But what we do with that information makes our clients the most happy and their projects more successful and sustainable. Being able to translate an experience into the perspective of a client (putting ourselves in their shoes) is integrated into our design process and one we call the empathic method.
Interestingly, product designers have honed in on empathy (Empathic Design) as a tool to improve consumer/product relationships by understanding the end-user’s experiences and how they use products. And while there may be limited gain in knowing too much about our subconscious decisions, there is personal power in knowing why we may sometimes make less sustainable choices.
Our empathic goal is to determine the specific user’s needs by interview, research, observation and history, and to combine that with our seasoned sustainable design method to guide our approach. Having and endorsing empathy makes our case that much stronger. Richard Louv believes that teaching empathy for nature is as important as applying it in our own lives. Teaching through building design, or pedagogy (as architects love to say), is one of our tenets, especially as it relates to reconnecting users with nature, which is actually another one of our tenets.