Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgement, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of “You’re not alone."
My First Day: An Empathy Project is a co-produced creative collaboration between the ADA Innovation Hub and the office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Education and Student Experience (PVCESE). Building upon the design research project of an ADA Design Honours student in 2020, the project seeks to produce an immersive 360 experience that explores the social challenges faced by first-year International Students at UNSW. Through immersion, interaction, and a branching narrative controlled by the user, the experience seeks to build empathy between international and domestic students regarding the different social challenges that students navigate in their first year at university that can lead to a sense of social isolation. In addition to building empathy and encouraging greater relationality in first year, the immersive experience will also point students to support and services that the PVCESE offer to assist with the transition into tertiary education.
Project Sponsors: Associate Professor Simon McIntyre (Director, Educational Innovation, PVCESE), Dr. Carly Vickers (Academic Lead, ADA Innovation Hub)
Based on a Concept by: Patience Loh (UNSW Alumni and Industry Designer)
Director and Academic Lead: Dr. Amin Palangi (Lecturer, School of Arts and Media)
Writers: Yasmin Malak (Undergraduate student, School of Arts and Media), David Curzon (MPhil Student, Script Writer and Director, Sessional Academic - School of Arts and Media)
Producer: David Curzon
Project Manager: Melody Framp (ADA Innovation Hub)
Technical Producer: Graham Hannah (Manager, Immersive technologies, PVCESE)
Technical Team and Editors: Brian Landrigan (Manager, Educational Media and Immersive Technologies), Dr. Xueqing Lu (Immersive Technology Specialist)
Music and Sound Design: Dr. Adam Hulbert (Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Media)
Graphic Design: Baron Chau (Sessional Academic, School of Art and Design)
Project Administrative Support: Rogaya Alkaff (ADA Innovation Hub)
National Institute of Dramatic Arts – Actors: Nickin Alexander, Alec Dalzeil, Arvin Bhattacharya, Attu Ngor, Elodie Westhoff, Hugo Liu, Sarabi Gristwood Sponza, Sovanarry Chan, Swanika Ramkumar, Tawanda Muzenda
More than 30 people tested the 'My First Day' immersive 3D experience at our Showcase. The experience is designed to help us better understand some of the social challenges students navigate in their first year at university.
Watch Professor Simon McIntyre interview Director, Amin Palangi and UNSW Alumni, Patience Loh, whose research project was the inspiration for this Innovation Hub project.
If you would like to know more about My First Day: An Empathy Project please contact the ADA Innovation Hub.