Empathic Design

This week as we discussed empathic design, I began to have a better understanding of what empathic design is. I have heard the term used, and knowing that empathy means the ability to understand the feelings of another, I made a few deductions about the topic before I read about it. After reading the articles, I now have a better understanding of how, as a designer, I can use empathic design to create more sustainable products.

When I read Dr. Niinimaki’s article about how consumers will keep products that they develop an emotional attachment to longer than a typical product, made me realize that the apparel industry needs to shift from fast fashion back to clothing that fits well, holds up and is durable. These are the clothing pieces that people fall in love with. These are the dresses that are worn on special occasions, that then go on to have a special meaning to the owner.

If designers step into the world of the consumer and immerse themselves into their world, we can better understand what they are looking for in products. By creating these special products for them, waste will be driven down. Even if we cut the apparel waste by a small percentage, it could have a lasting affect on the world.

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