Camilo Arce

Anthropologist focused on applied anthropology and design. He explores how technology influences daily life and could contribute to sustainable urban living, particularly through UX research, Service Design, digital Archaeology, and gamification of education. His adeptness at integrating those different fields underscores his holistic approach to problem-solving and innovation.

I currently reside in Bogotá, Colombia, with a profound interest in Latin American anthropology and a desire to explore different worldviews in Europe. As a graduate of the National University of Colombia with a focus on urban and digital anthropology, I've had the opportunity to travel and immerse myself in Colombia's diverse cultural and ecological landscape, prompting deep anthropological inquiries and reflections. As a lifelong resident of Colombia's capital city, I have embraced the challenges and opportunities of urban life, which have inspired profound reflections and shaped my worldview. I am passionate about urban cycling and seeking beauty amidst chaos, as well as finding silver linings in challenging situations. My research interests revolve around the intersection of anthropology, design, sustainable urban life, open access to information and technology. This was reflected in my thesis topic chosen in 2023, which centered on the anthropology of design in Bogotá and the utilization of public data to promote sustainable urban living, particularly through the use of bicycles. Driven by a curiosity to explore and understand the world, I integrate technology and video games into my academic pursuits, exploring innovative ways of presenting information. While my formal education is in anthropology, I have a penchant for self-directed learning and constantly seek opportunities to broaden my knowledge.

By late 2023, I discovered the call for applications for the EASA Applied Anthropology Network's mentoring program, a timely opportunity as I grappled with the methodological aspects of my thesis. I was fortunate to be paired with Kika Barreto as my mentor, whose invaluable guidance played a significant role in shaping my understanding of UX research and its application to my thesis, particularly in uncovering the inherent focus on UX within my work, despite my initial unawareness. Each session with her was enriching, providing practical insights and broadening my perspective on applying anthropology by introducing me to diverse approaches beyond my usual scope. Her insightful experiences and advice on applying academic methods to the private sector inspired me to delve deeper into this field. Moreover, her empathetic listening and ability to communicate in more than one language served as a powerful example, shaping my aspirations for the kind of professional I aspire to be. Currently, I'm part of various research groups focused on the implications of using AI in social and cultural matters, covering topics such as digital governance, community participation, and sustainability. I aim to provide a creative space for addressing societal challenges through AI. Looking towards the future, my aspirations extend beyond traditional academic boundaries, as well as the limits of my country, my language, and my continent. I aim to continue exploring alternative urban living practices and contributing to the field of applied anthropology, particularly in areas such as democratic design and digital culture.