Blog 8: Working Empathetically

This week we touched more on empathetic design and how it relates to our majors. One of the first things that we covered this week was a Lola show. This show was more than anything about empathetic design in relation to the interior and apparel field. One thing that I found extremely interesting was the ‘Cure Diva’ line of apparel for breast cancer fighters. One thing that I took away from it was that I didn’t realize how many problems arise from something. And how your life is completely changed by breast cancer. I found it inspiring to see how they created solutions for everyday problems that one goes through and how they made living life simpler. It made me wonder how they thought of creating these products; did they get the ideas for each product from personal experience, were they working with people with breast cancer or did they have some sort of focus group that brought their ideas into motion. Another that stood out to me was from one of the presenters in the show I was a part of; the Lola presentation about the Children’s Hospital, in which they said over and over again “until every child is well”. The saying stuck out to me because it showed how invested they really were. As a whole their position in the hospital is around being empathetic. Which really related back to the video we watched in the previous week about how hospital stays are not something that helps with healing or mental health. I enjoyed learning about how they are taking the time to not only heal people physically but also to mentally make the patients strong to help them with the recovery. Studies have shown that patients do well in happier environments and what the hospital is doing helps to make patients healthier.

We also had an in class activity involving our design probes; in my learning community we designed a doggy treat tree. I found it interesting to think in a different way. It was comparable to empathetic designing. We had to take our interests and our opinions and throw them out and look at what the end user was going to be using the product for. In addition to this we had to look at our days and see what how truly lived our lives, and in a way were faced with things that we may take for granted. How easy some things may be for us and how there are people in the world that struggle with the same everyday things that we do.

All in all we learned how to be more empathetic with design and within our own everyday lives. We really took into consideration what was going on around us and what we need to think about more often.

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