Grant McCracken, PhD, talks about how anthropology should be a core competency of designers because it’s far too important to be left to the anthropologists alone. Culture is part of the corporation, he says, but no one owns it—and designers should be the ones to claim it. Culture matters to corporations because if you don't understand it deeply, you can miss out on billions in sales. It is up to designers to know culture on a deeper level and to make it part of their core competence, which can only make designers more valuable to business.
Grant McCracken holds a PhD from the University of Chicago in cultural anthropology. He is the author of Culture and Consumption I, Plenitude, Big Hair, Culture and Consumption II: Markets, Meaning and Brand Management, The Long Interview, Flock and Flow and the soon-to-be-published Transforming Selves. He has been the director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School, a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge and he is now a research affiliate at MIT. His blog, Culturby, covers the intersection of anthropology and economics. He lives outside New York City with his wife.