Rick E. Robinson has been an applied researcher in consumer and material culture studies for more than 20 years. He trained as a developmental and social psychologist at the University of Chicago and as a post-doctoral fellow at the J. Paul Getty Research Institute. A collaboration with the Work Practices & Technology group at Xerox PARC led him to found E-Lab, a pioneering consulting company that used ethnographic methodologies to help shape new products and services for major business organizations.
He has worked for some of the largest media & technology companies in the world (GfK, SapientNitro). In 2010 he co-founded a second research company, iota partners, focused on developing design and research data from the “internet of things.”
He has completed major research projects for clients as diverse as the American Cancer Society, BMW Advanced Research, Corning, SmithKlineBeecham, Ford, Frito-Lay/Pepsi, Goldman-Sachs, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Steelcase, Target, Texas Instruments, and Unilever. His work with other researchers in industry led to his involvement in the founding and continued growth of the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC).