Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience
Elif M. Gokcigdem (Editor)
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DescriptionDesigning for Empathy is a volume of twenty-three essays contributed by multidisciplinary experts, collectively exploring the state of empathy for its design elements that might lead to positive behavior change and a paradigm shift towards unifying, compassionate worldviews and actions. As museums are currently shaping their tools for fostering empathy as an intentional outcome of museum experiences, the idea of empathy-building is shaping them back as socially relevant institutions that increasingly value diversity, accessibility, and equality. This is a non-linear, multi-layered, and multi-dimensional transformation that requires multidisciplinary, cross-industries, and cross-sectors alliances for its sustainability. The potential of this collective transformation effort includes the invention of unconventional, evidence-based, and sustainable solutions that can be scaled up beyond the walls of traditional museums to all kinds of informal learning platforms to help eliminate the empathy-deficit in our world. Designing for Empathy expands our understanding of empathy and its potential for fostering compassionate worldviews and actions through a multidisciplinary exploration in three parts: "The Object of Our Empathy" explores how we define and perceive the "Other," "The Alchemy of Empathy" introduces thirteen design elements of empathy that might lead to transformative learning experiences, and "The Scope and the Spectrum of Empathy" highlights the importance of positioning empathy as a cross-industrial shared value for the benefit of people and the planet. Designing for Empathy will inspire and empower those who are interested in intentionally designing for empathy to cultivate compassionate worldviews and actions that celebrate and preserve the oneness of all people, the environment, and our planet.
American Association of Museums
24 May 2019
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