It all started with me leaving that life behind to attend a traditional art school.
he second theme is exploring how we can design a space that facilitates the act of making: what I call the empathic conversation.
Here is a talk (~50 min) I gave on that topic framed around the design of such a space in the digital domain. This one was primarily intended for designers, and I hope to make one intended for a wider audience in the near future. Since it’s a bit lengthy, you might want to return to it when you have more time.
The preface found in the above design is focused largely on my experience with computers. In the printed version, I plan to turn that into a prologue, and use a new preface, which is yet to be written.
The book is structured around a number of stories that talk about the humbling experiences I’ve had in art school. These are experiences that have lead to epiphanies, which changed my understanding of what it means to make something.
In response to these experiences are conversations I’ve had with an interdisciplinary group of friends (an animator, a programmer, a neuroscientist, a human-computer interaction researcher, and a theologian) about these epiphanies.
Weaving together the stories and conversations are both reflective and analytic essays that model the relationships between the various concepts introduced in the stories such as empathy, trust, humility, courage, honesty, integrity, dignity, etc…
Other elements include an interview with a Brown University child psychologist Dr. Lewis Lipsitt, and descriptions of projects I’ve carried out to explore the topic.
Will the book change in design?
There are some changes I’d like to make to the book.
Most of all, I will be rethinking the hardcover design. The black cloth and yellow stamp I have now is a placeholder. I might keep the color scheme, but the design will change.
Those that choose to get the dust jacket version will also get a newly designed dust jacket with your name incorporated into the design. You can expect the dust jacket to stand on its own as a piece of artwork.
Other than that, I will be including several new spreads for a new preface to the book. There are some other changes I will be making to the book, but they should be relatively minor.
The book currently weighs in at a little over 400 pages. With the additional materials I’d like to include, I think it’ll end up at around 450 pages.
What made you write this book?
To be honest, I never intended to write a book. The book wrote me. I’ve heard other people say that, but I now I actually empathize with that statement.
Starting from the first day of art school, I was struck with a series of epiphanies. I think it’s because it was so different from what I was used to, and also what I had expected. Then about two-thirds way through school, words started pouring out of my heart, so I just typed them out to make sure they didn’t get lost.
Also, every time I finished a piece of writing, I posted it on a private blog for a small and interdisciplinary group of friends to review. What they said in response was just too interesting not to incorporate into a book.
Where can I get more info on this project?
realizingempathy.com is where it’s at. This book is just one of the many outcomes of this project. Please stay tuned for more updates in the near future.