A more recent update (with superior audio quality) can be found here:
After a nine-year career in Computer Science and Interaction Design, I have spent the last three years learning how to make things with physical materials.
Through the practice of acting, dancing, writing, and working with charcoal, paper, clay, gouache, glass, wood, metal, plastic, plaster, light and type, I came to the realization that making things with physical materials—including the human body—is analogous to engaging in an empathic conversation with another person.
Based on this experience, I have distilled and developed a list of five necessary qualities—a set of shared metaphors, and a sense of trust, honesty, integrity, and dignity—that our interaction with the computer must afford, before it can facilitate an empathic conversation between software computation and the human body.
What empathy allows us to do is viscerally imagine the current physical state of the other, and, as an extension, their future actions. We do this by conjuring up and synthesizing our own embodied knowledge through a heightened awareness of the signals perceived from the other.
Music: Every Bug Every Bee Every Breath by Lydia McCauley on Magnatune Records
The act of making is not about creativity or innovation, but rather a challenge to empathize with others different from ourselves. That other may be a character in a play, a fellow actor, a piece of wood, a dancer, or even your own body. We often think we know them, but really... have no idea.
Music: "If These Walls Could Talk (instrumental)" by André Rodriguez on Magnatune Records
What art school teaches you is that making is not about creativity or innovation, but rather a challenge to empathize with others different from ourselves. That other may be a fellow human being, or it could be a character in a story, a piece of wood, or even your own body. We often think we know them, but really... have no idea.
This video doubles as a promotional video for the kickstarter campaign to self-publish "Realizing Empathy: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Making", a book by Seung Chan Lim
Music: "The Way We Feel by" Sound of Seventy Three on Magnatune Records
Human-Centered Design is good, but it can be better. Design isn't just about fulfilling people's needs, it's also about helping each other get to the heart of who we are as human beings. To do that, design needs to strive for a clear and coherent expression of honesty, of integrity, of dignity in all dimensions.
It's time we look at the entire design process as a multi-dimensional conversation. whose goal is to empathize with all the participants in the process, to achieve a sense of profound resonance.
Related Smart Planet article: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/decoding-design/qa-seung-chan-lim-on-improving-human-centered-design/
Music: "Hawthorn" by Lydia McCauley on Magnatune Records