Design for empathy: a co-design case study with the Finnish parliament
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Tuomala, Enni-Kukka S E; Baxter, Weston L
Institution: Imperial College London
Section: Collaborative Design
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/dsi.2019.13
Globalisation and the mixing of people, cultures, religions and languages fuels pressing healthcare, educational, political and other complex sociocultural issues. Many of these issues are driven by society?s struggle to find ways to facilitate deeper and more emotionally meaningful ways to help people connect and overcome the empathy gap which keeps various groups of people apart. This paper presents a process to design for empathy ? as an outcome of design. This extends prior work which typically looks at empathy for design ? as a part of the design process, as is common in inclusive design and human centered design process. We reflect on empathy in design and challenge the often internalised role of the designer to be more externalised, to shift from an empathiser to become an empathy generator. We develop and demonstrate the process to design for empathy through a co-creation case study aiming to bring empathy into politics. The ongoing project is set in the Parliament of Finland, and involves co-creation with six Members of the Parliament from five political parties. Outcomes of the process and case study are discussed, including design considerations for future research.