Developing children's empathy in co-design activities: A pilot case study

Maarten Van Mechelen, Alice Schut, Mathieu Gielen, Remke Klapwijk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores how co-design activities in schools can contribute to developing children's empathy. A pilot case study is presented in which eight 10- to 12-yearold children participated. The design theme was outdoor education. After discussing the co-design procedure, preliminary results about three empathic techniques are discussed: (1) reflection on the role of empathy in design, (2) storytelling to introduce the design challenge, and (3) defining the needs and wishes of the story's protagonists. The lessons learned are taken into account in a comprehensive follow-up study.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIDC 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children
EditorsMichail Giannakos, Maarten Mechelen, van
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5152-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventIDC 2018: The 17th ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 19 Jun 201822 Jun 2018


ConferenceIDC 2018
Abbreviated titleIDC'18


  • 21st century skills
  • Children
  • Co-design
  • Empathy
  • Schools
  • Storytelling


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