Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


Graphic Design

Committee Chair

Eve Faulkes

Committee Co-Chair

Ronald Aman

Committee Member

Joseph Galbreath

Committee Member

Gerald Habarth.


Design has transformed from being merely a product oriented discipline focused on the promotion of consumer goods to become a goal oriented practice seeking to address the needs and challenges faced by people in their communities. Conventionally, most designers have engaged various processes that help identify the real needs of an audience in order to develop effective solutions. Designing for social change presents the interesting challenge of reaching audience members who may not be directly affected by an issue to become invested in communityled transformations. My thesis uses the context of homelessness to examine how empathic techniques can be employed to simulate experiences that foster interest in social issues. It presents a model for generating empathy through design and explores how understanding can lead to emotion and subsequently to a desirable action. This project led to a gallery exhibition including infographics, print layouts, animation and interactive designs. Direct data was collected from the exhibition to determine the affective and cognitive responses of the audience.