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Richard Fry, IDSA

Associate Professor, Brigham Young University

Richard Fry, IDSA

Richard Fry is an Associate Professor in the Industrial Design program at Brigham Young University. Before entering education, Richard worked professionally in the Aerospace, Exhibit, Home Appliance and Home Fitness fields.

Discovering Core Values

Education Symposium

Rapid Fire Group E

August 25, 2023

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Breakout - Shubert

Industrial design processes have moved over time from object-based (attraction, function) to value-based (emotional, symbolic). The values-based process message is ubiquitous, reflected in generic self-improvement spaces that challenge all to align activities with their “highest and most closely held values” and describes a successful experience as one that “connects to its audience on shared value…fueled by authenticity.”

Empathy, or the capacity to share the lives of others, creates a path towards authenticity. Identifying shared beliefs and values is a starting point for building empathy across diverse backgrounds. But, when asked to be empathetic, inexperienced students often project their own values over those they are designing for and fail to reach the desired level of authenticity or common ground.

People, including designers and users, are anchored and influenced by both explicit and implicit values, with the more hidden implicit values sometimes influencing us in surprising ways.

This study will review mechanisms of societal/personal value creation, basic theories of empathy, and review the multi-year results of a workshop where students engage in a personal research/design effort to help them uncover and visualize core (and often implicit) values and design speculative products that are directly related to key parts of their identity. Over several years, students have reliably identified some form of the values of IDENTITY, SECURITY, MEMORY, LEGITIMACY, and POTENTIAL with insightful product

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