Hotel Transit - Connecting Communities
Hotel Transit - Connecting Communities

Explore and Experience!

Hotel Transit: Homes on the Move by Matina Magkou (Ohi Pezoume NPO - UrbanDig Project - Athens, Greece) and Yanina Taneva (Ideas Factory Association - Sofia, Bulgaria) is a project that connects locals and communities in transit. Take a look at the video below to see how they used the design thinking Tandem method Dugnad!

Tandem Methods-in-Action

The design thinking method Dugnad is a great way to facilitate exploration and understanding of physical spaces. Tandem participants observe a particular space in teams, taking note of how it makes them feel, what kind of interactions the space evokes or discourages and discover how it does so. Afterwards, together the team thinks upon what is missing, what potential the space has and what issues can be addressed through it.

After this discussion, it is time to brainstorm a site specific intervention! Once the team has agreed on an idea, they create a prototype that they perform, install or test on location. Documenting this event is important, so teams can make a short visual presentation to share with everyone to receive feedback.

The feedback is especially useful, as it covers not only the prototype itself, but also the experience and the roles individuals in the team had and took on. This additional insight can help Tandem participants to calibrate their personal strengths and responsibilities better.

Matina’s and Yanina’s collaboration Hotel transit was an effort to explore the way different communities in transit experience home, neighbourhood, togetherness and interaction with local communities. A design thinking method like Dugnad was particularly appropriate for them, to help facilitate the exploration of spaces and map the needs of the communities they came into contact with. It helped them truly experience the reality of these people and led them to create a concept that really answered authentic needs.

Tips & Tricks from Matina and Yanina
  • Embrace the unknown! Europe is facing a lot of uncertainty, design thinking methods are a really amazing way to approach reality.
  • Be authentic! You need to connect with the people you are working with in a way that is not investigation, not journalism, communicate in a human way, strive for an authentic connection.
  • It is about trust. Trust the community, the people you will meet, the process, the flow. Your awakened senses will alert you to meaningful actions you can intervene with afterwards.
  • Be humble! Do not arrive as a cultural coloniser, assuming you know what to do. Go with an open heart, open senses and an open mind to figure it out together.

What did you learn when using the design thinking method Dugnad? Please share your experience with us!