A context analysis method for empathy in co-creative innovation

Yusuke Tsutsui*, Yuya Mitake, Shigeru Hosono, Yutaro Nemoto, Mar'atus Sholihah, Yoshiki Shimomura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In industrialised countries, the competitiveness of the products/services of the manufacturing industries in the global market is declining due to many factors, including commoditisation, rapid technological growth in developing countries and a lack of creativity within manufacturing companies. For this reason, designers in industrialised countries are required to create more innovative products/services whose novelty does not depend on their own original technology alone but on flexible resource integration among diverse actors. In order to design innovative products/services, empathy must be developed among diverse actors around the premise of the design. However, the ways to understand rationalities of each other is still unclear in extant research. As a result, diverse actors with heterogeneous rationalities fail to empathise to others, and designing innovative products/services as intended is difficult. To address this issue, this study aims to develop a practical method that achieve to understand the rationality of other actor in design innovative products/services. To achieve this, a context analysis method is proposed that captures the other actor’s context in formalised procedure. The proposed method includes four steps: conducting an interview to extract information of context, modelling the context, understanding the context and carrying out the depth interview to understand a target actor’s rationality completely based on the context modelling result. The proposed method was applied to therapy robot development, which is in its early stage of innovative service design. Moreover, the application result can encourage an actor to understand the other actor’s rationality by utilising the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Mechanical Design, Systems and Manufacturing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-creation
  • Co-creative innovation
  • Context analysis
  • Context modelling
  • Design rationale
  • Empathy
  • Synthesis


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