Purpose and function:
The idea of the dialogue tool ‘Similarities & Differences’ is that it, in a humorous and equal way creates the basis for a common understanding of cultural similarities and differences. It is, therefore, a bridging tool to support the cultural integration process by aiding understanding and empathy.
The idea for the Dialogue Tool arose from the large migration of refugees from Syria in the autumn 2015.
We set out to create a design tool that can support the integration process based on a greater cultural and social dialogue and understanding of the values of different cultures. It should support a dialogue between participants in an equal way and with mutual respect.
It gives refugees the opportunity to understand both written and unwritten ‘rules’ in the Danish society within 4 categories: social life, working life, family life and emotional life. Conversely, it will also act as an eye opener for Danes in terms of understanding the values that the refugees bring from their culture.
For the refugees, this understanding and the meeting at eye level, increases their opportunity to enter the Danish labour market, and to participate in the Danish society in general. Thus, we have created a design product to promote integration, cultural encounters and social understanding.
The development of the Dialogue Tool has been supported financially by Kolding Municipality’s Integration Fund. The Dialogue Tool is a design product developed in a user-driven process with trainees from the language school Kolding, with participants from the Danish Refugee Council’s (Dansk Flygtningehjælp) language school in Kolding and with students from the high school KG in Kolding. The students from the language schools has thereby actively participated in a democratic user-driven design process, which perhaps is typical for DK.
The dialogue tool can be used in language schools, high schools and other educational institutions, in the workplace cafeteria or at other cultural meetings.
It can be used in a large classroom group or where there are just two people from different cultures together.
As the markers are magnetic, the board can stand vertically after the questions are completed and serve as a mood board. The dialogue tool might later be digitized and possible also developed as an app!
The dialogue tool in the box is for 2 persons. Each category includes 2 round game boards + 5 text cards + several markers. The colours on the edges on game boards, text cards and markers shows how they are related.
When starting the game, each player chooses his own pattern – for example; one person from Denmark chooses the edge with dots and a person from Syria choose the edge with zigzag.
You each take turns reading the questions aloud. Your answers should be based on the country you have come from and your life there!
There are no right or wrong answers!
Idea and concept: Arkitekt maa Anne Mette Rasmussen – D‑sign Tegnestuen
Graphic design: Kamilla Asmussen – i made this*