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Inspiring new empathic collaborations

With the world becoming increasingly digital nowadays, Slava Kozlov, Summ()n (Russia/The Netherlands) discussed the issue of how this relates to empathy, compassion in the digital space. His talk opened up new fields like ‘Digital Empathy’, highlighting the capacity to translate tools and principles of design research into new digital realms.

People increasingly live in a hybrid world where a lot of activities happen, or mediated by digital media: the internet, social web, mobile apps, virtual worlds, smart environments are wrapping almost all our activities – even our traditional ‘off-line’, ‘real’ practice can not be understood properly without considering the digital layers. In this space, what does it mean to have ‘contextual presence’, or ‘empathic communication’ or ‘co-research/co-design’ with people in these digital reals?

Slava’s talk focussed on the underlying principles of design research in this new hybrid reality rather than just mention specific tools for ‘online research’. He shared case studies underlined some of the key new challenges in the space and nuggets of inspiration on how Summ()n has been responding to these.