway, in this example, a green building competition was organized around designing for a remote Aleutian Island site.  Most of the residents of the specific village are Unangan native people.  By luck, one of the design team members brought an anthropologist who had worked in Alaska, and the post tells an entertaining story of how her involvement dispelled a number of inaccurate assumptions and facilitated the residents thoughts on their own housing needs.

The team turned out a pretty cool housing design, too.