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Extending Empathy: Product design for empathy in the context of employment

In 2014, the Socially Responsive Design team at the Design Against Crime Research Centre worked with BA Product Design students, the London Borough of Camden and Somers Town Community Association […]

In 2014, the Socially Responsive Design team at the Design Against Crime Research Centre worked with BA Product Design students, the London Borough of Camden and Somers Town Community Association to explore the potential for design to contribute to addressing the concerns of people living and working in the ward of Somers Town and St. Pancras, neighbouring Central Saint Martins.

A recent community-led research project has identified concerns that involve interactions between people that may benefit from greater empathic understanding in the context of barriers to employment i.e. the ‘gap’ in understanding between long term unemployed and employers.

We argue that empathetic processes could be useful and design might help enable them. The brief set was open to interpretation but linked to student’s own research combined with participatory research working with non-designers, members of the Somers Town Community, that are experts of their own experience of this context.