Artefact analysis is the systematic evaluation of objects in their natural environment. Artefact analysis looks at the material, aesthetic and usage qualities of any object in order to understand its physical, social and cultural context. It has been used frequently by anthropologists to understand other cultures, and is increasingly used in design and research to understand the lives of people through the things that surround them.
We are all born with automatic detection systems, designed to help us spot danger in our environment. We are able to find threatening stimuli much more quickly than non-threatening stimuli, and this has evolutionary origins and selective advantage for us (for example, it’s more important to see a small snake in the grass than a small bird in the sky). The seminal work on the phenomenon by William James dates back more than 100 years. Read more »