The 6th Rangsit University International Design Symposium
"Work in Progress 6 : Empathy" 4th May, 2018
EMPATHY (The Age of Empathy)
(DESIGN WITH EMPATHY / EMPATHIC DESIGN
According to the principle of design thinking, valuable design requires a balance of significant facets including human values, technology and business. While technology makes creations feasible and business viability makes them profitable, design ideas are usually triggered by human needs and desire, as it is human nature to want things. Human life is surrounded by objects, artifacts, products and services designed for human needs and desire at all levels. Physiological needs, psychological or emotional pleasure, and ultimate self-actualization are solved and responded by necessary commodities, electronic devices, design products and creative activities, respectively. Nevertheless, among varied design products and services in the market, one of the most relevant factors that makes some designs more successful than others is an understanding of people's needs and desire, or “Empathy”.
Empathy in design thinking involves an understanding of people, consumers and users, in terms of problems they encounter, physical needs and emotional desire. Unlike intuitive design approach widely employed by many designers, whose creations aim to express personal vision, narrate story or visualize imagination, designing with empathy focuses on human-centered design process, responding to human needs and desire. In order to gain insight into consumers, a deep research on several aspects of consumers, ranging from statistic facts, behavior, motivation, preference, lifestyle, experience to their environment, is required and studied through observing, engaging and empathizing with the target consumers. Such empathy is essential for designers and artists to create better designs and services. Based on an empathic understanding of consumer's needs and desire, designers and artists employ their innate skills and creativity to create innovative design as a means to deliver best solutions for consumers.
Considering the importance of empathy in design thinking, the symposium aims to highlight a dialogue between an empathic understanding of consumer and designer's endless creativity, both of which are the key to driving creative industries forward and ultimately creating a better future.