Deana McDonagh, University of Illinois Photo

Deana McDonagh, University of Illinois

March 1, 2011, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
ITW Classroom (1.350)
2133 Sheridan Rd. Evanston , IL 60208

What Has Empathy Got to Do With It?

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Products that surround us have a profound impact upon our lives. When they empower us to complete daily task with ease, speed, and dignity, they contribute to our well-being and independence. When they generate negative experiences they can strip us of dignity and erode our independence. Many companies confuse age with ability, which can diminish the value of the final product. This presentation will focus upon empathic modeling that simulates physical challenges that designers can experience themselves to support more intuitive design outcomes.


Dr. Deana McDonagh is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Prior to joining the University of Illinois she was a Reader in User-Centred Design at Loughborough University in the UK. She is an Empathic Design Research Strategist who focuses on enhancing quality of life for all through more intuitive and meaningful products, leading to emotional sustainability. Her research concentrates on emotional user-product relationships and how empathy can bring the designer closer to users’ authentic needs.

Contact Andrea Farley at 847-467-1604 or for further questions.