Empathic design is crucial because--as humans with diverse bodies, brains, and backgrounds--we all have different needs and desires. We seek to satisfy these in individual and often deeply personal ways, though we don’t often consider how we can create a space in our immediate environment that satisfies these regularly. Interior designer Barbara Vail and behavioral neurologist Joel Salinas, MD, will identify life situations in which the designer can serve as a specialist and educator in creating a space that is human-centered, thoughtful, and reflective of the inhabitants. Specific case studies will be referenced, including the apartment design for Dr. Salinas, to illustrate useful ways an empathic approach can be used to leverage unique design opportunities and address both typical and atypical challenges. The unusual backgrounds of both Barbara and Joel offer a special multi-disciplinary view into why empathic design tools are critical when co-creating a space with your client.