Empathy Museum


As part of my research for the D & AD project, I visited the empathy exhibition in the migration museum. A mile in my shoes, one of the exhibited projects put forward an interactive idea where a visitor can swap shoes with a donated pair of shoes from an immigrant or a refugee. The visitor would go for a walk in them while listening to a 10 Min. long story told by the owner of the shoes on an MP3 player.

It was a rather capturing experience for me, that will remain in my memory. I have never put on a stranger’s shoes before to later take them off and feel like I had made a strong connection with that person without meeting them. The story was very heartfelt and honest. It was about a Brazilian woman named May she had been an immigrant in multiple countries most of her life until she settled in the UK. To her, the most important landmark in the UK was the Big Ben clock, the constant rotation of the clock day and night was a reminder for people to stay on the go, to run after work and money.

One of the greatest struggles to being an immigrant according in her perspective was, not feeling like a part of the society. She described in detail that Locals will invite immigrants to public places: Restaurants, Cafes and so on… However, they would never invite an immigrant into their own private house, which made her feel lonely. Everyone tries to find an escape from a harsh reality that they have to deal with on a daily basis, and Mai was captivated by films, where she claims to find meaning and lies. she was on a constant search for truth “Truth hides its self, You have to keep searching until it reveals itself when you are least expecting it” she said.

Since I was a child I always heard the saying: Don’t judge me, till you walk a mile in my shoes. It never was as impactful as actually walking in someone’s shoes imagining their feelings and the streets they walked through and their experience in that pair of shoes.



Teamwork is defined as the process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal. But what are the rules for running such an important process? How can we make sure our group is coherent, consistent, and motivated?

Our Dragon’s Den Journey is more than halfway through, the process has definitely taught us a lot about starting a company, managing it and most importantly how to work as a team. Lesson’s were learned further down the path of our journey. However, it is important to take notice of the problems that are faced in group work. How to integrate tasks, arrange meetings and who makes all the decisions when there is no team leader?

There was a clear problem from the start regarding team meetings, we are a group of five from different courses which made it fairly difficult for us to agree on a meeting day but we managed to get the team together almost every other week. Getting past the group meeting arrangements was easy in comparison to integrating tasks amongst the group. At first, our group was run in a democratic way, we thought it would be a great technique and it would keep the team close as well as avoid arguments and disagreements within our group work period. Everyone was considered a leader and responsibilities were shared.

However, we quickly started noticing an issue with this democracy, it has somehow caused distress, an inconsistency with getting tasks done and lack of motivation. This unequal range of motivation between group members has caused us to consider the importance of assigning a team leader. Someone who overlooks and makes sure the tasks are done correctly as well delivered in time.

It was hard to recognize the reasons why the members were not coming through with their tasks, but perhaps one of the biggest mistakes we have made was not identifying the member’s weaknesses and strengths. This might have been one of the direct reasons as to why team motivation was sliding down the curve. However, we are now starting to Correctly identify our team member’s abilities and attempting to match them with a specific task that is in accordance with their skills, in hopes that it will increase motivation and team commitment.

We are still in the process of realizing the mistakes and possible solutions to running a successful group project, but I can say that the process requires close attention and time. We have learned that a team is like a family, each and every member is a business partner, as well as a friend. It is definitely important to understand the team’s abilities before getting started with any assignment as it may save a lot of time and encourage members to do their best towards achieving the project’s goals.


BusinessDictionary.com. (2018). When was the last time you said this?. Available at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/teamwork.html [Accessed 6 Feb. 2018].

Unrecognized problems.

A module that truly challenges and expands our horizon in the design experience, starting with designing a simple hypothetical shoe to resolve an existing problem, to coming up with a realistic design for glasses and contact lenses case, the entire experience was eye-opening. Being empathetic is the key to design, and it leads us to impressive results that satisfy both us as a company and the customers. In that Lecture, we were asked to work in groups, and go out and speak to people about how they feel about their shoes. Our intention was to discover if they had seen an obvious problem or not, but what we noticed is that people were not always aware they were having a problem or they were not able to point out exactly what it is. I once read a story about the person who worked in cleaning service and suffered from the issue of hoovers breaking down, or their fabric bags getting too dirty and required too much effort to remain functional. so he came up with a solution, and invented the hoover that comes with a disposable plastic bag that can be thrown away instead of being cleaned, he proposed it as a solution to the problematic fabric bags. The solution was a brilliant one, that saves both time and money. However, when he proposed it to people he was immediately faced with rejection. The problem with this solution was that people didn’t recognize the problem, to begin with, and that made his solution useless. Of course, with time, people began testing this product and started to like it little by little until it became a success. A better approach would be to study the consumer reactions by creating an MVP, to discover how much the consumers can relate to the product. 

There is no right or wrong in design thinking, there is a more suitable way/path however and this path can help reduce wasted time and money.


The Laws of thought

Learning the difference between deduction – induction – and abduction

These are three methods of reasoning, and ways to arrive at a logical conclusion, that we use on a daily basis without realizing it. We deal with them every time we come across a situation of why, when and How… Why are cornflakes spilled on the table, when should you leave to catch the bus to university, or how you’re going to deal with your hunger situation now.

Our deductive abilities can answer questions such as “My little sister must have made breakfast before going to school, and spilled some cornflakes on the table in the process”. What I did here, was creating a reason to come to a conclusion. Another example would be, planing what time I need to leave my house in order to arrive at the university at the right time based on reattained knowledge of how the traffic would be, what time the bus arrives, and how long the trip usually takes. In deduction you have

As for induction, it is the exact opposite of abduction, let’s look at it from the following cycles’ perspective, In induction, you have a case, and a result and you have to come up with the rule. for example. If prices go up, Sales go down, so the result is sales go down when the prices are too high.



Abduction is different from induction and deduction in that it looks at the results first, and then the apply the rule and then apply the case. so basically it involves forming a conclusion from known information such as in a crime scene, a detective identifies who the criminal is from already existing clues.

All three of these design theories are applicable in our everyday life, and differentiating between them is a necessity to come up with better conclusive results rather than preset assumptions.

Dragon’s Den

Since my arrival at Kingston University, I was hearing the word Dragon’s Den, Dragon’s Den… it was a bit intimidating, I assumed it would be like walking into a battlefield. But the deadline was set, groups were selected and the Brainstorming was already taking us places we never imagined. My group (Celine, Nidhi, Sai, and Josiah) we shared many ideas together, inspired by problems we faced on our everyday life, and eventually, we came down to one issue that we thought truly needed a quick solution as it has been there for years and years and still no one solved it. Our choice of a very basic, very common problem… and with three people in the group suffering from it, it was easier to work on a solution. It was the issue of glasses and their supplies not coming with a suitable box to gather all of them together in one place, without taking up too much space in the bag. We came up with Boxie, a retractable case that can be pushed back or extended in sizes.Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 7.19.26 PM


Many of us, wear contact lenses at times but tire out from them and decide to switch back to glasses, or vice-versa. And the issue they face is their items are usually scattered all over the bag and it takes them a long time to find them, our box is the solution to a time consuming frustrating problem.

We thought our product is a people friendly product that required an informal but relatable introduction, so we created a scenario of a young woman going to an interview but missing out on her chance because of her inability to find her contact lens box after losing one of her lenses, our scenario was done in a humorous way to match the fun yet practical structure of our product.

It was a really fun and educational experience, that taught us which aspects to focus on while presenting our ideas, including the materials, the suppliers, and the pricing, as well as integrating teamwork between the group members.

Activity theory of Aging

activity theoryWe want to overcome the limitations of a formal logic, This theory is used to explain design thinking in a unique way. While researching the activity theory on a more intricate level, I found an interesting application of Activity theory on Aging. There was a pre-assumption in the past that suggested older people should do what comes “natural” with age, which is withdrawn and settle into inactivity until death which is based on the disengagement theory. A study in the 1970s was published on the “An Exploration of Activity They of Aging” by Lemon, Bengston and Peterson 1972. It discusses the progress of human health and life expectancy based on type of activities such as social or personal “Hobbies” the theory suggests that as people age, they start to lose their identity that they had in work or in family life, in comparison to those who participate in activities and interact socially who tend to have a higher quality of life are healthier and live longer. This is because such actives enhance the sense of self which basic need for survival, especially an informal and less structured one.

Activity theory is based on groups of people working and/or living together, and how it impacts their life such as a team or an organization, it is beyond individual work. In the case of aging, many of the elders who were put into a home tended to increase life expectancy by an average of 20 years due to the group activities they were involved in, This can be invested in creating an even better setup for senior centers, by introducing more social activities and fun unorganized activity.









Garden, H. and Retirement, A. (2018). What is the activity theory of aging?. [online] HowStuffWorks. Available at: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/retirement/activity-theory-of-aging3.htm [Accessed 11 Jan. 2018].

Learning Theories. (2018). Activity Theory – Learning Theories. [online] Available at: https://www.learning-theories.com/activity-theory.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2018].

Seeing the world through other people’s eyes.

Design has such a strong humane factor to it, one that plays an important role in the lives of all of us, and that is that in order to be a creator you need to be empathetic. For creativity to serve a successful purpose you must be able to design for people through understanding their needs and wants to come up with “User-centered” designs. Which forces you to put your self in your user’s shoes. I fell even more in love with my design (Creative) background when I learned that Creativity is a selfless process that requires a lot of collaboration, teamwork, and compassion.

In my previous experience with creativity and design, I did not have the chance to grasp this sense of collaboration, I’ve had the pleasure to work in groups before but we certainly had a misinterpretation of what group work is all about. we would be so consumed in speaking up our own opinions and thoughts that we forgot the purpose of the entire “group work” concept is to focus on what the customer wants not what we want. This lead to an environment that was highly competitive and people wanted success only for themselves and what I saw as a result of that was students being demotivated and coming up with average quality work. Acknowledging the consumer as our main goal would have set aside all the feuds, this will get the team started on creating disruptive results.

A basic process to start design thinking:

Empathize> Define >Ideate > prototype > Test

It was quite interesting to have design thinking process be outlined in such a sense, and to learn that the initial trigger for design thinking is Empathy, but what is empathy exactly? The general definition of this word would be having the ability to see the world through other people’s eyes.

It is an attempt to understand the feelings of others. Then you can start your journey; You have to Empathize in order to be able to define what the problem is so that you would be able to come up with ideas that are prototyped into MVP’s to get a grip of the impact your idea will have when you test its MVP. During this process, the important thing is to always remain flexible “Iterate” the continuous process of going back and forth & adjusting to achieve the right result.

Design thinking is all about putting aside your preconceived ideas on something, and starting over with ability to adopt new understandings, perspectives, and needs of others.


The Interaction Design Foundation. (2018). Design Thinking: Getting Started with Empathy. Available at: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/design-thinking-getting-started-with-empathy [Accessed 11 Jan. 2018].

How to charge your worth?

Ever been afraid to set a price for a product/service you provided? I always knew charging too high could risk losing the customer, but can charging to low cause the same damage as well? a story I read in a book called “Influence, the psychology of persuasion” was about a young woman who sold jewelry by placing her pieces in a retail shop, she initially placed her pieces at a price that covered the cost exactly which in her case was relatively low. her pieces remained on the stands for months customers would ask about the pieces but never buy them, she later decided to go lower and place the pieces at half price thinking it would sell, she contacted the retail shop owner by message saying to place the price at x2 instead of 1/2 and her pieces were suddenly selling in an extremely fast pace. Her mistake was the reason for her success, this story raised the issue of the importance of knowing your worth and naming a price for it. The second time I came across pricing was In the business startup and IP lecture we attended that at the British Library, where we learned the importance of investing in our selves before anything else, and to have confidence in our work but how can we communicate that through to the consumer without them refusing?

Here are three basic philosophical strategies, you can use to charge more while talking to the customer:

  1. Steer focus to them: people are buying the fulfillment of a dream, what are their hopes and dreams and where they want to be. They are looking to buy a better version of themselves. How much is your product worth to the client, how many clients they have and how their clients will benefit from your product.
  2. Separate from the monkey: Argue with ur negative thoughts such as ”who am I, I am nobody” Focus on how much time and effort you put into your work. a good way to shut down negative thoughts is by identifying what’s making you sad and talking to it until it calms down.
  3. Swivel the spotlight: Charge more on the impact your work will make on the clients business, it is not about you, it is about your goals, they should be bigger than you.

To conclude that,  build an easier conversation over price with your customer you must begin be talking about the value your service will bring to them, and this will open your path to naming the price you believe represents the value of your work best.

Need is the mother of invention.

“Need is the Mother of invention”

we started in design thinking with a lesson on being empathetic, a truly important attribute of being a sensible human. After putting our empathetic skills intro action whilst designing a shoe on our project, we were then asked to stop working and providing solutions and start observing.

Observe all sorts of people with different living standards, who have different ways of getting by in life, what kind of struggles they might come across, and what solutions we can provide for them. When I see someone struggling with something I would usually rush to help with it, but after being taught that observation is the most important step to designing I decided to step back and wait to see if the person struggling finds his own solution. I came to the realization that we are all creative people, and under pressure, the majority of us can come up with the right solution to ensure our survival.

When the war took over Syria, it caused many problems other than just terror, death, and lack of safety. People were starving, sick, had no electricity and mostly they were not receiving supplies of water. Syrians being the funny people they are, were making humorous and sarcastic videos that in fact were resolving a real crisis. They had used science to create a water-saving method using a simple plastic bottle of water, by poaching the bottle and using the air pressure to keep the water from leaking, here’s an example:


This was my individual approach to observations, and how I observed people coming up with their own solutions which can inspire a more advanced implementation.

In the end, here we are in 20th century, with all the technology and advanced means of survival, going back to basic science to maintain our lives. Observation is a good way to notice where things went wrong, and how to fix them, but being in the struggle can certainly inspire us to create and innovate in a basic sensible technique. In my opinion, This makes the purpose of observing, creating a means to a more rapid learning and creation process.

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