Empathic Invention

The responsibility of a designer is to create more possibility for the world. They have to learn to break the rules and cross borders, transforming the impossible into the possible.

Yang Zhao, Brain Waves exhibitor

These designers use emotional intelligence to empower and transform lives. They harness design’s intrinsic empathic qualities, placing themselves in the contexts of others. The focus is not on the needs of anonymous individuals within the marketplace but instead the agency of communities. The results amplify the voice and visibility of those who are often hidden, opening up conversations and emphasising the essential nature of social connection.

From the present day to future worlds, our Emphatic Inventors span from Julie Howell’s interventions to reconnect a London community and Biying Shi’s film questioning the realities behind the ‘Made in China’ label to Katy Shand’s toolkit for future nations and Anne Vaandrager’s provocative birth box for a post-NHS labour.