5/07/2019 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Room: E267


[WORKSHOP] Design Thinking Meets Radical Vulnerability: How To Cultivate A Whole-Person Empathy Practice

The best first step in human-centered design, empathy practice can look like a deep-dive ethnography, a quick journey mapping session, or a single intimate interview. But the outcomes are often slippery stuff: circumstances and impressions, beliefs, attitudes, and fears. They are hard to see, harder to communicate, and impossible to hold still enough to trace — because they are entirely constructed by perceptions. We each have unique minds, bodies, hearts and guts. That’s why we need empathy to begin with. In this workshop, we will learn how to generate qualitative insights by better understanding the lens through which we receive them: ourselves.

  1. Learn the 4 points of distortion in communication
  2. Discover the nonverbal languages you already speak
  3. Examine 3-part empathy: presence, non-judgment and intention
  4. Practice mapping interior experiences, yours and others
  5. Experience giving and receiving supportive reflections

Using tools from co-counseling, creative collaboration, and mindfulness practice, we will approach empathic design research by first understanding our own experience. The workshop will include time for personal writing, one-on-one exchange, and voluntary group sharing on individual strengths and struggles. Having created maps of our own interior filters, we will practice receiving the experiences of others with deeper understanding and more confidence in our responses. While we will apply our learning to design research practices, this workshop will not focus on design strategy, but will serve as a training to conduct research with deeper understanding and skillfulness by preparing, grounding, and opening our most whole selves.

Note: emotional safety will be addressed and vigilantly supported, however, this experience is not intended for participants processing acute trauma.

Open to All Access Attendees Only


Karen Faith

Karen Faith

Ethnographer, Strategist, Facilitator

Karen Faith, Inc.

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