Dominika Sobolewska

Researcher & curator of new media culture

Wroclaw, Poland

For more than 15 years Dominika Sobolewska has been associated with the Wroclaw Academy of Art & Design, where at the Faculty of Interior Design and Design she has been leading the Mindful Design Studio for Interactive Spaces and Objects. There she conducts teaching activities and interdisciplinary research aimed at new media culture, especially the role of art and design in the construction of the so-called techno-empathy.

For several years, she has also been curating the exhibition project “Empathic Design or Technological Concern for a Better Tomorrow”.

Techno-empathy in art and design as an expression of concern for a better tomorrow

Combining the concept of ’empathy’ with new technologies seems quite controversial, and certainly raises a lot of arguments and discussions today. Technological expansion, especially the development of artificial intelligence augurs both much good and much bad for humanity. However, the most emotional aspect of public discourse is the bleak vision of the human tomorrow. While techno-evolution offers numerous benefits, fears about the collapse of all-human values, environmental degradation or loss of control over civilization seem to come to the fore.

Offsetting these concerns with the benefits of using technology is an important social challenge of today. In the face of these challenges, it seems crucial to strike a balance between the benefits of medialized reality and maintaining a humanistic socio-environmental attitude. This requires thoughtful and ethical development and use of technology, as well as the recognition that empathy should encompass both the digital and physical realms.