Lab Philosophy

Digital methods for the social sciences and humanities

We are a digital methods research lab at the University of Aalborg in Copenhagen. Housed by the Techno-Anthropology Research Group we work interdisciplinarily with a strong background in science and technology studies. For us, techno-anthropology signals not just a concern with the anthropological study of techno-science, but a technologically enabled anthropology. We develop data-driven research designs and computationally intensive research methods for the social sciences and humanities.

In calling ourselves a laboratory we pay homage to a pragmatist tradition which holds that knowledge production is a craft skill that involves the collaborative mastery of both tools and materials; that robust knowledge production takes place in the presence of its stakeholders; that methods should be evaluated on their capacity to make a difference in the world; and that the material circumstances of knowledge claims and their situatedness in practice should be acknowledged and made available for inquiry.

This has consequences for our take on digital methods which is summed up in the four research areas of the lab:

Re-Tooling Ethnography

Critical Metrics

Participatory Data Design

Media Publics and Democracy

A key focal point for the lab is to engage experimentally with tools and methods for harvesting and analyzing messy social data online. As part of these efforts we organize design workshops and tool exploratoriums around an evolving portfolio of projects. If you have ideas or suggestions, want to collaborate with us, need help, or seek advice, we encourage you to join in and take part.

Our goal is to provide a free range test ground for collaboratively working out what a digitally equipped techno-anthropologist could be and do. Together with our students, their future employers, and our research partners we are building a techno-anthropological playground for digital methods research.

To this effect we have formulated three questions for the digital humanist of the future (in Danish).