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It’s only fair to say that cultural diversity is the most dominant factor of diversity in Dalian’s workshop, and that includes the Chinese vs. Australian education system alongside other factors such as ethnicity, gender and so on. The first thing that appeared clearly to me was the systematic way Chinese students wanted to work in. In each occasion they would prefer to break the group to smaller groups to achieve higher efficiency, which I think inspired me a lot.
During the ideation process, language diversity was a real obstacle, especially during brainstorming which, not only made it impossible for me to read their post-it-notes, but even when translated, we were differently not on the same page. Later, and during the 5 X 5 process, I had already believed in their technique of breaking the group into smaller groups and that helped a lot, but still, more communication was needed.
To be honest, due to this diversity, words are the only means that can deliver the idea, and often assisted with drawings. I, nevertheless, admit that diversity was most of the time a window that provided fresher ideas, at least from the others’ point of view, and what could seem like a dispute at first, is actually an opportunity for a unique addition during the ideation process.
(by Ahmad, April 25th 2012)