BLUE GROUND

WHAT DESIGN CAN DO FOR REFUGEES... BLUE GROUND CONCEPT

The world has always been in a cultural motion; communities interact, and react, as different groups of people find a common space to present themselves and their ideas, where they feel accepted and productive. The common ground between refugees and host communities is shaky, filled with cracks caused by the foggy images of expectations and fears, which makes it hard for both populations to stand still. Nowadays, though that technological advancement has helped to surf the world through a small screen, yet, the negative images and preconceptions
are highlighted, building barriers, making it hard to accept other in a normal conditions. Being a refugee isn’t an option. The possibility of achieving dreams is what drives refugees to take a risky journey, as they abandon everything, cut their social ties, endure risks of the travel, based on the belief that being in Europe could be a safe harbor, a place where the hope can be revived. The new comers are the world’s responsibility: While the host communities receive negative images from the media, where they become unsettled by the endless stories of harmful misconceptions, where they fear for their own stability and means of life.

Our team went through governmental and national organizations reports, news and articles, documentaries and stories of people of the refugee communities and local community to reach an understanding for the main problemthat created the difficulties of integration from both sides.
Our Survey: Our team designed and conducted an online survey for the refugee community in Germany , asking them about the barriers and difficulties of integration with the local community based on:
Questions:
1-Waiting period before being granted the asylum, the context of residence
2-Are they connected with refugees granted the asylum statues?
3-The importance of being connected to the internet, ability and availability
4-Level of integration. The periodicity of meeting the locals and what are the
activities involving the local community.
5-Their perception of a successful ways to blend in, and become a positive
active member for the community, and what they can add.
6-What they want to do next, and what do they have to add to the community.

Survey’s Results:
-More than 95% of refugees wait more than 3 months to be granted the asylum, after leaving the reception center (which usually doesn’t take more than 1 month), 75% of refugees live within a local context.
-Refugees meet and have a network with others who have gone through the same process and have been granted the asylum.
-Almost all of the refugees have access to internet connection, whether using mobile network, or available Wi-Fi network. To be able to stay connected and tuned with family and face-book groups in the new country and to be updated with the latest news.
- About 45% of refugees meet locals daily, though that about 52% of people haven’t been in shared activities, however, some NGOs have been organizing events to introduce refugees to the local community.
-The main three mediums that refugees believe help them integrate with the local community are: work, language courses and internet respectfully.
-More than 90% wanted to able to work and generate an income after being granted the asylum, to be able to repay the host community.

For refugees: Inactive state, skills are on hold and getting rusty. Lack of means to communicate Refugees live in a slow motion: The endless wait, where after a long tiring journey, refugees don’t know where they can be moved from the margins and back to the normal track of life, where they can work and produce. The waiting period to learn the country’s language varies but usually doesn’t start till they are granted the asylum (which can take more than a year). In addition, they’re not allowed to work, which means that their skills are getting
rusty, in addition to the lack of knowledge of local practice rules and conditions. For the host community: drainage of country’s resources, burden on public services, images of violence and unsafe environment. The idea of treating refugees as victimized objects, in a constant need of a handout has proven its inefficiency, as the refugee develops a dependency syndrome of being a burden on the hosting government, feeling paralyzed in motionless state as the time passes by. While the host community fears of the drainage of resources, and expects a lower level for services due to the new added pressure to its governments. Locals lose the same time as refugees not knowing about the potentials of the new arrivals, and the drive to prove them with the desire to repay the community.

Integration as a “Process”

Our perception of the word “Integration” is a more of process, built accumulatively , where different cultures meet, get to know each other by exploration and facts, then finding a common ground where the co-exist and benefit the common good. Based on our research, we believe that integration doesn’t happen through a single activity, being aware of the language isn’t efficient to create a healthy integration between the two parties. Integration becomes more real when people perceive each other in as equals, where mutual benefits can be exchanges. Our idea became more solid when the German government (which has received and accepted the largest number of refugees in the European Union) has announced its plan to have 2 millions skilled immigrants. The potential of refugees when seen as man power is limitless, if developed in early stages to fit in the local market. And who can do it better than the locals themselves. Our idea is bring this “Process” to a personal level, where the refugee can be seen as a person with skills on hold to be reactivated through the needs of the new context. The locals here play the main role of changing the misfortune, by removing the barriers of dependency and misconceptions, and build the relationship of social network based of what can benefit both parties.

The “Blue Ground”

Blue is the color of trust, a successful investment, and blue is the color of the permission of work for non citizens of the country. The concept of a blue ground is to build a platform to develop and benefit the skills of the refugee community through interaction with the local community based on service provided by a refugee and monitored by a specific committee. These points and the reviews data is shared with the job center to speedup the grant of the permission to work after being granted the asylum. This process is an early phase, helps prepare and ease the mission of job center, as the refugees are being prepared to work in the local context and conditions, learn the common conditions, intangible and unwritten codes of the
exist in the local community, through practice. The “BLUE GROUND” is process that involves the interaction of both local community and refugee community, each party have their own phases and steps, accessed through Portals. The process itself is monitored by recommended individuals from governments, NGOs and refugees who have resided in the country legally. This committee is also responsible to hold introductory events to talk about both refugees and locals about the process and blue ground

Portals of The Blue Ground

Online Application (Blue Ground)Accessed by both refugees and local community: you can know
- Services.- Social events- Education and Training. Local community:Meet the local refugees; rate the services they provide, and their knowledge of the common practice, and their respect and understanding of culture rules. Moreover, they can register as trainers or educators to help the refugee community.
Refugees: Register their skills and get points, the higher the rate, the more points and benefits they get. And get higher in the BLUE GROUND system. It also calculates the percentage of interaction with locals.
Kiosk: Since few people in host communities actually know refugees, with misconceptions. A portal for the local community to know about refugees from a distance, build a general view, where they know about their stories, start perceiving them as individuals with dreams, know about their skills and potential services in addition to register to know about the social events held to introduce the communities to each other . Moreover, it’s a meeting point, placed in the most active if you register to get a certain service from a refugee, you can meet the refugee in the public space and try the service.

Blue Car: The unfixed blue ground, moves through the city. A temporary platform, whena skilled refugee passed a certain count of points, he/she becomes eligible to provide service on demand. The car also works as a public advertisement, helping raise awareness about the potentials of the refugee community, and change the idea from a victimized object into a service provider. The car itself is old model, redesigned and appropriated by a team of refugees and locals to meet the needs of the profession, and fit the local context. The design executed also by locals and refugees in workshops, helping both parts to be engaged in a different process where they can produce a hybrid product the holds the success story based on the collaboration of the future community. The car is used at least by 4 refugees who have the same rating from the locals in the application, where they utilize their skills with the appropriated car, scheduled for each one of them. After the refugee gets the asylum status and gets his permission to work in the country, the car goes to another refugee who is building his skills and reputation.

Phases of The Blue Ground

The phases are designed separately for locals and refugees
Local Citizen:
Phase 1: Kiosk is the portal; the local wants to know about the refugee community in his town/city, their stories, what they can provide. Register his data to get a service and be able to rate the service of the refugee.
Phase 2: Rating: after the service was provided by the refugee, the local receives an email to rate the service provided, the level of communication, how professional was of the refugee, etc.. The local must submit a rate to get another free service (rating is a substituted for payment). The local also should rate a certain number of refugees before he can ask for a service provided by the blue car.
Phase 3: Being able work with the refugee as an investor, trainer or be a part of the conducted workshops. Moreover, provide a job opportunity for the refugee after being granted the blue card by the government.
Refugee:
Phase 1: after being introduced to the idea of blue ground: Application registration: the refugee registers main basic data, such as his name, his skills and the level of proficiency, his knowledge of the local language. Services he can provide.
Phase 2: meet and interact with locals whether through skills development sessions or providing service in the kiosk publicly. As The rating and the count of the locals he interacts with, and the level of the service he provides. Participatein the assembly of the car with other refugees and locals.
Phase 3: reaching a certain rating that allows him to provide his service through the car, with other refugees who have similar skills (or related). he still
can work till he gets his blue card.

Practice type: 
Services : 
Detailed Address: 

"ANYWHERE", EUROPE

Project status: 
Started
Work scope Details
RESEARCH Concept Design