CIID IDP 2015: Service Design
taught by Chris Downs,
Marei Wollersberger, and Jenna Date
Michael Owen Liston
Culture Connect Copenhagen is a service which connects newcomers to Copenhagen’s rich culture, infrastructure and the local people. This service was the result of a service design exercise conducted with the International House.
International House is part of Copenhagen Kommune with its mission set to attract, welcome, and retain foreigners in Copenhagen. International House came with a request to evaluate their current workflow and suggest improvements to help them provide everything that a newcomer to Copenhagen needs.
Culture Connect Copenhagen is designed to cover Copenhagen newcomer’s needs in building a social network in the city that they just moved into. The service includes a web-site and phone app that allows users, be they long-time residents or newcomers in Copenhagen, to see what events are happening in Culture Houses and Leisure Centers around the city. One can browse events by locations or by his or her interests.
For newcomers specifically the service allows to search for a host that would introduce them to the event and tell more about life in Copenhagen and Denmark in general. International House is involved as one of the main entry points to the service where newcomers learn about it and first start using it. Locals, among whom there are already many volunteers, are onboarded to the service at Cultural Houses and Leisure Centers through interactive displays and other means of communication.
We conducted user research at International House and on the streets of Copenhagen exploring individuals’ thoughts and opinions about immigration and integration of newcomers into society through a variety of activities, games, and provocations. Our findings led us to focus in particular on the common gaps in cultural understanding between newcomers and locals.
Culture Houses are places where daily cultural and social activities happen – clubs, concerts, meetings, classes happen in multiple Culture House locations across the city throughout the day. We saw that already established and rich network of Cultural Houses in Copenhagen is very little known to the newcomers to the city even after they live in Copenhagen for as long as a year. These places would be a natural meeting point for locals and newcomers to Copenhagen. International House itself could join the network and become one of the Culture House locations hosting events and playing bigger role in connecting newcomers and locals.