Empathic Design to me is designing understanding the individuals needs. That way of designing seems difficult for me, because I haven’t been in situations that other people face and even if I was in the same situation everyone is different and people react differently to situations. I will never know how it feels to have dementia, or to have lost a limb in war, but understanding the individual can help me design for them. There is a lady from my church that has dementia, she cant remember how to read, how to dress herself or how to flip a page in a book. She has trouble sleeping and sometimes mistakes me for her granddaughter, but when we sing in church she knows every word. Music is something that just clicks in her brain and she remembers every church song she has sang since she was a little girl. Directly after the song is over and the song leader says the next song and the page to find it on she doesn’t know how to count to find the page. Designing for her I would use music and artwork from her childhood and incorporate it into her daily life. I would try to make her life more of a routine so she can get into a habit, maybe make her take a video diary everyday and let her watch them in the morning.

Paul Bennett’s TED Talk looks at the function of things through the human aspect. He designs keeping in mind the purpose of the design to the human. One of his design projects was designing for someone in the hospital, they made changes such as a white board wall, changing tiles on the floor to signify that person’s personal space, and wall tiles for patients that sit in bed all day. How he designs is not the norm for designers, I feel like most of the time designers don’t think about the human they think about the purpose of the design.

My most valuable item in my closet right now is my t-shirt that says S.T.A.R. Labs. The shirt represents a TV show that me and my family watch together. It reminds me of home and my family. I only live three hours away but I don’t go home very often because I am normally in open lab on weekends. The designers of the shirt probably didn’t think this shirt would represent a girl’s home in a small town in Oklahoma. The designers most likely were using empathetic design to create a garment that is comfortable and would be designed for people that watch the TV show. I talked to my papa which is my grandpa and he said he loves to buy sports equipment from our high school to support my brother and sister while they are playing sports. He goes to every game we play, he has been to every since one of my basketball and softball games. His complaint was that every garment we sold had to be put over his head to be put on. He had open heart surgery and says his chest hurts and its hard to pull a hoodie or sweatshirt over his head. To create a garment for him I would create jackets that have a zipper so it would be easier for him to put on and take off.


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