Relocating to and living in another country can be challenging. In Copenhagen, relocation services are provided by the International House. Respecting the visitors time, yet giving a welcoming service to the Danish culture were the main aspects we started to look into.

To better understand the current service offering and the context, we used the first half of the Data Driven Service Design course to speculate and research on possible futures of the service. Speculative thinking helped us to explore the service as a part of a larger entity, to develop our understanding and gather data at conceptual level which gave us direction for the next phase.

Based on our interviews and insights, we took the McDonald’s model as a metaphor for a fast and impersonal service that delivers what you expect. The McDonald’s model reflects on the current service in a provocative way where International House aims to process as many people as possible as fast as they can. Yet, the goal of the current service is also to share useful personal information, such as cultural and recreational events. However, there is no time for that.

Most time at the International House is being used on delivering what people ‘need to have’; the documents that allow one to open a bank account and go to the doctor. Simultaneously, there is a world-wide development towards self-serviced digital interactions such as mobilPay.

Deriving from our insights we made a suggestion for a self-service vending machine where there is no need of interacting with a service employee. From the machine one receives a package containing the ‘need to haves’ such as CPR card and some of the ‘nice to haves’, such as biking rules and how to design your living space by Danish design standards.

After this impersonal and fast iteration of a relocation service we moved on to try out a very personal and slow service, called the Ceremonial Integration. We speculated on a service assistant’s role that would be much more than a clerical office job where welcoming the newcomer was of essence. As a result, we used the wedding as a metaphor where the ritual of welcoming a newcomer in person becomes a central function.

Team: Akshay Verma, Victoria Hammel, Line Birgitte, Melina Pyykkonen
Tools: Speculative design, paper prototyping, people centered research
Time: 7 days

Role: Concept development, storyboarding, physical prototyping, interviewing, cultural probes