The Compassion Project

Author:
John K Caruso, Ryan Ramos
Company/School:
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, MIAD, General Electric Healthcare, GEHC

USING EMPATHY AS A MEANS TO UNDERSTAND DESIGN THINKING.

Implementing Design Thinking research focusing on empathy, into a college-wide curriculum in one year with meaningful and world changing results. 

John K Caruso, Industrial Design Professor, MIAD
Ryan Ramos, Senior Designer and project liaison GEHC

The Compassion Project initiated in June 2012, was implemented in the classroom in fall 2012 and spring 2013, involved 26 classes and included over 350 students from all disciplines at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design [MIAD]. Because of MIAD’s focus on integrated learning, The Compassion Project has proven how a college is able to nimbly incorporate “big idea” projects into the students’ academic experience. The Compassion Project has transformed the way MIAD implements creativity, innovation and design thinking across the curriculum.

This paper will document the successful collaboration among General Electric Healthcare [GEHC] a major medical equipment manufacturer and a leading college of design.  The collaboration culminates in a multitude of design and outreach projects including the redesigning of cancer therapy rooms, way-finding information systems, portable chemotherapy devices, graphic poster design and video awareness campaigns, and art installations addressing serious issues of health, loss and healing. Examples included are college-wide design thinking collaborations and multi-disciplinary collaborative experiences and projects that enhance and improve technology for emerging economies. 

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