Student Work

  • Transdisciplinary Design (MFA)

    Sophie Riendeau, Ankita Roy, Juyeon Lee

    The Emotion Invasion Lab

    Our transdisciplinary design thesis seeks to humanize the practice of medicine through design interventions that focus on medical students. Medical institutions tend to view clinical empathy as a patient-facing skill, rather than an emotional skill requiring reflection and introspection. When physicians consequently fail to deliver empathic care, they are met with blame. Physicians are quietly, invisibly suffering. More than half of U.S. physicians experience burnout, and medical students have a much higher rate of suicide than the general population. In light of this, we ask: how can physicians practice empathy towards others when they are not even listening to their own needs? Having determined that experience in medical school is key to defining future practices, we propose The Emotion Invasion Lab, an initiative that builds practices of reflection and empathy into a medical student's education. Grounded in research about empathy, connection and vulnerability, our proposal unfolds in two phases: curriculum and ambient spaces. The first phase focuses on changing the student's experience through an innovative new course that employs experiential learning. The second phase offers an extension to the learnings of the first phase through material triggers in the physical environment of clinical spaces. Link to video: