Castberggaard I

Who is our client, what do they do and what do they want?

Our client, Castberggaard (CBG), is an institution helping people with all different kinds of hearing loss, whether it’s being completely deaf or being hard of hearing (HH) to some degree. At their institute they have a school, conference center, holiday facilities and even a job centre. Our task is only related to their job centre. We have to help them bring their knowledge about people with hearing disabilities to the job centres throughout the country. More specifically:

“Our goal is to prepare job centre employees better to meet citizens with a hearing loss so that the employees have a basic knowledge of the challenges that may be related to this in order to navigate and act fast and in line with the situation, these people find themselves in”.

Read more about Castberggaard


Final week - conceptualizing

Monday was spent refining the sketches. We decided to also make a powerpoint presentation to support our verbal presentation. We wanted to appear professional when presenting, to increase the possibilities of the case owners to buy into our ideas. In the very last slide of the presentation, we wrote “Let’s co-create!”, encouraging them to help us combine and refine ideas. After the presentation the case owners were giving the opportunity to discuss their first impressions of the presentation without us interfering. We did this for two reasons; primarily because one of the case owners doesn’t speak english, so we wanted to give her the opportunity to speak her mind without her having to feel uncomfortable due to the language issues. The second reason was that we wanted to let them, as a group, discuss and clarify their impressions and opinions. Afterwards we joined the discussion to clarify whatever questions they had, and to discuss the possibilities of the presented ideas. Some of the ideas were quickly taken off the table, and some were combined in order to meet the case owner’s preferences.

We ended up decided on proceeding with a refined version of The Suitcase. Roughly said, the idea is to equip CBG with suitcases filled with helping equipment for handling HH people. Castberggaard ambassadors will travel around visiting the Danish Job Centres to hand out the (free) suitcases and talk about its possibilities. In the suitcase is:
- A set of VR Googles
...for attending CBG seminars and/or for playing Spot a hearing-disability games.
- A Reverse Hearing Aid
...for getting the sensation of being HH/deaf.
- A Question Board
....a tool for visualizing procedures and questions at meetings with hearing disabled people at the Job Centre. The Board should also remind and help the participants to summarize whatever they’ve talked about at the meeting.
- A Castberggaard Certificate
...for letting HH people know, that the employee at the Job Centre is qualified to helping people with hearing disabilities.
- An simple manual for using the suitcase

Based on their experience, the case owners suggested that the initial presentation of The Suitcase in the Job Centers should be held as a seminar rather than at exclusive meetings. Therefore we drew inspiration from the business industry, and integrated an increasingly popular method/appeal - the Lunch Meeting. In The Suitcase Concept, the Lunch Meeting would allow the Job Centre employees to meet as a group, and hear and experience The Suitcase together. Also it would be a way for CBG to stand out from other organisations, who are interested in the Job Centre employee’s time.
Other small corrections were made before we began the filming of our concept video. We decided that we wanted our concept video to be both informing and funny, in order to trying to make handling hearing impaired citizen exciting and appealing. To achieve this, we did an action/agent themed concept video. The video will be used at the presentation to the case owners, but could also be used (e.g. in an email) as initial contact from Castberg to the Job Centres. In the concept video, this is represented with the golden email/paper plain. Wednesday was spent filming clips for the concept video, which we finished editing on thursday. To support our concept video presentation, we made a slideshow with keywords and pictures - hoping that we get our idea communicated clearly and appealing enough to satisfy our clients.


The designprocess is consisted of varies parts of gathering data, analyzing it and getting new perspective. Our process is written in chronological order, as seen here:

Collecting Data
Analyzing data

Object Theatre
Design Fiction
Video sketching the top 5 ideas with storyboards in stop motion

Collecting data
On the first day of U-CrAc we had a meeting with Maria, who is a communication worker at CBG. The purpose of the meeting was to gain more knowledge about the scale of the problem, what the challenges are when handling deaf and HH people, which local initiatives they have done already, and which basic knowledge they want to give to the job centres.

From the interview we learned about the local initiatives they have done so far, and the problems with these:
  • Castberggaard have tried to send out paper folders to the job centers about handling deaf and hard hearing people - without great effect. They believe the reasons could be:
    • The focus on the prices on the courses they offer
    • The folders are being read and forgotten - or not being read at all
CBG have conducted an Education Day for job centre employees. The purpose was to give them a better understanding of what it is like to have a hearing disability, how to communicate to people with hearing disabilities etc. The event had a great effect, however:
  • It’s time consuming for both parties - a lot of planning and it takes a whole day, which not all job centers have the time for. A consequence of this were:
    • 20 job centers were contacted but only 25 people from these centers participated - some centers were not even represented.
    • The knowledge gets “lost”: job centers have a lot of turn-overs and therefore employees with the knowledge might be moved to another area or simply change jobs.
After the meeting a general understanding of CBG’s problems was somewhat forming. Maria sent us a lot of different materials they had conducted at CBG: Video interviews with workplaces that has an employee with a hearing disability, an interview with about how CBG helps deaf and HH people getting jobs, and a quistionarie regarding the expirience that employees from the job centres had gotten from the Education Day.
All of these materials gave us a broader understanding of CBG’s perspectives, but we needed more empirical material to get other perspectives of the problem in order to confirm/disconfirm the knowledge we had gotten so far.

On day 2 we went to Rebild Kommune’s job centre, which have cooperated with CBG, to interview Marianne and her colleague Kirsten to get their perspective and know about their procedures.


To summarize the output of these interview we learned the following:

  1. People with hearing problems generally comes forth with it, however some doesn’t at it affects the communication.

  2. There are not many unemployed deaf / hard at hearing people in Rebild Kommune, she estimated about 10 in this category - and when encountered with one they have gotten help from CBG.

  3. Getting help from CBG isn’t always succesful in relation to get a job for a client, due to CBG's limitied knowledge of jobs geographical far away from them.

  4. Meeting with CBG have given Marianne a clearer understanding of how to communicate with deaf / HH-people.

  5. There is a need for more information about how to deal with deaf and especially HH-people, when the situation is current.

  6. Generally there is a huge problem even to get businesses to listen when you explain to them that you have a candidate who has a hearing problem - the job center is met with much apprehensive from the employers. Only few “dares” to take the social responsibility.

  7. The job centers have to treat every citizen the same - whether you have a disability or not. However, a you can get an interpreter if needed.

  8. There’s no official sharing of knowledge of this (or similar) subjects, so it is often word-of-mouth.

We felt it was important to physically visit Castberggaard to experience the deaf and hard of hearing culture first hand. We have only been told about it and want to experience it for ourselves.

Visiting Castberggaard - autoetnographic description

On wednesday morning four of the group members went to CBG. While discussing everything during the car ride, it became clear that the company is quite far away from any bigger or even smaller city. Reaching it by car was easy but still very inconvenient for others that have to use public transport.
To make sure that we document almost every step, we filmed as much as possible. We were seated in a lounge-like area and told that Maria was going to pick us up in a few minutes.

Having to wait, gave us the opportunity to look around and get a better understanding of how CBG is set up. The place was very spacious and bright but cozy in the same time. It had posters and folders on every wall, informing the visitors about events, courses and other offers from CGB.
After a quick coffee, Maria came and took us to lunch. It is quite a different experience to be in a lunchroom, when half of the people in the room are deaf or HH. The sound level is much lower and we got the chance to observe people interacting. It was helpful in order for us to really understand, what CBG is. While eating we had a short chat with Maria about the facilities at CBG.
After lunch we split into two groups. Half of us participated in a class led by CBG employee, Jeanette. Jeanette spoke about her personal problems with hearing loss. Also participating was five HH people and two translators, who typed in every word, that was spoken in the the room. Each participator had a tablet, on which the written translation appeared. To make sure the participants understood every word, they also had a microphone each, attached to a hearing aid. So they had both speech, mics, hearing aids, translators and written text in order to secure the flow of the communication. That’s quite a lot! It made us understand just how difficult it really is - you can’t just speak louder.

The other two group members started interviewing one of the employees who was deaf himself. As the interview started, the journalist was initially confused. “Where to look at? Shall I look at the translator or Michael (the deaf guy)?”.
Talking to Michael was an experience itself. Even though one of us had a little experience before, it was a totally new situation. Thanks to his translator, there needed. Since all interview were held in danish instead of english, it was frustrating to only stand next to it and basically just take care of the camera. However that was not quite the case with Michaels interview.

Hereby it was highly interesting to watch a totally different type of communication between two people. Because we are so used to talking and listening to others, it is amazing how much you can say with sign and body language, plus how fast their hands can move. Of course we should probably know or at least understand in a way that, if it is possible to talk fast, it is self-explainable that if your hands are your communication channel, they are as trained as ones mouth.
Michael confirmed most of what Maria had told us before. At the end we got another perspective on the whole case. Then we had two more talks with the people working in the center which helped to broaden our currently narrow minded way of thinking.

During the whole visit everybody noticed this awkward and disturbing silence wandering around the place. Even people who were able to hear were acting quiet so that being in one room you could for instance hear water droplets falling in the kitchen.

The whole visit was fascinating. We did not necessarily uncover much more data about our topic, but it was a unique and eye-opening experience to see the interactions and different forms of communication these special clients use to perform their everyday tasks. By visiting CBG, we were able to get a massive new perspective that we would have otherwise missed.

Data Analysis
Thursday morning we began by meeting at our table to discuss the field work of the previous day. We had conducted six interviews in total. We interviewed Maria from CBG, Marianne from Rebild Kommune’s job centre, Kirsten, who’s also from Rebild Kommune’s job centre, Kis from CBG who works as a hearing consultant, Michael a deaf employee from CBG, and Carsten from CBG who works as a job consultant.
Our first goal was to analyze all of the information from each of the interviews and share it with each other. This first task already proved difficult because we are an international group and only one out of six interviews were conducted in English. The Danish students in the group did a great job translating the information from the interviews and shared it on Google documents. However, it was very time consuming.

We wanted to take this new information and put it into something visual that we could touch and move with our hands. We initially agreed on five main themes in which the information could be categorized and created five columns on a chalk board capturing these themes.

These themes were:

  1. Job centers and future employers not understanding the struggles of a deaf/hearing impaired person

  2. Job centers not wanting information from CBG

  3. General lack of knowledge about CBG

  4. Deaf/HH people not being aware of the tools/techniques available for them to help themselves in the work place

  5. The job center employee turnover rate

We wrote all of the problems we found from the interviews on post-it notes and stuck them to the chalk board under their corresponding themes. This allowed us to really see and discuss the issues CBG is facing and gave us the chance to move the ideas around as needed. We created a sixth theme called “Local Initiatives” to show some of the ideas CBG already tried, but had little to no success with as well.

Afterwards we had a general of understanding of the problems that CBG, the job centers and the hearing impaired people face. However, it was somewhat difficult to have an overview of how each group's issues were connected to one and another.
We learned about the Ouroboros tool, which might had been able to help us sketch out the a timeline, but as we had different groups and still wasn't sure where to begin, we chose not to use it at this stage of the process. We were running short on time and decided to maybe use it in a later stage of the project to help us plan our solution rather than discussing back and forth between which group to begin with. Instead we laid all our eggs in one basket, hoping the object theatre method would prove useful.

Object Theatre
On friday our group attended the lecture on the 3D Sandboxes. Using this method, the group (silently) place all sorts of figures in a sandbox in order to trying to visualize each member’s individual understanding of the case with its barriers. Afterwards the group discuss the different ways the members have expressed themselves, in order to rearrange and create a clear and common understanding of the case. It was a very new and abstract concept to most of us, but we were very eager and motivated to try this new method. We used two sandboxes situated directly next to each other.

At first we had a lot of objects in our sandboxes. There were many clusters of objects with very little space or empty areas of just sand. We worked very hard to discuss the possible themes our unconscious minds were trying to show us. This was quite difficult at first; we mostly explained to each other why we purposely put the objects where we put them.
Then Anette came by to help us. After we explained our case to her, she began her own interpretation of our sandbox as an expert on the 3D sandbox method. She saw a lot things that were not so apparent to us. This really helped us to come together and see some themes and issues we had not seen before. After she left our group to help others, we had some further group discussion and assigned meaning to each cluster of objects and all of their interactions. It was almost mind blowing to see what had developed from a seemingly random process!

We also decided to “clean up” our sandboxes while keeping all of the meaning. We did this by replacing large clusters of objects with many meanings, with just one object and adding just a couple smaller objects to represent the different meanings. This gave us a lot of room to express actual physical and figurative space between the different groups and really accentuate the barriers that we needed to break for our client, CBG.

Planning our second meeting with Maria

When we discussed how to make a video to present our findings to our client, we actually decided to present our sandbox instead. We really liked how well these seemingly random objects could represent our ideas. We were also hoping to get our client to interact with the sandbox and move the objects herself to show how it could be better.
Since we decided to use the Sandbox as our presentation tool, we putted the figures back into their places and started preparing, what we would exactly say. We wanted to make ourselves clear when explaining the content of the sandboxes, since it can be quite abstract and hard to fully grasp. We made small signs with bullet points that we would place in the sand as we were explaining. This way, Maria would be able to remember the most important things we said, and not get totally confused and distracted by our very creative way of expressing ourselves.
We decided that we wanted to encourage Maria to ask questions, correct our presentation or even rearrange the figures in our sandboxes. To ensure this to happen, we made sure to include her during the presentation by asking her: “does this sound right to you?”, “does this look right to you?”, or “how would you have placed this figure differently?”. The goal was to invite her to co-create a better and more precise understanding of the case. After preparing our speeches we rehearsed one time, before Maria arrived.

It the meeting Maria kept agreeing with us, even though we asked her to freely move objects and ask questions. She kept saying that everything is understandable and that she had nothing to add. This was a bit disappointing for us, since we hoped to get a bit more out of her.

Reflecting on the sandbox meeting

After meeting with Maria on monday afternoon, we discussed the outcome of the meeting. The sandbox method turned out to be an efficient way of explaining and visualizing our understanding of the case. Since Maria agreed with our comments concerning both barriers and possibilities, we were ready to begin phase two; finding solutions.

Phase two: Finding solutions

Phase two was kicked off on tuesday with a solution brainstorm. First we presented our individual ideas, that had occurred during the research phase. Then we discussed the ideas in order to develop, refine and combine into new and better solutions. In this phase we tried our best to keep an open mind in order to avoid limiting the creative process. According to Steve Pugh (1990) when entering the sketching phase, one should open up to new inputs rather than continuing narrowing the focus. We had some difficulties deciding which part of the problem to focus on when finding a solution, since there are multiple areas in which CBG, the Job Centre and the deaf and HH people could/should act differently. The process/time oriented Ouroboro model helped us include and illustrate the time aspect of the communication process. This method was not used in it’s full extent in this phase, but primarily for supporting discussing ideas.

Design Fiction
With the outcome of the solution brainstorm in mind, we used a method, which was presented to us by Peter Vistisen (2013) in the lecture on design fiction. width="272"

We filled out the Lessons, Necessities and Dragons fields with our results from the research phase, and based on those, we came up with scenarios (“what ifs”) for the Possibilities field. Many of the scenarios were already discussed in the solution brainstorm, but using this method, we could actually see whether or not our ideas could accommodate the needs. From using this method, we chose the five best ideas. We kept in mind, that the solution had to be desirable (Buchanan, 2011) - especially since this case includes barriers such as taboos and the fact that many of the people involved doesn’t realize the extent of the problem.

Video sketching the top 5 ideas with storyboards in stop motion
The top five ideas were sketched out using storyboards, which would be the basis for video sketching. Video sketching is a tool we use, when introducing and explaining the possible solutions to Maria. It is a creative tool for exploring ideas, simulating new technology and allowing users to experience technology or situations that does not yet exist. When presenting, video is a powerful communication tool, enabling you to share results, discuss ideas and envision future designs.

On wednesday we had a lecture on video sketching, preparing us to edit videos in Premiere Pro. We were introduced to both working with green screen and stop motion. The group decided on using stop motion, since it seemed like an easier and faster way of describing our specific solutions. The stop motion video sketch is a raw way of expressing ideas, but it is sufficiently detailed in order to make our ideas come to life. When sketching one should keep in mind, that the higher fidelity - the lower flexibility. Low fidelity allows reframing, since the ideas are presented only as ideas - and not finished, and thereby static, concepts.

After the lecture on video sketching, we started doing the clippings for the stop motion. We used the storyboards to identify which elements to include in the video. When thursday came, we split up in groups; one group working on the reflection texts for, and one group arranging scenes and taking pictures for the stop motion video, which we would continue working on friday. As we edited the video sketches, we wanted to make sure the clips were simple and clear in order to communicating our ideas properly. It required more supporting texts, than we originally expected - but it wasn’t until monday, when we saw the results of friday’s work, we understood just how esoteric the presentations were.

Idea 1: The Suitcase
Idea 2: The Scanner
Idea 3: The Website
Idea 4: The Webinar
Idea 5: The Education Day online

Idea 1: The suitcase

An hearing impaired person, who works with CBG, travels to the job centers of Denmark with a suitcase filled varies tech-stuff, to teach the employees how it is to be hearing impaired and how to take care of a hearing impaired person. This service is free of charge, the employee gets the needed knowledge, the necessary tools and a certificate from CBG.

Idea 2: The Scanner

Peter is out of a job, he is hearing impaired on his right ear and doesn't know, if he should tell the job center he's on his way to as he's concerned with how it impacts his chances of getting a job. At the job center a scanner scans you to detect if you have any physical problems, and that information is being shown to Peter and being shared with his job consultant. His job consultant now knows that Peter has a hearing problem, she can take that into consideration when speaking with Peter and verbalize his concerns about being limited in his job search due to his hearing problem.

Idea 3: The Website

Imagine a website related to, where you can get testimonials from hard of hearing and deaf persons, how they experience scenarios from their every day life which can make you empathize with the life of being hearing impaired. Now, also imagine if you could play a game where you can experience how it is to be deaf / hard hearing in 1st person and through that get another layer of insight to the difficulties a hearing disabled person goes endures every day.

Idea 4: The Webinar

The job center employee can from his office attend the CBG-Webinar. All he needs is his computer, internet connection and a headset and he's ready to go! With other job centers from around the country attending, a consultant at CBG is presenting his knowledge about how to help hard of hearing people and the "class" can ask quistions in a chat window, either in text form or with the headset. It's easy to access, you get the needed knowledge and it is less time-consuming than going to CBG.

Idea 5: The Education Day online

The job center employee can from his office attend the CBG-Education Day online on a website. All he needs is his computer, internet connection and a headphones and he's ready to go! On the website he can see a video about what happens at Castberggaard at education day, see what is going on at Casterggaard on an everyday basis and how it helps the deaf and hard of hearing people. Afterwards you are a presented with facts about being hard of hearing / deaf, some good advices and also an option if you need more info, you can contact CBG for free.
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