Tellez, F. A. (2018). Developing Empathy in the Academic Design Studio: Conclusions from an Empirical Study in Graduate and Undergraduate Programs in Industrial Design. In A. Gomez, A. Grisales, G.M. Mejia, & F.C. Londoño (Eds.), Diseño y Creación: Foro Académico Internacional (pp. 288-296). Manizales, Colombia: Universidad de Caldas.
This paper presents the conclusions of an empirical study aimed at (1) identifying educational practices in the academic design studio intended to promote empathy in industrial design students, and (2) identifying a broad range of expressions of student empathy for users and stakeholders.
The study was motivated by the importance that current human-centered design approaches give to empathy as an ability required to understand and connect with users and by the little empirical research that examines empathy development in design education.
Methodologically, a mixed methods strategy was used to collect and analyze data from faculty and students in three undergraduate and graduate courses in industrial design offered by a major land-grant public research university in the southeastern United States.
The findings of the study consisted of identifying strategies used by faculty to promote empathy in the design studio and categories of students’ expressions of empathy. These findings informed the conclusions herein presented as recommendations for educators to promote student empathy in their design courses.
Keywords: Empathy, Human-centered design, User-centered design, Design education, Mixed methods.
Download full text: Tellez_2018_Developing Empathy in the Academic Design Studio.pdf (0.8 MB)