Institute of Social Anthropology

Associated PhD and Researcher

Jana Thierfelder holds a BA in Communication Design (Merz Akademie) and an MA in Transdisciplinarity (ZHdK) and Research on the Arts (University of Bern). Since the beginning of her dissertation project in 2017, she focuses on scientific data collection methods, techniques, and its tools. The project moves between design studies and STS, employing ethnography.

The Beauty of Data Collection. A Comparative Study of the Role of Notation Systems within Field Studies (Arbeitstitel)

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Michaela Schäuble, Universität Bern, Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Schwerpunkt Medienanthropologie
Prof. Dr. Priska Gisler, Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB, Leitung FSP Intermedialität

Drawing, sketching, and drafting are techniques within scientific notation processes that form chains of inscriptions. They can be understood as cultural techniques that, in addition to their cognitive use, help to collect, store and transport observations. If these notation procedures become research objects of design research, they can provide information about the epistemic potential of graphical and visual tools.
Comparing the notation procedures in different disciplines, one can make out clear differences. While they are adapted in biology in order to meet scientific conventions, in ethnology it is common sense that field notes are published. The handling of visualization practices apparently follow different rules, depending on the disciplines.
For this research project an ethnographic field study that focuses on notation procedures in evolutionary biology and ethnology, which are to be pursued by approaches from design research and science and technology studies, is planned.

Research priorities

Design Research, Science and Technology Studies, Notation Methods