Benefits and challenges of designer empathy work in multidisciplinary collaboration

Tarja Pääkkönen*, M. Bos-de Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


This chapter positions designers as actors in multidisciplinary collaboration within municipal, commercial or educational settings. It supports designers and those working with designers by triggering reflection on empathy as a work-related yet subjective issue in such contexts. The chapter considers empathy as being a social construction emerging through human interactions, incorporating cognitive, affective and other dimensions. It discusses challenges of designer empathy work and suggests linking designer empathy work with identity work and boundary work. Empathic and communicative coping strategies are suggested to be relevant for designers’ professional development. Holism is connected to empathising: service designers, for example, constructed their occupational mandate by expanding their role boundaries through holism, empathy and cocreation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Empathy and Business Transformation
EditorsMelanie Sarantou, Satu Miettinen
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
Edition1st Edition
ISBN (Electronic)9781003227557
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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