By Francis Harrington
In mid-September, the EDI Fellows group of 2019 conducted a gift-giving experiment. We were put into pairs of two. First, Partner 1 conducted an interview to Partner 2 asking about the last gift-giving event they had been to. Practicing interviewing and being the interviewee is very important for future events whether in school or outside of school. After the interview process, that’s when we got to empathy process.
The next time we met together, we brainstormed possible ideas to improve the person’s feeling in the gift giving event. The hardest part about this was that if the person felt happy, there was not much to improve on. This process is called empathy because you really need to feel and understand what the other person is thinking and you need to pull out their emotions in order to improve how they felt. When we had a good idea in mind, we had to draw blueprints for our prototype.
The next time we met, we actually built our prototypes. Since we didn’t actually have sturdy materials, we used paper and tape instead. After the meeting, we finished our prototypes using other materials such as cardboard and duct tape. A few days later, we met again and explained our prototypes, design process, and why we chose to build this. Then the audience asked questions about the design so that we might improve. Once this was over, we wrote paragraphs on what we could’ve done to make the prototypes better and whether we should go back to the empathy stage or the design stage.