The Dialogue Tool ‘Similarities & Differences’

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*