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Global Connections

Overcoming fear and discomfort to enrich cultural connections


It can be very challenging to maintain knowledge of different cultures for many people. How might we help them learn in a safe and comfortable manner? How might we promote personal experiences with people of other cultures to increase, respect, collaboration, and generosity?

Our group conducted street intercept user research on the streets of DC and found some interesting results. Despite a diverse slate of respondents, we found that there were many commonalities and people expressed the need for people to learn the commonalities. Essentially "Everybody Poops"! This means that we all have basic needs and lives, but we have differentiation that is important to learn to connect with the underlying common elements.

After developing more than 50 ideas, we focused on three ideas and developed two of these ideas into prototypes.

Prototype 1: Subscription Box
This service sends elements from a culture through the mail once per month to the subscriber's house. The subscriber receives things such as spices, foods, clothing and other artifacts from particular cultures as well as a guide book that helps explain cultures and traditions that are important. Being able to personally receive, handle, and use these products helps to build a connection that may not be possible through digital means.

Prototype 2: Escape Room
This service is a play on the typical Escape Room experience. Instead of the theme being Sherlock Holmes or Murder Mystery, this room is composed of genuine elements of a particular culture. Through exploration of the room and completion of challenges, participants gain knowledge of a culture and have a fun experience. By personally immersing themselves in a culture, an intimate connection can be made in a safe and exploratory fashion. User testers expanded upon the concept and encouraged the addition of a bar, restaurant or hotel experiences.


Prototyping Image icon IMG_3713.JPG, Image icon IMG_3714.JPG, Image icon IMG_3717.JPG, Image icon IMG_3718.JPG, Image icon IMG_3720.JPG, Image icon IMG_3722.JPG, Image icon IMG_3715.JPG, Image icon IMG_3716.JPG, Image icon IMG_3719.JPG, Image icon IMG_3723.JPG, Image icon IMG_3724.JPG, Image icon IMG_3725.JPG, Image icon IMG_3726.JPG Documentation of prototype
Ideation Image icon IMG_3709.JPG Documentation of prototype
Sensemaking Image icon IMG_3727.JPG, Image icon IMG_3728.JPG, Image icon IMG_4829.JPG, Image icon IMG_4830.JPG, Image icon IMG_4831.JPG, Image icon IMG_4832.JPG, Image icon IMG_4833.JPG, Image icon IMG_4834.JPG, Image icon IMG_4835.JPG, Image icon IMG_4836.JPG, Image icon IMG_4837.JPG, Image icon IMG_4838.JPG, Image icon IMG_4839.JPG, Image icon IMG_4840.JPG, Image icon IMG_4841.JPG, Image icon IMG_3702.JPG, Image icon IMG_3704.JPG, Image icon IMG_3705.JPG, Image icon IMG_3706.JPG, Image icon IMG_3707.JPG Documentation of prototype
Research Image icon IMG_2489.JPG, Image icon IMG_2490.JPG, Image icon IMG_2492.JPG, Image icon IMG_2493.JPG, Image icon IMG_5570.jpg Documentation of prototype
Opportunity Image icon IMG_2482.JPG, Image icon IMG_2491.JPG, Image icon IMG_3701.JPG Other
Opportunity Image icon IMG_5566.jpg, Image icon IMG_5567.jpg Documentation of prototype
Culture Escape room Image icon 14875273758861187936406.jpg Documentation of prototype
Culture Escape room Image icon 14875273758861187936406.jpg Documentation of prototype
Culture Box -subscription box Image icon 14875272111111524484268.jpg Documentation of prototype
Ideas Image icon 1487473561336861945164.jpg, Image icon 1487473688697-1996215810.jpg, Image icon 1487473891039440179356.jpg, Image icon 1487473958238-1569267018.jpg Documentation of prototype
Jammed at DC Service Jam.

Team members