Ethnography and exhibition design: Insights from the Moesgaard inaugural

Ton Otto, Jennifer Deger, George E. Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article both claims and problematizes the ethnographic museum as a site of cross-cultural aesthetic engagement, cultural critique, and co-creative potential, through the prism of the evolving field of design anthropology. Rather than presuming that collaboration, consultation and community participation solve the critiques of appropriation that ethnographic museums have had to negotiate in recent decades, the article draws attention to the ‘ragged edges’ that such projects produce in their efforts to ‘transduce’ cultural meaning and affect. Instead of smoothing over residual frustrations, tensions, and misunderstandings, the authors argue that ragged edges can be conceptually generative from a design anthropological perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100989
Number of pages27
JournalDesign Studies
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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