Abstract

Design is about making our world a better place. Design education is a key factor in improving the quality of life and we have to teach our future designers to be better listeners, observers, storytellers and creators. A toolbox to help aspiring designers to seek insight through the aesthetic experience of others is essential to develop their empathic abilities and to learn how to think outside the box. However, it is surprising to realize that only a few design schools offer courses, let alone approaches, to engage in such methodology. This kind of toolbox was created in a pedagogical integration project conducted at the University of Montreal School of Industrial Design and was the result of five years of workshop teaching. Thus, this paper proposes a critical reflection on pedagogical challenges met in teaching empathic design practices. The observations collected in the workshops allowed three types of findings: the a prioris, the learning experience, and the limits of the creative integration of data. As a way to integrate research based-tools to support and defend design strategies, the approach presented in this paper allows the use of more refined methods to teach empathic design.

Keywords:

Empathic design; workshop teaching; user experience; design insights; design thinking

Share

COinS
 
Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Learning from others: A five-year experience on teaching empathic design

Design is about making our world a better place. Design education is a key factor in improving the quality of life and we have to teach our future designers to be better listeners, observers, storytellers and creators. A toolbox to help aspiring designers to seek insight through the aesthetic experience of others is essential to develop their empathic abilities and to learn how to think outside the box. However, it is surprising to realize that only a few design schools offer courses, let alone approaches, to engage in such methodology. This kind of toolbox was created in a pedagogical integration project conducted at the University of Montreal School of Industrial Design and was the result of five years of workshop teaching. Thus, this paper proposes a critical reflection on pedagogical challenges met in teaching empathic design practices. The observations collected in the workshops allowed three types of findings: the a prioris, the learning experience, and the limits of the creative integration of data. As a way to integrate research based-tools to support and defend design strategies, the approach presented in this paper allows the use of more refined methods to teach empathic design.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.