Empathic Design Strikes Again!

This week, I had a small epiphany when we discussed the Integrated Design Process (IDP) and its relationship with empathic design and sustainability. I think I’ve subconsciously been questioning how the “ultimate sustainable building” would be constructed, function, and continue to be sustainable throughout its lifetime, and the idea of an Integrated Design Process kind of abstractly answered that for me. When I grasped the concept of architects and engineers and designers and occupants (which ties in with empathic design) working together towards a common goal, it clicked. If everyone has a say in the building’s plans from the beginning, with the goal of sustainability in mind, then all areas of the design can function together, and the end user will be more aware of the building’s potential and functionality.


Another thing that really got me thinking was the LOLA show, and, more specifically, the presentation on Emotional Intelligence. It’s a concept that we’ve discussed in previous classes, so I’m familiar with the idea, but I could really tell that a lot of other people had an “aha!” moment when it was brought up. I think it’s important for people, especially those who work with other people on a daily basis, to be able to recognize emotional responses and body language. Emotional Intelligence is very closely related to empathic design as well, because it deals with putting yourself in the client’s shoes and understanding what they’re thinking and feeling.


Knowing what I know now, I would really like to learn, more specifically, how the Integrated Design Process works within my specific area of design. I want to know more about specific projects that have used this method to improve the functionality of a space.

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