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Understanding cultural
differences
Designer Linda Blaasvær
// Relating Systems Thinking & Design 2013 //
Designer Linda Blaasvær
MA Industrial design (2012)

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)

I recently completed my Masters degree in industrial design at the Oslo
School of Architecture and Design. My Master thesis had a systems
oriented design perspective with interaction design as part of the final
design solution.
In the following I will present the essence my master thesis, conducted
in the period from August to December 2012.

Contact details
+ 47 98473136
linblaa@gmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/lindablaasvaer
UNDERSTANDING
CULTURAL
DIFFERENCES
A design project

Linda Blaasvær // Relating Systems Thinking & Design 2013 //
INTRODUCTION

“Understanding cultural differences” is a design project that is based
in Systems oriented design, using Gigamapping as the main tool to
achieve a holistic view.
The system under study is the Norwegian military.
I have tried to find out how the military prepare the young Norwegian
soldiers for meeting a foreign culture when they are about to travel in
International operations (INTOPS) for the first time. I question if they
have enough training to understand the cultural differences they will
meet before they leave for military service abroad, and if designers can
provide relevant solutions.
GIGAMAPPING
OBJECTIVE

?

How can desigers help improve the cultural
education of norwegian soldiers traveling in
International operations e.g. Afghanistan?
DESIGN PRACTICE IN NEW AREAS

I was first introduced to this theme in a broader sense through the Systems oriented design course at AHO, led by Birger Sevaldson, spring
of 2011.
We got a client from UNIDIR (research centre within the UN system), Dr.
Derek B. Miller. UNIDIR research various methods to obtain peace and
security in post conflict areas.
During that semester I found this specific potential area to investigate in
my Diploma assignment. This project would not exist without a systems
perspective on a larger system such as UN challenges. That system
design project led me to this task, trying to create a design solution for
Norwegian soldiers in International service.
Designers are not often invited to contribute in such complex and political oriented themes, and I wanted to explore the role of the designer in
such a landscape.
DESIGN PRACTICE IN NEW AREAS

Photo: private

Photo: AHO

Project Review with the client from UNIDIR.
From left: Derek B. Miller, Birger Sevaldson, Linda
Blaasvær and Romain Briant. Spring of 2011.

Systems oriented design course was visited by Kristin
Halvorsen, who was Minister of Education. Spring of
2011.
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE
The design solution evolves within service design and
interaction design, and is an application for mobile
devices: “Cultural Experience”.
During the process I found that a service for Norwegian
soldiers that will offer knowledge from International
operations have to come from within the system to be a
credible service and provide relevant information and
learning’s. The service offers insights from veterans so I
decided that it should be a closed network for veterans
to be able to share also sensitive information.
I have been in contact with people in the defense. The
result has arrived on the basis of research, interviews
with veterans of Afghanistan (also Macedonia, Lebanon),
and second-hand information.
An application for a handheld device is a useful tool
because, it is an accessible tool and the target audience
is accustomed to the medium and they use it daily.
This design is a demo.
RELEVANS
The Norwegian troops pull out of Afghanistan by the end
of 2014. This prototype serves as a template with
Afghanistan as an example. Norwegian soldiers are
present in INTOPS elsewhere and will get new assignments after this. The Norwegian contribution in Afghanistan is the longest war assignment Norway has participated in since 1814, and the knowledge Norwegian
Afghanistan veterans sits on is valuable experience.
" When the Norwegian forces pull out of Afghanistan, it is
not because the goals are reached and the mission is
accomplished. The withdrawal occurs because the goals
can’t be realized, claims John O. Egeland " in Dagbladet
on 11th of September 2012.
The goal was to remove the Taliban and facilitate a
strong central government based on democracy and the
rule of law. It has been difficult to understand the dynamics of power structures, the government is weak and it is
uncertain whether it can stand when the Western forces
pull out. This article discusses the value of the military
contribution to the war and how the Taliban, for example,
do not depend on winning the war, they just need to
hang in there until the West is worn out.
The West has not understood the importance of political
and cultural development claims Egeland. (Egeland,
2012)

Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter
WHY AN APPLICATION ?

Illustration photo: www.colourbox.no
PRIMARY USER
The solution became an application, “Cultural Experience”. It is designed for Norwegian soldiers in international service, for them to learn about foreign culture.
The target audience is soldiers travelling for the first time, and the main user is approximately 20 + years old. An application for a handheld device is a useful tool because, it is accessible and the user group is accustomed to the
medium and they use it daily. And in this case, the soldiers are working shifts and would benefit from a device they
can use when it is most suitable.

Insights from the user - interview
"I would use such a service on a smartphone.
For the content to be credible, I would like to
watch videos. And contextual pictures will
make me belive the content"
Olav, 20 years.

Photo: FMS. Norwegian soldier in Afghanistan: http://www.atlanterhavskomiteen.no
BACKGROUND
Kultur på ville veier: En gjennomgang av
Forsvarets satsing på kulturforståelse
Trine Holo og Morten Dehli Andreassen
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

Department of Security and Conflict Management

Soldiers traveling in International service for the first time
do not only meet a war situation; they also face a foreign
country and a foreign culture. The challenges inherent in
manoeuvring in a foreign country, to meet and communicate, not only in a foreign language but also in the context of different norms and values requires a robust
training of the soldiers.
This is something the Norwegian military of course takes
seriously. But discussions in Norwegian media gives
reason to believe that soldiers traveling in International
service is not always so well prepared to meet a foreign
culture as we might hope.

"NATO soldiers trampled in as elephants
in a glass house, with a maximum few
hours of training in cultural understanding."
Gro Holm,
utenrikskommentator
Ref.: www.nrk.no/ytring/afghanistan-var-det-verdt-det

11.09.2 012

Security in Practice 11 · 2010
[NUPI Report]

"You will always find someone who
says that training is unsystematic
and inadequate.”
Harald Høiback,
Forsvarets Stabsskole.
KEY FINDINGS
Little focus on cultural
understanding in a
military context.

CULTURAL EDUCATION
within military education

Do not meet cultural
challenges before they
are presented ‘on the
job’
The various military
institutions have different
understanding and
prioritization of training
in Afghan culture.

Academic
knowledge

Military
skills

The training that exists is
theoretically
Quality assurance is
weak or non-existent.
The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan leads to that
cultural understanding
will be abandoned in
favor of pure military
skills.

Ref.: Holo, Andreassen. 2010

Personal
development

Physical
capacity
Zoom: cultural education

EXAMPLE OF MILITARY EDUCATION // description of military service ending with International service

Grunnlegggende nivå
Førstegangstjeneste/
befalsskole, 1 til 2 år

Krigsskole,
bachlor utdannelse

Stabsskolen del 1
(3 mnd)

Nasjonalt langkurs,
Sjøforsvaret (1 år)

Stabsskolen del 2

Utdanning for utenlandstjeneste

International service

Grunnleggende utdannelse er
fagspesifikk. Soldatene får innføring
i grunnleggende militære disipliner;
skyting/marsjiering/felttjeneste o.l.

Oppsummert; Sjøforsvaret utdanner
personell for å seile fartøy og er
styrt mye av sivile regelverk mtp
sertifikater. Det vil og være et
militært tilsnitt, samt øvelser/kursing
som går på mulige trusselgrupperinger.

Stabsmetodikk i fokus og
militære operasjoner.

I Sjøforsvaret var dette et taktisk
operativt kurs med fokus på
bestemte våpen og løsning av
«kjente» operasjoner.

Denne utdanningen har jeg ikke,
men har kikket på UV planen – og
den ligner veldig på utdannelsen
jeg fikk på 2.avdeling på krigsskolen
(Gammel ordning).

Avhengig av hvor en skal, eller
hvilken grad en har er det
forskjellige utdanningspakker.

På lavere gradsnivå (menig til
kaptein/kapteinløytnant) jobber en
normalt innen spesifikke faggrener.

Eksempelvis operasjonsplanlegging
(+2 dager til 60 dager) for Regional
Kommandoen i MeZ.

På mellomsjiktet og høyere
gradsnivå (major/orlogskaptein og
opp) kommer du gjerne inn i
fellesstaber.

Etter at felles grunnleggende modul
er ferdig, skal de normalt gjennom
en fagutdanning som gjør de i
stand til å tjenestegjøre der de er
ment å jobbe etter opplæring.
Menig personell
(førstegangstjeneste) vil etter endt
utdanning havne på avdeling hvor
de skal jobbe i ca 7-9 måneder.
Befalsskoleelever/utskrevet
befalskurs elever får videre
opplæring ved tjenestegjørende
avdeling, evt får de utdannelse på
skole – avhengig av Forsvarsgren.
I utdanningen vil det være noen
nettkurs som går på krigens
folkerett, samt innføring i militære
operasjonsområder – men ikke
spesifikk kulturutdannelse.

(«ny ordning 3 ½ år», gammel
ordning 2+2 år)

Hær/luft er ikke inkludert i dette
scenarioet.

Hær/Luft – følger nok mye samme
bachelor mønsteret hvor fagutdanning er tungtveiende for å
tilfredsstille krav til dette.
Felles er øvelser hvor kadetter blir
satt i ulike situasjoner hvor de
møter «terror grupper», de blir satt
under fangetjeneste, får trening i
motstand mot avhør, trening i
oppførsel etter evt at de er blitt tatt
til fange.
Meg bekjent er det ikke lagt inn
kulturell utdannelse på krigsskolene.

Befalsskolen for etterretning
utdanner personell i språk,
annet hvert år i hhv russisk og
arabisk, pashtu og dari. Kjenner
ikke til om disse får videre innføring
i de ulike samfunnsstrukturene men
er nærliggende å tro.

Her var det en felles utdanning som
la vekt på internasjonal politikk,
sjømakt, lederskap, logistikk,
organisasjon og div annet, men ikke
så mye på kultur i operasjonsområder.
Vi kikket på alquida og taliban og
skrev oppgaver om deres nettverk
og sannsynlige handlingsporteføljer.

3 ukers kurs:
Kurset bestod 1 uke med våpen
tjeneste, ½ uke med sanitet, 1 ½ uke
med operasjonsforståelse av Afghanistan.

Innen fellesstabene deler en inn i
avdelinger som omhandler
personell, etterretning, operasjoner,
logistikk/forsyning, plan, samband,
erfaringssenter, økonomi og sivilt
militært samband (CIMIC).
Innen CIMIC ligger det mye kontakt
med den sivile befolkningen. De får
mer «on the job training» enn de får
kursing i forkant.

Within CIMIC is there
a lot of contact with
the civilian population.
They get more "on the
job training" than they
receive training in
advance.

Law of war
Military operation areas
Language, respectively, Russian and Arabic, Pashtu and Dari
Social Structures
Ref.: Timeline based on interview with a veteran from Afghanistan. Qualitative research.
Yellow keys represent findings of cultural education within the military training and service: At Basic level and then “on the job training” during International service.
WHY

What will be achieved with cultural education

?

Give confidence to the
soldier to behave correctly
in different situations
so that the military tasks
can be performed in the
best possible way.

"To understand the culture
enables you understand
why people behave
the way they do. "
From an interview with
an Afghanistan veteran

Better soldiers cost efficient

Do not shoot at
the wrong time

Do not feel
alienated

Give confidence
to do a good job

Harmless behavior
when in contact with
local population

Concequences with lack of cultural understanding

Misunderstandings
due to language
barrier

Misbehavior
because one is
not familiar with
local customs

The mission
is delayed

People are injured/Fellow soldiers or counterparty
Injury, death, loss of fellow soldiers.
DESIGN VALUE
REDUCE
Fear
Anxiety
Frustration
Discomfort
Stress

Photo: From the documentary movie Armadillo, Metz 2010.
DESIGN VALUE
PROVIDE
Cultural understanding
Emotional accomplishment
Confidence

Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter
Holdninger og praksis

Sosiale spill

Ideer

Mønster for stemmegivning

Potensiale for vold

samfunn

Fiksede valg - disengagement

interaksjoner

Conflicts

Trusselgrupperinger

Islam

Samfunnsstrukturer

sunni og shia
liv og død

The network of Kunduz
Konflikten og aktørene

Economy

”Phantom kvinnelige stemmer”

Politics

Religion

Hvordan vinne Afghan valg

Omdømme

Komplekse spill i forhandling og avtaler

Adferd

Status

Language

Allianser
individ - organisasjoner

Smak

FRAMING THE TERM CULTURE

Kunnskap og erfaring

Kjønnsroller – Mann & kvinne
Kvinners rettigheter

Myths

Kleskoder
Normer

Ramdan

Jihad

Security

Pashtunwali – Doing Pashto

Mat & drikke

Lukt

Historie

Verdier

Islam

Musikk

Ungdomskultur

Familien

Urbefolkning
The way of the Pashtuns

Fashion

Tradisjonsdrakt

Taleban
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
Al-Qaeda

Geografi

Land

Tilgang til ressurser
Politisk representasjon

Høytider

Folkeskikk
Do’s and Don’ts

Tradisjoner

stammefolk
Design & Arkitektur
Islamic Architecture
Churches

Vann

Landskap og dyreliv

mennesker
FRAMING THE TERM CULTURE

GENERAL
academic
General culture
Social Structures
Threat groupings
Country Specific
History
Language

Interaction/
Social games

PERSONAL
experience
Personal knowledge

Communication/
Language

Personal experience
“Lessons learned”
HOW
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
academic

PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE
experience

“Lessons learned”

Transferring experience based
knowledge of cultural understanding

INEXPERIENCED
SOLDIER

VETERAN
EDITOR

MODEL

SHARE EXPERIENCE

SHARE ACADEMIC
KNOWLEDGE

DATABASE

VETERANS

CULTURE EXPERTS
SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
JOURNALISTS
PHOTOGRAFERS

BEFORE DEPARTURE

SOLDIER

DURING SERVICE
Scenario: BEFORE DEPARTURE

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Service on the Internet

Download application

Viewing vetranprofiler

Learning about the veterans
cultural experience
FRAMING THE TERM CULTURE WITH A SYSTEMIC APPROACH

The application includes learning from veterans with experience from international
service. They share their experience of encounters with another culture during
service abroad. Inexperienced soldiers can reap the experience of others with the
aim of reducing misunderstandings and avoid difficult situations.
Veterans possess vast amounts of experience inexperienced soldiers can benefit
from. But how can young, inexperienced soldiers have access to this knowledge?
My response to this has been to design an application that provides “lessons
learned”.
The application aims to be a solution that engages, and providing valuable experiences a venue to reach inexperienced soldiers.
WIREFRAMES
Carrier

12:00 PM

Carrier

12:00 PM

Logo

INTRODUCTION
Description of application

VETERANS

TIPS

CULTURE & SOCIETY

DICTIONARY

PHOTO & VIDEO

FAVORITES

HOME

SETTINGS

VIDEO

2012 12 19

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetuer adipiscing elit.

VIDEO

3

2012 12 10

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetuer adipiscing elit.

HOME

Latest uploaded content

CATEGORIES
WIREFRAMES
Carrier

12:00 PM

Carrier
Back

VETERANS
SORTER

AREA

POSITION

12:00 PM

VETERAN NAME

NAME

UPDATED 11/15/2

TIPS

NAME

PHOTOS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
UPDATED11/15/2

Lorem ipsum
dolor sit amet
UPDATED 11/15/2

NAME

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

UPDATED 11/15/2

NAME

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

VETERANS

Scroll list / can sort (not filter)

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod
tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam,
quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo
consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie
consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio
dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla
facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming
id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus
legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere
me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur
mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc
putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta
decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant
sollemnes in futurum.
VIDEOER

VETERAN PROFIL
WIREFRAMES
Carrier

12:00 PM

Back

Carrier

VIDEO NAME

12:00 PM

FAVORITES
PEOPLE

VIDEOER

TIPS
UPDATED 11/15/2

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy
nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi
enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis
UPDATED 11/15/2

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy

VIDEO

FAVORITES

Content to favorite page stored and grouped
by content type (people, videos, tips, etc.)
SPLASHSCREEN

FLOW DIAGRAM
LEVEL 0

LOGIN
?

HOME

LEVEL1

LEVEL 2

CATEGORIES

VETERANS

TIPS

DICTIONARY CULTURE
&
SOCIETY

PHOTO
&
VIDEO

FAVORITES

SUB-CATEGORIES
(Veteran profiles)
NAME1 NAME 2 NAME 3 NAME 4 NAME 5 NAME 6 NAME 7 NAME 8
(profil)

LEVEL 3
Tips

Video Pictures
Gallery

LEVEL 4
Video
NAVIGATION

SERVICE
BLUEPRINT

DESCRIPTION:

AFGANISTAN

Horizontal menu slide. Clear top bar navigation with
reserved space for conventional navigation at the top
(”back“ and a button for reaching all categories at any
level). It is relatively space efficient.
1

HOME PAGE

CHOOSE COUNTRY

Space reserved for step-by-step
navigation “back”

Category button
always visible
APP STORE

DOWNLOAD

Carrier
Back

12:00 PM

Carrier

12:00 PM

Logo

MENY

CATEGORY

1

CATEGORY

2

CATEGORY

CATEGORY

CATEGORY

APP DOWNLOAD

Download country spesific app from App Store

CATEGORY

CATEGORY

2

CATEGORY

3
5
7

4

Carrier

6

12:00 PM

8

2

iPhone / iPad

Download country spesific app from App Store
MOCK UP
WHY IS CULTURAL
UNDERSTANDING
IMPORTANT?
PROVIDE THE SOLDIER WITH
Increased knowledge about the culture and
the conflict
Confidence to do a good job
Feeling of recognition
Increased sense of achievement
REDUCE
Fear
Anxiety
Frustration
Discomfort
Stress
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

Is a tool for Norwegian soldiers international service to better understand
a foreign culture - you reap the experiences of others with the aim of
reducing misunderstandings and
avoid difficult situations.

CONCLUSION
Perhaps one can never be well
enough prepared in such situations,
and it is difficult to predict what
awaits one. But I believe that inexperienced soldiers can benefit from
what I have called "lessons learned",
in the application “Cultural Experience”.
Project / Understanding cultural differences
Further references and insights about the project upon request.

PRESENTATION
RSD2 Symposium 9th-11th October 2013
Emerging Contexts for Systemic Design
AHO – Oslo School of Architecture & Design, Oslo, Norway
http://systemic-design.net/
EXHIBITION
Bridge – Design Collaboration 13.06.2013 - 25.08.2013
DogA - the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture
http://www.aho.no/en/AHO/News-and-events/Calendar/2013/Bridge--design-collaboration/
AWARD
Award for Social Innovation. By Norsk Form. 01.02.2013
http://www.norskform.no/Temaer/Nyheter/Nytt-fra-Norsk-Form/Linda-Blaasvar/

Resourceful people connected to the project:
The veterans for insights and feedback
Birger Sevaldson / AHO
Mosse Sjaastad / AHO
Renata Mikaulaiskaite / interaction designer
Adrian Paulsen / AHO
Anne Lene Haarstad / service designer

L.B./ 2013

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Cultur lb

  • 1. Understanding cultural differences Designer Linda Blaasvær // Relating Systems Thinking & Design 2013 //
  • 2. Designer Linda Blaasvær MA Industrial design (2012) The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) I recently completed my Masters degree in industrial design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. My Master thesis had a systems oriented design perspective with interaction design as part of the final design solution. In the following I will present the essence my master thesis, conducted in the period from August to December 2012. Contact details + 47 98473136 linblaa@gmail.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/lindablaasvaer
  • 3. UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES A design project Linda Blaasvær // Relating Systems Thinking & Design 2013 //
  • 4. INTRODUCTION “Understanding cultural differences” is a design project that is based in Systems oriented design, using Gigamapping as the main tool to achieve a holistic view. The system under study is the Norwegian military. I have tried to find out how the military prepare the young Norwegian soldiers for meeting a foreign culture when they are about to travel in International operations (INTOPS) for the first time. I question if they have enough training to understand the cultural differences they will meet before they leave for military service abroad, and if designers can provide relevant solutions.
  • 6. OBJECTIVE ? How can desigers help improve the cultural education of norwegian soldiers traveling in International operations e.g. Afghanistan?
  • 7. DESIGN PRACTICE IN NEW AREAS I was first introduced to this theme in a broader sense through the Systems oriented design course at AHO, led by Birger Sevaldson, spring of 2011. We got a client from UNIDIR (research centre within the UN system), Dr. Derek B. Miller. UNIDIR research various methods to obtain peace and security in post conflict areas. During that semester I found this specific potential area to investigate in my Diploma assignment. This project would not exist without a systems perspective on a larger system such as UN challenges. That system design project led me to this task, trying to create a design solution for Norwegian soldiers in International service. Designers are not often invited to contribute in such complex and political oriented themes, and I wanted to explore the role of the designer in such a landscape.
  • 8. DESIGN PRACTICE IN NEW AREAS Photo: private Photo: AHO Project Review with the client from UNIDIR. From left: Derek B. Miller, Birger Sevaldson, Linda Blaasvær and Romain Briant. Spring of 2011. Systems oriented design course was visited by Kristin Halvorsen, who was Minister of Education. Spring of 2011.
  • 9. CULTURAL EXPERIENCE The design solution evolves within service design and interaction design, and is an application for mobile devices: “Cultural Experience”. During the process I found that a service for Norwegian soldiers that will offer knowledge from International operations have to come from within the system to be a credible service and provide relevant information and learning’s. The service offers insights from veterans so I decided that it should be a closed network for veterans to be able to share also sensitive information. I have been in contact with people in the defense. The result has arrived on the basis of research, interviews with veterans of Afghanistan (also Macedonia, Lebanon), and second-hand information. An application for a handheld device is a useful tool because, it is an accessible tool and the target audience is accustomed to the medium and they use it daily. This design is a demo.
  • 10. RELEVANS The Norwegian troops pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. This prototype serves as a template with Afghanistan as an example. Norwegian soldiers are present in INTOPS elsewhere and will get new assignments after this. The Norwegian contribution in Afghanistan is the longest war assignment Norway has participated in since 1814, and the knowledge Norwegian Afghanistan veterans sits on is valuable experience. " When the Norwegian forces pull out of Afghanistan, it is not because the goals are reached and the mission is accomplished. The withdrawal occurs because the goals can’t be realized, claims John O. Egeland " in Dagbladet on 11th of September 2012. The goal was to remove the Taliban and facilitate a strong central government based on democracy and the rule of law. It has been difficult to understand the dynamics of power structures, the government is weak and it is uncertain whether it can stand when the Western forces pull out. This article discusses the value of the military contribution to the war and how the Taliban, for example, do not depend on winning the war, they just need to hang in there until the West is worn out. The West has not understood the importance of political and cultural development claims Egeland. (Egeland, 2012) Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter
  • 11. WHY AN APPLICATION ? Illustration photo: www.colourbox.no
  • 12. PRIMARY USER The solution became an application, “Cultural Experience”. It is designed for Norwegian soldiers in international service, for them to learn about foreign culture. The target audience is soldiers travelling for the first time, and the main user is approximately 20 + years old. An application for a handheld device is a useful tool because, it is accessible and the user group is accustomed to the medium and they use it daily. And in this case, the soldiers are working shifts and would benefit from a device they can use when it is most suitable. Insights from the user - interview "I would use such a service on a smartphone. For the content to be credible, I would like to watch videos. And contextual pictures will make me belive the content" Olav, 20 years. Photo: FMS. Norwegian soldier in Afghanistan: http://www.atlanterhavskomiteen.no
  • 13. BACKGROUND Kultur på ville veier: En gjennomgang av Forsvarets satsing på kulturforståelse Trine Holo og Morten Dehli Andreassen Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Department of Security and Conflict Management Soldiers traveling in International service for the first time do not only meet a war situation; they also face a foreign country and a foreign culture. The challenges inherent in manoeuvring in a foreign country, to meet and communicate, not only in a foreign language but also in the context of different norms and values requires a robust training of the soldiers. This is something the Norwegian military of course takes seriously. But discussions in Norwegian media gives reason to believe that soldiers traveling in International service is not always so well prepared to meet a foreign culture as we might hope. "NATO soldiers trampled in as elephants in a glass house, with a maximum few hours of training in cultural understanding." Gro Holm, utenrikskommentator Ref.: www.nrk.no/ytring/afghanistan-var-det-verdt-det 11.09.2 012 Security in Practice 11 · 2010 [NUPI Report] "You will always find someone who says that training is unsystematic and inadequate.” Harald Høiback, Forsvarets Stabsskole.
  • 14. KEY FINDINGS Little focus on cultural understanding in a military context. CULTURAL EDUCATION within military education Do not meet cultural challenges before they are presented ‘on the job’ The various military institutions have different understanding and prioritization of training in Afghan culture. Academic knowledge Military skills The training that exists is theoretically Quality assurance is weak or non-existent. The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan leads to that cultural understanding will be abandoned in favor of pure military skills. Ref.: Holo, Andreassen. 2010 Personal development Physical capacity
  • 15. Zoom: cultural education EXAMPLE OF MILITARY EDUCATION // description of military service ending with International service Grunnlegggende nivå Førstegangstjeneste/ befalsskole, 1 til 2 år Krigsskole, bachlor utdannelse Stabsskolen del 1 (3 mnd) Nasjonalt langkurs, Sjøforsvaret (1 år) Stabsskolen del 2 Utdanning for utenlandstjeneste International service Grunnleggende utdannelse er fagspesifikk. Soldatene får innføring i grunnleggende militære disipliner; skyting/marsjiering/felttjeneste o.l. Oppsummert; Sjøforsvaret utdanner personell for å seile fartøy og er styrt mye av sivile regelverk mtp sertifikater. Det vil og være et militært tilsnitt, samt øvelser/kursing som går på mulige trusselgrupperinger. Stabsmetodikk i fokus og militære operasjoner. I Sjøforsvaret var dette et taktisk operativt kurs med fokus på bestemte våpen og løsning av «kjente» operasjoner. Denne utdanningen har jeg ikke, men har kikket på UV planen – og den ligner veldig på utdannelsen jeg fikk på 2.avdeling på krigsskolen (Gammel ordning). Avhengig av hvor en skal, eller hvilken grad en har er det forskjellige utdanningspakker. På lavere gradsnivå (menig til kaptein/kapteinløytnant) jobber en normalt innen spesifikke faggrener. Eksempelvis operasjonsplanlegging (+2 dager til 60 dager) for Regional Kommandoen i MeZ. På mellomsjiktet og høyere gradsnivå (major/orlogskaptein og opp) kommer du gjerne inn i fellesstaber. Etter at felles grunnleggende modul er ferdig, skal de normalt gjennom en fagutdanning som gjør de i stand til å tjenestegjøre der de er ment å jobbe etter opplæring. Menig personell (førstegangstjeneste) vil etter endt utdanning havne på avdeling hvor de skal jobbe i ca 7-9 måneder. Befalsskoleelever/utskrevet befalskurs elever får videre opplæring ved tjenestegjørende avdeling, evt får de utdannelse på skole – avhengig av Forsvarsgren. I utdanningen vil det være noen nettkurs som går på krigens folkerett, samt innføring i militære operasjonsområder – men ikke spesifikk kulturutdannelse. («ny ordning 3 ½ år», gammel ordning 2+2 år) Hær/luft er ikke inkludert i dette scenarioet. Hær/Luft – følger nok mye samme bachelor mønsteret hvor fagutdanning er tungtveiende for å tilfredsstille krav til dette. Felles er øvelser hvor kadetter blir satt i ulike situasjoner hvor de møter «terror grupper», de blir satt under fangetjeneste, får trening i motstand mot avhør, trening i oppførsel etter evt at de er blitt tatt til fange. Meg bekjent er det ikke lagt inn kulturell utdannelse på krigsskolene. Befalsskolen for etterretning utdanner personell i språk, annet hvert år i hhv russisk og arabisk, pashtu og dari. Kjenner ikke til om disse får videre innføring i de ulike samfunnsstrukturene men er nærliggende å tro. Her var det en felles utdanning som la vekt på internasjonal politikk, sjømakt, lederskap, logistikk, organisasjon og div annet, men ikke så mye på kultur i operasjonsområder. Vi kikket på alquida og taliban og skrev oppgaver om deres nettverk og sannsynlige handlingsporteføljer. 3 ukers kurs: Kurset bestod 1 uke med våpen tjeneste, ½ uke med sanitet, 1 ½ uke med operasjonsforståelse av Afghanistan. Innen fellesstabene deler en inn i avdelinger som omhandler personell, etterretning, operasjoner, logistikk/forsyning, plan, samband, erfaringssenter, økonomi og sivilt militært samband (CIMIC). Innen CIMIC ligger det mye kontakt med den sivile befolkningen. De får mer «on the job training» enn de får kursing i forkant. Within CIMIC is there a lot of contact with the civilian population. They get more "on the job training" than they receive training in advance. Law of war Military operation areas Language, respectively, Russian and Arabic, Pashtu and Dari Social Structures Ref.: Timeline based on interview with a veteran from Afghanistan. Qualitative research. Yellow keys represent findings of cultural education within the military training and service: At Basic level and then “on the job training” during International service.
  • 16. WHY What will be achieved with cultural education ? Give confidence to the soldier to behave correctly in different situations so that the military tasks can be performed in the best possible way. "To understand the culture enables you understand why people behave the way they do. " From an interview with an Afghanistan veteran Better soldiers cost efficient Do not shoot at the wrong time Do not feel alienated Give confidence to do a good job Harmless behavior when in contact with local population Concequences with lack of cultural understanding Misunderstandings due to language barrier Misbehavior because one is not familiar with local customs The mission is delayed People are injured/Fellow soldiers or counterparty Injury, death, loss of fellow soldiers.
  • 18. DESIGN VALUE PROVIDE Cultural understanding Emotional accomplishment Confidence Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter
  • 19. Holdninger og praksis Sosiale spill Ideer Mønster for stemmegivning Potensiale for vold samfunn Fiksede valg - disengagement interaksjoner Conflicts Trusselgrupperinger Islam Samfunnsstrukturer sunni og shia liv og død The network of Kunduz Konflikten og aktørene Economy ”Phantom kvinnelige stemmer” Politics Religion Hvordan vinne Afghan valg Omdømme Komplekse spill i forhandling og avtaler Adferd Status Language Allianser individ - organisasjoner Smak FRAMING THE TERM CULTURE Kunnskap og erfaring Kjønnsroller – Mann & kvinne Kvinners rettigheter Myths Kleskoder Normer Ramdan Jihad Security Pashtunwali – Doing Pashto Mat & drikke Lukt Historie Verdier Islam Musikk Ungdomskultur Familien Urbefolkning The way of the Pashtuns Fashion Tradisjonsdrakt Taleban Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Al-Qaeda Geografi Land Tilgang til ressurser Politisk representasjon Høytider Folkeskikk Do’s and Don’ts Tradisjoner stammefolk Design & Arkitektur Islamic Architecture Churches Vann Landskap og dyreliv mennesker
  • 20. FRAMING THE TERM CULTURE GENERAL academic General culture Social Structures Threat groupings Country Specific History Language Interaction/ Social games PERSONAL experience Personal knowledge Communication/ Language Personal experience “Lessons learned”
  • 21. HOW GENERAL KNOWLEDGE academic PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE experience “Lessons learned” Transferring experience based knowledge of cultural understanding INEXPERIENCED SOLDIER VETERAN
  • 22. EDITOR MODEL SHARE EXPERIENCE SHARE ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE DATABASE VETERANS CULTURE EXPERTS SOCIAL SCIENTISTS JOURNALISTS PHOTOGRAFERS BEFORE DEPARTURE SOLDIER DURING SERVICE
  • 23. Scenario: BEFORE DEPARTURE Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Service on the Internet Download application Viewing vetranprofiler Learning about the veterans cultural experience
  • 24. FRAMING THE TERM CULTURE WITH A SYSTEMIC APPROACH The application includes learning from veterans with experience from international service. They share their experience of encounters with another culture during service abroad. Inexperienced soldiers can reap the experience of others with the aim of reducing misunderstandings and avoid difficult situations. Veterans possess vast amounts of experience inexperienced soldiers can benefit from. But how can young, inexperienced soldiers have access to this knowledge? My response to this has been to design an application that provides “lessons learned”. The application aims to be a solution that engages, and providing valuable experiences a venue to reach inexperienced soldiers.
  • 25. WIREFRAMES Carrier 12:00 PM Carrier 12:00 PM Logo INTRODUCTION Description of application VETERANS TIPS CULTURE & SOCIETY DICTIONARY PHOTO & VIDEO FAVORITES HOME SETTINGS VIDEO 2012 12 19 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. VIDEO 3 2012 12 10 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. HOME Latest uploaded content CATEGORIES
  • 26. WIREFRAMES Carrier 12:00 PM Carrier Back VETERANS SORTER AREA POSITION 12:00 PM VETERAN NAME NAME UPDATED 11/15/2 TIPS NAME PHOTOS Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet UPDATED11/15/2 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet UPDATED 11/15/2 NAME Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet UPDATED 11/15/2 NAME Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet VETERANS Scroll list / can sort (not filter) Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum. VIDEOER VETERAN PROFIL
  • 27. WIREFRAMES Carrier 12:00 PM Back Carrier VIDEO NAME 12:00 PM FAVORITES PEOPLE VIDEOER TIPS UPDATED 11/15/2 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis UPDATED 11/15/2 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy VIDEO FAVORITES Content to favorite page stored and grouped by content type (people, videos, tips, etc.)
  • 28. SPLASHSCREEN FLOW DIAGRAM LEVEL 0 LOGIN ? HOME LEVEL1 LEVEL 2 CATEGORIES VETERANS TIPS DICTIONARY CULTURE & SOCIETY PHOTO & VIDEO FAVORITES SUB-CATEGORIES (Veteran profiles) NAME1 NAME 2 NAME 3 NAME 4 NAME 5 NAME 6 NAME 7 NAME 8 (profil) LEVEL 3 Tips Video Pictures Gallery LEVEL 4 Video
  • 29. NAVIGATION SERVICE BLUEPRINT DESCRIPTION: AFGANISTAN Horizontal menu slide. Clear top bar navigation with reserved space for conventional navigation at the top (”back“ and a button for reaching all categories at any level). It is relatively space efficient. 1 HOME PAGE CHOOSE COUNTRY Space reserved for step-by-step navigation “back” Category button always visible APP STORE DOWNLOAD Carrier Back 12:00 PM Carrier 12:00 PM Logo MENY CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 2 CATEGORY CATEGORY CATEGORY APP DOWNLOAD Download country spesific app from App Store CATEGORY CATEGORY 2 CATEGORY 3 5 7 4 Carrier 6 12:00 PM 8 2 iPhone / iPad Download country spesific app from App Store
  • 31. WHY IS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING IMPORTANT? PROVIDE THE SOLDIER WITH Increased knowledge about the culture and the conflict Confidence to do a good job Feeling of recognition Increased sense of achievement REDUCE Fear Anxiety Frustration Discomfort Stress
  • 32. CULTURAL EXPERIENCE Is a tool for Norwegian soldiers international service to better understand a foreign culture - you reap the experiences of others with the aim of reducing misunderstandings and avoid difficult situations. CONCLUSION Perhaps one can never be well enough prepared in such situations, and it is difficult to predict what awaits one. But I believe that inexperienced soldiers can benefit from what I have called "lessons learned", in the application “Cultural Experience”.
  • 33. Project / Understanding cultural differences Further references and insights about the project upon request. PRESENTATION RSD2 Symposium 9th-11th October 2013 Emerging Contexts for Systemic Design AHO – Oslo School of Architecture & Design, Oslo, Norway http://systemic-design.net/ EXHIBITION Bridge – Design Collaboration 13.06.2013 - 25.08.2013 DogA - the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture http://www.aho.no/en/AHO/News-and-events/Calendar/2013/Bridge--design-collaboration/ AWARD Award for Social Innovation. By Norsk Form. 01.02.2013 http://www.norskform.no/Temaer/Nyheter/Nytt-fra-Norsk-Form/Linda-Blaasvar/ Resourceful people connected to the project: The veterans for insights and feedback Birger Sevaldson / AHO Mosse Sjaastad / AHO Renata Mikaulaiskaite / interaction designer Adrian Paulsen / AHO Anne Lene Haarstad / service designer L.B./ 2013