How might we use our architectural and design expertise to create social impact? We are glad that on a national level, we don't only look at the beauty of design, but also the kind of impact that it has. After a 2-year hiatus, Singapore Design Week came back as a 10-day festival with talks, tours, exhibitions, workshops and a symposium through 3 pillars: Design Futures, Design Marketplace, and Design Impact.
Being a part of Singapore Design Week 2022 allowed us to showcase our work process and research at the Good Design Research Pop-up Exhibition, we also explored the topic of ‘How to be Kind’ in a discussion panel together with Ms Kuik Shiao-yin from Common Ground.
During the panel, we shared what it meant to have an empathetic conversation with through developing understanding in the mental, emotional and physical aspects of spatial design and the 5 Heart ways - an empathetic design process which we came up with during the research. On the other hand, Common Ground taught participants how to improve work conversations, using their field guide.
Good Design Research
The Good Design Research Pop-up Exhibition showcased a total of 23 projects who received the Good Design Research Grant from DesignSingapore Council. One such project is BioSEA where they looked at developing a design toolkit for building facades that aims to improve thermal comfort in the tropics. The Good Design Research allowed designers from different disciplines to collaborate to design for good.
In our case, we collaborated with Xopo Design to look at enhancing the quality of spatial design for persons with autism, and the outcome from the 1-year research is hello empathy – a conversation card game to deepen empathy through meaningful interactions. Apart from exhibiting our work at Bugis+, we wanted to further refine our prototype, so we hosted game experiences for the public during selected days.
We gathered feedback from a total of 58 participants across 6 days of game experiences, out of which 96.5% of participants shared that their experience playing hello empathy was either satisfactory or very satisfactory and 84.5% of them agreed that they understood autism better after playing the game.
Post Singapore Design Week, we are looking at further refining hello empathy before we officially launch it, to deliver the impact that we envision - inclusive spaces for all communities.
We will be posting more updates for hello empathy on the following social media platforms: