Empathy Board: co-designing and decolonising curriculum in distance design education

Darbandi, Cindy; Rodrigues, Ida; Lotz, Nicole and Hale, Vera (2023). Empathy Board: co-designing and decolonising curriculum in distance design education. In: The 7th International Conference for Design Education Researchers (Jones, Derek; Borekci, Naz; Clemente, Violeta; Carozza, James; Lotz, Nicole; Nielsen, Liz Merete and Noel, Lesley-Ann eds.), 29 Nov - 1 Dec 2023, London, UK.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21606/drslxd.2024.098


The paper focuses on the collaborative process of co-designing curriculum with students and academics at a distance. It documents the creation and analyses the use of a virtual collaborative space in
Miro, called the Empathy Board, and examines what impact such a space may have on our efforts to decolonise the design curriculum. The case is constructed in collaborative autoethnography giving equal voice to both student interns and academic authors alike. Two examples of decolonising curriculum highlight the key processes of gaining trust and empathy between the collaborators. We found that the Empathy Board promotes reflexivity and dialogue by bringing intersecting identities into the virtual collaboration process. Engaging as a whole person and with openness to vulnerabilities supports the decolonisation process of our curriculum with student interns and academics as equal partners.

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