childhood

Reconfiguring Home: Seeing Remote Work and School through Mothers and Their Children

CHLOE CHANG VINAY KUMAR MYSORE PechaKucha Presentation—What happens when we include children as equal participants? In a project to identify design opportunities to support working mothers during a time when schools have closed across the U.S. in response to COVID-19, we crafted the research to create space for children to voice their needs. What we heard offers opportunities for all parties involved—the designers, the researchers, and the moms who participated. Chloe Chang is a design strategist and researcher who advocates for social justice and equity as the best outcome of any design process. With a background in communication and human-centered design, they work to translate complex narratives and system needs into strategies that are inclusive and sustainable for communities, teams, organizations, and cities. Vinay Kumar Mysore is a parent, design researcher, and hazelnut farmer. Their research interests include community and equity centered design, permaculture, civic engagement, and anti-patriarchy practices. Citation:...

Empathizing with the Mind of a Child

ARI NAVE The Kind’s Indian, Inc. Download PDF PechaKucha—Empathy is an indispensable tool in design. But poorly executed, the application of empathetic thinking can lead to worse results. When examined more closely, empathy is problematic both in concept and in practice. Deconstructed into the component parts — compassion, sharing and mentalizing — we can begin to explore the particular nuances of empathy. Beyond the incentives of the designer, compassion, successful empathy requires the user to be able to share their experiences with the designer. Translation and articulation limits of the user can make this difficult. Designing for a pre-verbal child, for example, is extremely difficult. Finally, mentalizing, the act of the designer creating a proxy of the user’s internal state, is problematic when they do not share the same cultural foundations or basic cognitive similarities. Designers are most facile when designing for people similar to themselves. But as design anthropologists, we are tasked with creating bridges...