Toolkit: Empathy Toolkit

A toolkit designed to introduce the guiding principles of empathic design, using Stanford University’s d.School BootCamp Bootleg (2013), research into Social Intelligence and approaches to game design from the Institute of Play (2013).

Through empathic inquiry, collaborative play and improvisation, this toolkit introduces students to design methods and encourages them to reflect on the potential of design thinking to enact positive change. The design tools require no prior design knowledge, and the activities in this toolkit can be performed across disciplines.


Terry Deen

expected duration

The exercises within this Toolkit are designed to complement existing curriculum rather than being run as separate step-by-step workshops. Teachers should consider the role of empathy and other ‘soft skills’ (collaboration, leadership, communication) in their classroom to inform the selection of activities. The exercises have been listed with increasing levels of demand (time required) and challenge (level of abstraction).


We are always looking to improve our toolkits and we would love to hear your thoughts. Please email your suggestions to

Design Minds is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
View more information about the Design Minds collaboration.

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