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University of Helsinki joins the Design Factory Global Network

Third time’s the charm has never been more accurate. If you land at Helsinki Airport, you can get in your car and reach three different design factories within an hour. The Design Factory Global Network is honoured to welcome Viikki Food Design Factory from University of Helsinki to the network.

How accurately can you understand a person?

As a designer, how well are you really able to understand users when you are empathizing with them? Our research shows, some factors may increase or decrease your empathic understanding. Do you know what they are and how do they influence your understanding accuracy? Users are not always thinking about the product during an interview.

Culture differences in user understanding

In the global economic integration, we do not design products only for local users but for users all over the world. Successful product development depends on how well meet the customer need, how well we understand the users. The diversity of users leads to a diversity of needs.

From waste streams to raw materials

You may have heard of this equation: growing populations with higher demands and incomes require more natural resources. This has led us to the situation where human-made things, such as consumables, cars, and infrastructure, now exceed all living species’ weight on Earth.

Towards circular prototyping – Part 1

 Today, makerspaces are becoming increasingly popular on university campuses by providing an opportunity to design, fix, and prototype physical artifacts to a growing number of makers. This quick increase in the maker initiatives has also brought up the discussion around environmental impacts of the makerspaces.

Inside the empathic brain

User understanding is a key part of empathic design, but have you thought about what happens in the brain when we try to understand another person?

Being in sync, being connected

For designers it is important to connect, build trust and a good relationship with the user. Building a relationship has been studied elsewhere. Let’s see what we can learn.

Can you transfer empathy? 

Gaining a deep understanding of users has become important in technology development, helping designers provide useful and successful solutions for the users.  Even though many methods developed for empathic design emphasize direct contact with the user, it is seldom efficient for the whole development team to meet the user.

Catching emotions

A newborn begins to cry, inducing her neonatal neighbors to join in an ensemble of high pitch cries. A few years later, that child runs to hug her classmate in pain. As a teenager, she enjoys hanging out with her friends. Sometimes she laughs with them, even though she is not sure what they are