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The Way You Make Me Feel! – Catalysing empathetic products linked to participatory models of design

This project was run with MA Industrial Design students at Central Saint Martins in 2011 and was concerned with design responses that help resolve conflict. It is was not only […]

This project was run with MA Industrial Design students at Central Saint Martins in 2011 and was concerned with design responses that help resolve conflict.

It is was not only concerned with designers getting into the shoes of another user, but about them undertaking design work, and creating design objects, systems and services, that help others to experience each others’ viewpoint. i.e. to create objects/tools that promote or catalyse empathy.  These could be as diverse as they could imagine including: products,  games,  environments, interiors or furniture that may create the right conditions for a different conversation, a provocative film or video or visual aid or set of props – from toys to games – aimed at promoting empathetic responses – an event of activity that brings opposing people together.

The challenge was to;

i)    identify the conflicting groups, roles or individuals that your design will seek to address – the ‘players’,

ii)   define the context of collaborative ‘play’ – the ‘set’ for this empathetic activity,

iii)  design the ’props’ – referred to by Manzini et al as ‘design devices’ – object(s)/tools that will facilitate this empathetic activity.

See the project website here