your hoodie ? In the first phase of any design process , the only appropriate answer is : Bring it on .
Significantly for my students , redesigning the carry-on also requires interviewing for empathy . You ’ d think journalists are good at this , but as I learned after doing empathy interviews myself , we ’ re not . Interviewing for empathy means putting down your notebook , asking questions , listening closely and following up with more questions based not on what you need , but on what you ’ re hearing . What do you think ? How do you know that ? Can you tell me more ? Where are you from ? Where do you sleep ? Time-pressed and trained to put fact over feeling , often journalists seek information , not communication . We ’ re also hard-wired to follow directions , not reinvent them ; if your editor or teacher asks for a 500-word profile , that ’ s what you do .
Reinventing the carry-on bag helped my students in so many ways in weeks to come . Our initial foray into the refugee camp was planned for a Saturday ; at 4 a . m . on Friday , the police evacuated it , leaving us wondering if we should go at all . Yes , and : In their empathy interviews my students quickly learned that refugees were trickling back . Why ? The new evacuation centers had beds
Defining the problem led us to collaborate with a Paris school for asylum seekers , including Saturday work sessions , where I imagined one-on-one interviews between students . Unfortunately , nobody spoke the same language fluently . Yes , and : We used French , Arabic , English , Dari , Pashto and sometimes just maps and markers . My 10th-graders had no formal training in journalism , so we embraced learning by doing with digital tools . The final projects
were highly visual and unexpectedly engaging : interactive maps , mobile photo stories , a script for a comedy news show on fake news about refugees .
Twelve weeks wasn ’ t long enough to fully prototype , test or go back to square one , but in publishing stories as they developed , we avoided the big reveal and left ourselves open to criticism and