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Miglior saggio scientifico, Cumulus-Rovaniemi

Alice Devecchi (docente a contratto presso l'Università degli Studi di Urbino, ha conseguito un dottorato di ricerca presso il Politecnico di Milano) e Luca Guerrini (professore associato - Dipartimento di Design Politecnico di Milano) sono stati riconosciuti autori del miglior saggio scientifico alla conferenza Cumulus-Rovaniemi 2019 che si è conclusa sabato 1 giugno 2019.

Titolo del saggio: Empathy for resilience

Abstract: the essay stresses the potential value of empathy in designing strategies for resilience. We question the traditional idea of empathy as an individual skill addressed to understand the other, in support of a conceptualization closer to the phenomenological interpretation, focused on the relational dynamics at stake in human encounters. The paper reconsiders empathy as an experience valuable for strengthening a resilient attitude within collaborative projects. A case study will be featured, i.e. Design in The Middle, an ongoing project that gathers designers, architects and social activists from the Middle East/Euro-Med regions with the aim of generating design proposals to address challenges relevant to the Middle East. As participants come from very different cultural, political and religious backgrounds, their cooperation is a central and critical issue, which might benefit from contextual and relational “rules” enabling empathic experiences. In the context of the first Design in The Middle workshop (2017), some strategies have proven to be crucial in enabling effective communication over complex design issues. These strategies will be analysed according to a methodology developed in a previous research carried out by the author(s) (Devecchi, 2018) about the role of empathy in collaborative processes. Assuming that a resilient society preserves and supports cultural diversity, Design in the Middle stands as an example of collaborative design practice aimed at creating a more resilient future for these regions in which the coexistence of diverse cultural, religious and political positions is a substantial matter of concern.

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