Castberggård II


Castberggård is a place for deaf and hearing-impaired people, in which they can develop various skills and also receive the necessary aid to be able to work among hearing people. Our case was the internal communication at Castberggård with a focus on the relationship between the employees. Since Castberggård is a center for deaf and hearing-impaired people the staff contains of both hearing and deaf people. The employees are trained in sign language, and are expected to use it during the day and especially in the breaks.

Read more about Castbjerggaard here.

The Case:

The case is to somehow strengthen the communication and create guidelines for the employees. This has not been handled successfully because of the different employee groups.

In addition to the written presentation of the problem, we met with two representatives from Castberggård to get a better understanding of the problem. In this meeting they added that one of the main problems were that the hearing employees did not use their hands even when speaking. This is a problem since the deaf people will not be able to understand the conversations. Also the hearing people do not want to offend any of the deaf people by having a private conversation in front of them, as it could be misinterpreted and lead to them feeling left out and the conversation being about them. We understood this as the main issue and we continued working with the mentality of investigating how the different groups understood each other and experienced working at Castberggård.

Groupmembers Group 30:

Ena Zolovic

Lykke Baden Lindberg

Michael Stender

Tímea Matyóka

Troels Dalgård Danielsen

Prior to the visit at Castberggård
Our preparations prior to the visit included making a questionnaire and an interview for the headmaster. To keep track of our own understanding of the problem, we decided to write down our own assumptions about what to expect at the visit. These thoughts were not discussed as such but a reminder to the individual to reflect upon. A group assumption was that we would not be able to understand all of the employees at Castberggård. To make sure that we would get a uniform data pile we made the questionnaire. We expected that the headmaster would be able to introduce a different perspective on the entire organization and the employees and we wanted to be able to investigate those perspectives, which lead us to prepare a separate interview. Besides interviewing we also did observations of the surroundings to understand the environment at Castberggård. We documented this with pictures and video recordings which proved helpful later on in the process.

Interview Methods
It was important that the questions in the questionnaire did not to differentiate between deaf and hearing people. Therefore we made one questionnaire for all employees. As we wanted elaborative descriptions of the problem in their perspective, the questions were open and could not be answered with “yes” or “no”. We encouraged for longer answers by implying that they should also explain why they answered as they did. This reasoning also influenced the interview for the headmaster.
Although we had expectations for how the day would go, all the prepared methods were changed when we were at Castberggård.
We had an interpreter for an hour and the questionnaire was used as an interview-guide and we were able to have a dialogue with some of the deaf employees. Hereafter we continued to interview the hearing employees with the same method. We have promised our respondents that they would be a 100 percent anonymous, which made them feel safe in order to share their point of view.
As previously mentioned we wanted a uniform data pile, and we decided that only one person should conduct all the interviews. We conducted several interviews and they were all recorded by Dictaphone and Video. These data were later used to analyze the condition of the community and communication in order to find one or more solutions which could help to solve the origin of the case. Besides discussing the issues we felt was highlighted in the interview. We used the Sandbox method to get a deeper understanding of the problem.

Understanding the problem

Sandbox Method

The Sandbox method was used to highlight the problems which were found during the analysis of the case. The idea behind the Sandbox method is that random objects are chosen, based on intuition, from a large amount of figures and placed inside a sandbox until every group member is satisfied and do not feel the need to add any other objects.

Afterwards the figures and objects were discussed in relation to their symbolic meaning and the case issue and our new understanding of Castberggård. We found this to be a struggle at first, but after the exercise was over, we saw the problem in a new light.

Figure text: This is the sandbox of Group 30’s Castberggaard Case. The kaleidoscope with a rock on the top symbolizes the employees main wish but there is a “rock” blocking the road towards this this goal(the case).Two ladies turning away from each other symbolizes both parts of the community(Deaf and non-deaf) have problems which have to be solved in order for them to reach the common goal.

We decided not to choose the Ouroboro circle because our case is not about finding the problem for or in a product and then solve it by making a better usability. Our case is about the human as an individual and the atmosphere at the workplace. Therefore we chose to make interviews with the employees and work on possible solutions according to the facts we found out. It took some time to cover and analyze all the data, but the very first time we got the case, it was obvious to see that some of the problem areas they tried to solve already but they didn’t success.

Force-field Analysis
Because of the promise of anonymity, we met a challenge in presenting the issues to the client. In this case we consulted one of our lectures, who provided a useful method called force-field analysis. The method made it possible for us to start a dialogue and get an understanding of how Castberggård would welcome a solution to the varies issues showcased.
At the meeting the client was presented with a paper that was divided in two columns; ‘’hearing” and “deaf’’. Underneath was written a selection of the problem areas that could be related to the specific employee-group. We had designed it so the issues could be connected as opposites between the two groups. In collaboration with the client we decided on the focus points for the upcoming solution. We came up with three focus points and we moved on to generate ideas for the solution.

During the first week we generated ideas, but understood that it is not the time to develop them yet. But after the second meeting we had narrowed down the issue. Individually we thought up ideas and presented them for each other. Hereafter we chose to use brainstorming as we wanted to evolve the different ideas we had come up with and in that way see it in a new light. When all the ideas had been developed we discussed which of them, would have a higher chance of solving the issue. Four ideas were chosen.

We were advised to start testing our ideas and were presented to the bodystorming technique. This method we did not use as we believe the issues at hand was of emotional nature and therefore difficult to act out. Although we did get an understanding of this when we made the video sketches. We had several discussions about how to portray the issue and in a way that would not seem inappropriate.
Video sketches
To demonstrate the solutions to the client we decided to make four video sketches. They were illustrated by storyboard before the recording began. We used stop-motion, acting, and a greenscreen to make the videos. For example we acted out several scenes in front of a greenscreen with the intention of editing the recording to make it look like the scene took place at Castberggård. We sought to visually connect the solution to Castberggård. The solutions we came up with are casually listed below in the sketch form.

  Team building

The teambuilding solution was created to get the employees to talk about a specific topic. We illustrated this with acting and creating a scenario of how our solution could change the workplace.
The idea is that the employees are put into groups, which will be made up of both deaf and non-deaf. They will have four weeks to prepare a staff meeting. Their presentation can contain of either teambuilding exercises or a presentation about a topic they feel they want to share. In this way we are hoping to mingle the two groups and make them unite and work together. Hopefully this will lead to a happy workplace where the employees can interact without feeling shy about their language skills. We believe if the employees feel comfortable with each other it will be more acceptable to make mistakes in sign language.
The video shows two employees leaving work in a frustrated manner. It influences them in their private homes. The frustration leads to the lack of interaction at the workplace. Although we do not know if the employees feel frustrated leaving work, we wanted to portray it that way to create a more divided before-and-after image. We decided to make the video mute so that the sounds would not disrupt from the written text.

Hands up

We chose to make a figure, which would remind people to keep their hands up. Therefore we created a mouse with guns in his hands, so that he looked like a sheriff pointing at you with the guns to make you aware. We thought by creating this mouse with guns would make sense in our case, because deaf people speak with their hands up. After all a natural cultural reaction would normally be to raise your hands up, when you are being pointed at with guns.

The entire concept with the mouse is that the mouse should work as a mascot for Castberggaard. We are thinking that there should be pictures, posters, toys for children and so forth, so that the mouse becomes a natural part and when you see it you’ll be reminded to keep your hands up because the deaf communicate with their hands.
All in all we have tried to make this understanding of using your hands at Castberggaard more obvious in a more fun and easy-to-understand way.

Tools to talk

This short video illustrates the lack of knowledge in sign language at Castberggård. Therefore people feel uncomfortable to use it. This cause bad communication and connection between the employees. Our idea is that the management should provide an application which provides the aid to search for a word in sign language in order to raise the communication into another level and create a better atmosphere at Castberggård.


This video was made with the stop-motion technique and voiceover. The idea behind the video was to make the employees feel secure to share their concerns or appreciation about the workspace. We decided to make it as an exercise for all of the employees to do at the same time. This would encourage all employees to write something, and also avoiding the situation of a single note in the box, that later on could be traced back to the specific employee.

Concept “The Final Solution”

When the four video sketches were presented to the client we discussed how the employee group would welcome them. We planned to show the videos one by one and then discuss it. It seemed to be difficult for the client to discuss it in that way. So we decided to show all the videos in a row and afterwards discuss them. In this way we could compare the solutions. For example the video “Tools to talk” made the client talk about the original problem and how that specific video did not cover it entirely. In that way we began to discuss the videos individually and put them into perspective in relation to each other. In this way it was easier to pinpoint what worked in the other solutions, and what did not.
As the different solutions could be combined into a bigger concept we chose to go forth with two of the solutions: “The Cultural Quotes” and “The Teambuilding” idea. These were developed and combined into one final video.
In this final solution we want to present the final idea, and the thoughts about why we chose to design it, like we did. The premises for the concept, was as earlier mentioned to raise awareness to the different employees at Castberggård. This awareness is about the fact that different cultures are presented and that they should respect each other. It is not about understanding a culture; it is about the fact that you can accept the differences between cultures. We made this concept to try and loosen the barrier between the two cultures and to find common ground for them to meet on.
In the beginning of the movie we see The Planet Earth, followed by a various amount of possible contrasts in. We do this, to begin in a large perspective to understand how the definition of a culture and contrasts can be seen as a historical theme. So the fact that cultures clashes in misunderstanding is not an unknown issue, and we want to show, how we believe we can solve it.
We then narrow down our perspective, to our case at Castberggård to dig a little deeper into the matter of the main issue.
We then illustrate (or at least tries to) the overwhelming experience it was for us, to visit an organization for hearing-impaired people. The feedback we received from the interviews gave information and an insight in the environment, that we had not imagined we would get.
We then present the concept that we made from working with the information we received in collaboration with Castberggård.
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