On March 20, Dr. Lesely-Ann Noel co-hosted our monthly virtual breakfast with Lisa Cates, the president of the New Orleans Photo Alliance. DT NOW an abbreviation for Design Thinking the New Orleans Way, our monthly design thinking networking breakfast. At these events, we aim to build community with design thinkers in New Orleans and create a space for sharing and learning about design thinking.
Empathy is a key component of the design thinking process. Many design thinking sessions use images to help facilitate the formation of empathy. At the last breakfast, we had a great time using photography as a way to connect and build empathy with other people.
First, Lisa shared information on how to create thoughtful images. Lesley and Lisa then encouraged participants to reflect on ‘home.’
What makes home?
What are the unexpected positives of being forced to stay at home?
Participants worked in pairs in zoom break-out rooms. Since we were in separate spaces, we took and shared photographs of our homes as a starting point for defining and discussing home.
After these conversations, we co-created a Virtual Exhibition where participants shared what they discovered about their colleagues. This exhibition sparked a discussion with the whole group.
The participants were grateful for the opportunity to build community while following shelter in place orders.
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Thoughts from our participants
- Lisa Cates (facilitator):
So doing this has actually served as kind of a really awesome catalyst for what I can do with our community. And I’m really glad that that wasn’t really the plan, but I’m turning out like this. So thanks for participating and thanks for your feedback.
- Alessandra Bazzano
One strange part of having a virus and an epidemic is interconnectedness and understanding that kind of and bringing it home, but I feel it’s been really special to to see everybody today and look at the photos and have a kind of glimpse inside the lives that are interconnected.
- Julia Lang
Yeah, I think it was a nice way…. Starting with the framing of how is this (crisis) positive in some way to then okay now find a place in your home that really brings you peace and … Take a moment to just notice and be in that space and then to see that kind of the different identities of everyone else, as reflected by the photos and that they shared and then they’re different personalities. So I think it was a really creative way to talk about empathy that we talk about all the time and design thinking. But in doing it through photography and through sharing your own story as well as hearing from others.
- Alexandria Rengifo
This was my first virtual workshop. So that was and it’s very hands on. So that was a pleasant surprise. I learned a lot. And as someone that loves to facilitate I’m like taking storing all like I feel like this worked really well. Um, It was also like very interesting and surprisingly fun to like reconnect with your own home. And in a way, and I feel like a simple like this picture exercise it like it makes you be intentional so It was, it was fun i think it’s something everyone can benefit from benefit from.
- Eman Williams
I guess I didn’t know what I was getting myself into I participated in one of the workshops in person last year. But I didn’t know what this would entail, and I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the activity and kind of, you know, looking at and learning about how to kind of be culturally sensitive and engaging the subject.
- Jessica Dandridge
I was thinking about this week. Like how do I engage my members and my partners and people like that (now we have to stay at home) and like this is some great inspiration for me to think about ways to talk to them. This was great, really inspiring to me.