Daniela Seminara
Industrial & graphic designer

 
     
 

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empathic design
EMPATHIC DESIGN EMPATHIC DESIGN  
   

©2006-2009 THE EMPATHIC PROCESSES TO TRANSFER DESIGN KNOWLEDGE. The University design centre's role in approaching micro-small and craft enterprises to share values and to develop responsible innovations. Politecnico di Milano, 21st April 2009 · Author: Daniela Seminara · Tutor: Giuliano Simonelli · Tutor: Francesco Zurlo · Coordinator: Ezio Manzini.

 
    TSINGHUA INTERNATIONAL DESIGN MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM
Beijing – China from 23-04-2009 to 27-04-2009
V. Arquilla, D.Seminara, F.Zurlo, ‘The empathic processes between microenterprises and design research: design-driven innovation by user-centred design approach.’
ISBN 978-0-9552338-2-1 DOWNLOAD PAPER

IASDR 2009, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIETIES OF DESIGN RESEARCH – Design Rigor & Rilevance – Coex, Seoul – Korea from 18-11-2009 to 22-11- 2009
V. Arquilla, D.Seminara, A. Castelli ‘Designing experiences for SMEs’
ISBN 978-89-963194-0-5 DOWNLOAD PAPER

 
 

 

EMPATHIC DESIGN
EMPATHIC DESIGN EMPATHIC DESIGN  
 

ABSTRACT

The AIM of the research is to build a model to transfer design knowledge (TASCH, A.F. 1995) from university design systems to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

The DISSERTATION describes the process and the main result of three years of applied research in the context of micro and small enterprises in the north of Italy.

It is a new way to describe the relationship between MSE and the design research team in order to build a small enterprise ‘able socially’ (BUTERA, F., 1999).

The main issues confronted are: ‘Design Audit’ (BEST, K., 2006), as a service able to bring the MSEs and the design research closer (Case Studies); the ‘User Centered Design’ (COURAGE,C., BAXTER, K., 2005) as an effective approach to learn from the MSEs their real needs and how to develop design driven innovation; ‘empathy’ as design attitude (LEONARD, D., RAYPORT, J.F., 1997; KOSKINEN, BATTARBEE, MATTELMÄKI, 2003; GOLEMAN, D., 2007), able to characterize the 'design audit' service in its process and in the use of its investigation tools.


RESEARCH QUESTION

How can 'Design Audit' be an effective design service

for MSEs to support design innovation in a responsible and sustainable way?

The MOTIVATIONS of the research are due to the fact that the relationship between MSEs and young designer is more interesting and less explored by scholarly research rather than the classic knowledge exchange between big corporations and famous design studios.

The research began on PRIOR FINDINGS that the researchers of the group SDI (System Design Italy of the Polytechnic in Milan) valorized in the last ten years through different activities undertaken with the small enterprises of the Italian industrial districts and young designers.


THE OTHER QUESTIONS OF THE RESEARCH WORK ARE CONCERNED:

What is an effective approach to learn and to gather the real needs of the MSEs?

It could be the User-Centered Design approach (VERGANTI, 2006), but UCD is not good enough understand the MSEs tacit needs' (e.g. ambitions or desires).

We need tools able to disclose the deepest intentions, we need to take part in the game ‘to put us in the shoes’ of the user-enterprise.

Can design research help the MSE actively support sustainable future production?

The MSE will be an advocate for a responsible life style if it is conscious of its economic and cultural role within the ‘knowledge society’.

It means to start an EMPATHIC DIALOGUE, where the knowledge is mutually transferred.

Where the design builds a new space of shared values and interests.

The MAIN RESULT of the research was design and test some tools of a ‘Design Audit’ like a design service for MSEs characterized by empathic approach.

 
   

PHASE 1: WELCOME PROCEDURE

ACTIVITIES:

1.1. Design Research Team introduces itself

EMPATHIC KEY: WILLING TO COOPERATE

1.2. Design Research Team explain the service methodology

EMPATHIC KEY: WILLING TO COOPERATE

1.3. Design Research Team interviews the enterpreneur

EMPATHIC KEY: WILLING TO COOPERATE

1.4. Design Research Team visits the factory

EMPATHIC KEY: DIPPING INTO THE REAL CONTEXT

1.5. Design Research Team gives the entrepreneur a self-assessment paper

EMPATHIC KEY: ACTING TOGETHER

TOOLS: PROMOTIONAL MOVIE; ‘SOS DESIGN’ BROCHURE; SURVEY; ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW; VISIT TO THE FACTORY

 
   

PHASE 2: REFLECTIVE ASSESSMENT

PARALLEL ACTIVITIES:

2.1. Enterprise self-assessment

EMPATHIC KEY: UNDERSTANDING OWN LIMITS

2.2. Assessment by Design Research Team

EMPATHIC KEY: BUILDING TRUST

COMMON PARAMETERS

FOR EVALUATION:

- relationships (internal and external)

- technological competences

- communication activities

- catalogue of products and services


TOOLS: STAKEHOLDERS INTERVIEW; BENCHMARKING;

COMPETITOR INTERVIEW; “SELF-ASSESSMENT” PAPER; “MINUS AND PLUS” MAP

 
 

PHASE 3: NEGOTIATION

ACTIVITIES:

3.1. Building ‘common meanings’ vocabulary

EMPATHIC KEY: SHARING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT EACH OTHER

3.2. Comparing diagnosis and self-diagnosis

EMPATHIC KEY: RECOGNIZING WEAKNESSES

3.3. Bargaining over strategic targets

EMPATHIC KEY: SHARING VALUES AND INTERESTS


TOOLS: ‘WORDS & MEANINGS’ CARDS; BRAINSTORMING ; CARD SORT

 
 

PHASE 4: DECISION MAKING

ACTIVITIES:

4.1. Showing ‘emulation models’ (new scenarios through past experience of similar enterprises)

EMPATHIC KEY: TRIGGERING

IMAGINATIVE THINKING

4.2. Choosing suite investment through design strategy

EMPATHIC KEY: ACHIEVING AWARENESS AND AUTONOMY


TOOLS: BEST PRACTICES MOVIE; ‘TYPOS GAME’ models

of emulation (How I see myself, how others see me, How I would like to be seen)

It is an EMPATHIC PROCESS which improves the effectiveness of UCD ASSESSMENT TOOLS.

It is built between the design research team and small enterprise, through exchanging knowledge about each other and through the development of a common ground of interests. It aims at increasing responsible innovation by ‘design drive innovation’.

 

 
  Works © Daniela Seminara 2005-2013.
Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Daniela Seminara.