Design students foreseeing the unforeseeable: Practicebased empathic research methods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Designing for the future needs of people requires designers to develop an extensive research skill set and user-centred mindset. As our global community faces the unprecedented ageing tsunami, designers of tomorrow need to be prepared as effective design(er) researchers. Designers cannot rely upon a lengthy history of research methods to help shape our curricula, such as other more established disciplines, and this is both a challenge and an opportunity. As we prepare our students for positions and jobs that may not yet exist, we also have to prepare them for professional expectations that are still emerging. This article discusses a number of practice-based research methods and tools that are helping to contribute to the design student’s skill set whilst also shaping their mindset in terms of ageing, disability and emotional needs of users. In addition, practice-based research is shaping the way we teach, learn and connect with others beyond the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-431
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Education Through Art
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Design education
  • Design research
  • Disability
  • Empathic design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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