AnneMarie Dorland is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary, where she is investigating how cultural producers and cultural industries can teach us about new uses and forms of ethnographic, practice based and participatory research. AnneMarie’s focus is on creative practice and her research tries to understand how designers apply and adapt forms of tacit and explicit problem solving and ‘design thinking’ in their work. Her ethnography explores the connection between the professional identity of designers and changes in the practice of designing in the studio setting, with the intent of contributing to the conversation about design’s role in Canada’s innovation future. Her work is supervised by Dr. Brian Rusted.

In addition to her academic work, AnneMarie is a senior-level brand strategist and design strategist, with a reputation for bringing clarity, direction and cohesion to even the most complicated brand and experience design projects. Most recently, she was the Director of Communications at the Alberta College of Art + Design; in that role she was responsible for the coordination of brand development, public relations, media relations and all internal and external communications strategies for the college. She continues her research and practice in the areas of experience design and the development of human-focused brands as a Principal Strategy Consultant with Carlson Strategy Group.

AnneMarie has contributed to several international publications on design thinking, and she is passionate about understanding and sharing her expertise in application of creative practices to business settings. She has maintained a focus on design practice and creative and cultural producers throughout her professional career in addition to a strong interest in design thinking and user-based experience.

AnneMarie is a professional member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Ethnographic Praxis in Industry (EPIC), the Service Design Network (SDN), the Canadian Communication Association (ACC-CCA), the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) and the Design Management Institute (DMI).


University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Social Sciences, 240
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Conference Papers

2016. Tell me why you did that: Learning ethnography from the design studio. Ethnographic Praxis in Industry (EPIC) Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, USA

2016. Designing ethnography: the observational turn in design research. Canadian Anthropology Association (CASCA) Annual Conference, Halifax, NS, Canada

2016. Design thinking and design doing: practices of cultural production in the
field of design. Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) Annual Conference, Calgary, AB, Canada

2016. Designing for, designing with, designing through in the design studio. Canadian Communication Association (CCA) Annual Conference, Calgary, AB, Canada

2014. The practicing audience: towards new methods of research and collaboration in the design studio. Canadian Communication Association (CCA) Annual Conference, Brock, ON, Canada

2014. Audiences that encode: cultural intermediaries and the changing role of research
and collaboration in creative work. Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) Annual Conference, Brock, ON, Canada

2014. Children at Play, Geniuses at work: TV Representations of the Cultural Producer. Popular Culture Association of Canada (PCAC/ACPC) Annual Conference, Calgary AB, Canada

2014. Producers, Mediators and Intermediaries: Intercultural Design and the Role of
Audience Research in the Graphic Design Studio. Producers and Audiences International Conference, Lund, Sweden

2012. Design thinking as a way of knowing: understandings of the role of audience
involvement in creative work. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Design Summit, Chicago IL, USA

2010. Design practice and the proxy audience: invocation as a form of design thinking. Design Research (DRC) Conference, Chicago, IL, USA

2007. Audit practices in the design studio: billing out and checking in. Counting Creativity Symposium, Leeds, UK

2007. Graphic Design Practice: Impersonation, Invocation and Multiple Audiences. Design practices conference, Design Council, London, UK

2005. On the Practice of Play in the Design Studio. Visual Communications Conference (VisCom 19), Banff, AB

2005. Haptic Engagement and Design thinking: an Associative Process Proposal. Design Inquiry: Method, Motive and Medium (AIGA Annual Conference), Portland, ME, USA

2004. Bat Boy Lives: a historical analysis of memes throughout tabloid media. Canadian Communications Association (CCA) Annual Conference, Winnipeg, MB

2004. Sound walks and creative process. Digital Poetics and Poesis (Conference and working session), Kingston ON


Dorland, A. (2016). Tell me why you did that: Learning ethnography from the design studio. Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, Wiley Online Library.

Dorland, A. (2009). Routinized labour in the graphic design studio. In G. Julier & L. Moor (Eds.), Design and creativity: Policy, management and practice. London, UK: Berg Publishing.

Ennis-Dorland, A. (2003). Book Review: LUX: A decade of artist’s film and video.
Fifty3, 3(4).

Membership and Affiliations

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
Ethnographic Praxis in Industry (EPIC)
Canadian Communication Association (CCA)
Canadian Sociological Association (CSA)
Service Design Network (SDN)
Design Management Institute (DMI)
Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC)
Registered Graphic Designers (RGD)


AnneMarie Dorland – CV 2018