Expanding horizons: Engaging students with empathic thinking

Andree Woodcock, Deana McDonagh, Paul Magee, Tim Ball, Sana Iqbal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

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Abstract

Young student designers have little experience with populations unlike themselves. This can present challenges when project briefs require them to design for people with different life experiences and abilities. Without this understanding their designs may fail to meet the needs of target users. Over the last two years the authors have conducted a series of short, studio based, low fidelity interventions with design and engineering students to widen their empathic horizons and appreciation of what it feels like to be old. The main objective of this paper is to report on the latest of these interventions with a cohort of product design students conducted in 2019 who were asked to develop concepts to support mobility of older people. The feedback from staff and students showed conclusively that this not only increased their understanding and empathy with older people but also led them to understand the value of and even enjoy undertaking research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a New Innovation Landscape, E and PDE 2019
EditorsErik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Ross Brisco, Dorothy Evans, Hilary Grierson, William Ion, Robert Ian Whitfield
PublisherInstitution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781912254057
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sep 201913 Sep 2019
https://epde.info/epde2019/

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Towards a New Innovation Landscape, E and PDE 2019

Conference

Conference21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period12/09/1913/09/19
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Proceedings published as open access

Keywords

  • Design empathy
  • Empathic modelling
  • Older people
  • Transport design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Woodcock, A., McDonagh, D., Magee, P., Ball, T., & Iqbal, S. (2019). Expanding horizons: Engaging students with empathic thinking. In E. Bohemia, A. Kovacevic, L. Buck, R. Brisco, D. Evans, H. Grierson, W. Ion, ... R. I. Whitfield (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Towards a New Innovation Landscape, E and PDE 2019 (Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Towards a New Innovation Landscape, E and PDE 2019). Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society. https://doi.org/10.35199/epde2019.49