Empathy Bytes

2019 ~ Present | Georgia Tech Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services


Think outside traditional modes of communication and documentation to create radical experiences of empathy, an important component to success in personal and professional settings.  The team will employ immersive technologies, such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and mobile apps, which allow users to quite literally step into another person’s shoes, to see the world through their eyes, or to step back in time. Students are encouraged to explore the many ways we both share and intake information in a modern era, through video, audio and web design. Creative methods of photography and video are also encouraged, such as 360 photography, drone footage etc.

More and more industries are emphasizing empathy in building teams, designing products, and taking meaningful action. How can you use technology to expand information delivery in an engaging way? Most importantly, how do these advanced technologies allow us to understand new perspectives, solve problems, or simply be a better person in a world full of daily challenges? 

This team focuses on building an immersive digital archive of interviews, photographs, multimedia, and writings from diverse communities. Students explore the connections these communities have to Georgia Tech research and creative endeavors.  Students are given an opportunity to research communities, while documenting their experiences and designing innovative ways of sharing these stories with a broad audience. Archival collections are a tactile way to explore the lived experience of communities allowing the researcher and curator to find themselves in other people’s stories. 

To provide greater access to the course products, the team will produce short form podcasts to showcase the project and collection, as well as the behind the scenes development process.  Students work together to complete the project defining their own roles depending on their area of interests and expertise.   

Empathy Bytes allows the student to define their role in the project through track selection. Each track has a specific focus, but ties into the larger goals of the project. Certain aspects of the project everyone participates in, such as completing interviews and participating in basic research on communities. 

I. Interview track – the journalists. , Research focused.

II. The web design track- the web developers- Web site development 

III. Media production – Media Specialists-Audio, Video , Graphics 

IV. Emerging Technologies track- Developers- App development or AR/VR. 

Students are encouraged to explore current affairs through the lens of how scientific research or creative endeavors involve and affect numerous communities. One example being researched in this team:  The history of maker spaces and how maker spaces are playing a role in providing PPE for front line workers during the COVID outbreak. Students are invited to propose new concept ideas.  


  1. Identify and research unique communities connected to Georgia Tech   
  1. Create immersive technology and media centered work that demonstrates principles of radical empathy and care  
  1. Learn audio/video editing and metadata standards  
  1. Preserve information for long term access in the Institutional Archives  

Issues Involved or Addressed

  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion on Georgia Tech’s Campus   
  • Human Centered technology design
  • Media Production. 
  • Oral History / Interviewing Techniques   
  • Archival Research  

Methods and Technologies

  • Digital Archives
  • Community Building and Preservation
  • Multi-media Production
  • Reporting
  • Interviews
  • Documentaries
  • Photography/Video
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Audio Editing and Production
  • Georgia History
  • Marketing
  • Community Outreach

Academic Majors of Interest

  • ComputingComputational Media
  • ComputingComputer Science
  • DesignMusic Technology
  • Ivan AllenDigital Media
  • Ivan AllenHistory, Technology, and Society
  • Ivan AllenLiterature, Media, and Communication
  • Other

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Background/interest in writing, reporting, journalism, interviewing, audio editing, digital archiving, photography, culture, community, media, communication, multimedia production, podcasting, curation of news stories, interactive media, web development and content curation.

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Alison Valk

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

Georgia Tech Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services