Empathetic Design #YAWS2022

I have the honor of presenting at #YAWS2022 on Sunday. #YAWS2022 is an innovative architectural conference focused on helping architects be better people hosted by Young Architect. My topic is Empathetic Design or how to use empathy as a design tool to serve your clients while serving your community. This is an approach that I have grown into over the last 23 years and even more over the last two years. As the world seems to be ruled now by loud voices that control the narrative I feel that we need architects to step forward with elegant and equitable solutions to solve some very complex problems. After all, through design, we can build a better future for all.

We are all born with empathy in our hearts, but not always able to access it. As architects, we are taught to form judgments and opinions that can cloud our ability to absorb opinions from others. Without intentionally using empathy we miss opportunities to build better designs. There are some simple tools that can be used to infuse architecture with empathy. It does require you as the architect to let go of ego and listen fully to others, your own experiences, and the community.

If we all use empathy in our daily lives, even outside of architecture, the world would be a little bit brighter. As an incredible 9 year old said yesterday – we could have a world built on kindness if we change our priorities a bit.

That is the challenge, how can we ignore the loud voices that are pushing us to hate one another and embrace the 9-year old that thinks we can act with kindness. How do we solve really big complex problems? I think we do it by working together for a common goal. #serviceaboveself #YAWS2022