Empathy is an important trait for society in general and in the design fields. However, there is a scarce amount of literature on empirical research that examines empathy development in design education. This paper presents a case study of a Service Learning Project (SLP) that exposes students to the development of empathy by proxy in a Research I university in the south-west United States. It describes a teaching exercise that enables students to develop an empathic response through a four-week SLP within a studio course. Thirty-seven sophomore interior design students, two life specialists from the local hospital, one faculty and a liaison between the latter participated in this study over the course of two years. A mixed method strategy was used to collect data from students during two sophomore studios. The study found how faculty promoted student empathy through ‘Design, Make, Gift a Dream’ (DMGD) project.
- design education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design