BX5 Job // How is communication affected by diversity?

Communication is effected by diversity in many ways. The obvious effect is language barriers. These language barriers may be linguistic but could also be professional terminology, cultural communication methods and also communication subtleties.

Different disciplines might communicate in different ways for example architects will often communicate via drawings where as engineers might communicate with tabular data. Coming to grips with these different methods can be challenging but also refreshing. I find that I often work with drawings when working with designers and i find this more fun than verbal communication. There are numerous forms of communication that each individual will mix together to create an effective dialogue. New forms of communication such as 3D design are becoming more prevalent. Everyone understands pictures so this is very effective thought not everyone understands how to create using these tools so some might feel inadequate or even slowed down by a process that can be involved.

Which communication method predominates is an interesting question. Verbal communication is generally the starting point. Some may feel more confident with particular forms of communication and will generally default to these methods.

Various blockages were experienced in our communication as a result of our diversity. These were overcome by experimenting with various forms of communication and working with what people are feeling comfortable with.


How is ideation affected by diversity BZ4 Job Wallis

Ideation is effected by diversity in many ways. Various forms of ideation will be more acceptable to some cultures rather than others. Brainstorming was not such a familiar experience to our Chinese friends though they warmed to this process with a small amount of encouragement.

Diversity of culture, background and demographics is good for ideation as it will generate a more diverse set of ideas. I love to work in diverse teams as this generates a greater set of ideas. When different ideas come together they can be mashed together. This fires off new ideas that did not exist before. Hyrbid ideas like this are very satisfying for me because they come out of the process of generating ideas within a diverse set of participants. These ideas would not be borne of individuals working alone.

Linguistic diversity can hamper ideation due to language barriers. Often simplification or translation is needed. This can also be a benefit as it requires rephrasing of a concept that in itself can fire off new ideas. Ethnic diversity of ideas can also create a larger set of concepts though this may require more work to work toward a common understanding and an agreed upon result. It was interesting in China working with Aishlee who was from Mongolia. It was noted that she thought a little bit differently from her Chinese counterparts. This was good to see diversity of thought amongst the Chinese students.

There was tension in our group between male and female members at times feeling that they were not being heard. This mixed with different cultural back grounds to create a challenging issue.

AX3 Job Wallis Communication & Intensity

Intensity can effect communication in many ways. Some good, some not so good. We upped our intensity levels by using techniques such as five by fives and also brainstorming. These techniques utilise intensity to try and create fast ideation. Parameters such as short time frame allow participants to get their ideas flowing fast. We had to come up with a short TV advertisements in a short amount of time. This level of intensity allowed for spontaneity and fast ideas to be utilised. We also had to create models of our proposed site in a very short amount of time. Intensity allows participants to come up with many untested and unsorted ideas. Although all of these ideas may not make the cut in the final analysis but do allow for many ideas to be put forward. This process can be a lot of fun because people tend to drop the quality filter and let ideas flow.

Intensity can take form of time, communication and output.

Communication takes on a different form during periods of intensity. Many ideas need to be expressed. This can also take on a different level of difficulty when language and cultural barriers are introduced. Sometimes subtleties of communication can be missed and only the core comes through. Body language becomes more intense in times of pressure. Facial expressions are read to understand levels of intensity and we can adjust expectations and task assignments based on this type of feedback.

I found working with our Chinese friends we experienced different levels of intensity. We took responsibility for more of the ideation and creation of themes where as our architecture friends took more responsibility for the delivery of the designs. This meant that our intensity dropped off just before the delivery but their levels increased.


CY2 State Change & Representation Job Wallis

Moving between states extends the boundaries of our experience and ideas in ways as far and wide as the state changes experienced.
Representation is effected by state change in as much as our perceptions are shaped by different experiences and the way they are communicated (represented)

We witness changes in styles and/or methods of representation when we change states. We move from ideation and curiosity to questions to translated interview to written and/or recorded word to discussion to poster to presentation and back to more discussion. These discussions will result in more lines of enquiry and further ideation. It is amazing to think of the path way of ideas. Ideas are powerful and dynamic. This dynamism is amazing to actually track throughout days like this. 
Representations that came as a surprise today included translation, model editing, photo gaffs, model creation and translation errors.
The major state change in representation that hit me today was my change in perception of class differences in China when explained to me by a local. The fact that residents will not mix with factory workers was a shock to me in what i (naively) thought was an egalitarian society.
The collective creativity of our team has evolved to appreciate each other model making, translation, language and clarity of skills.
Today during our interviews understanding changed throughout the process of watching, listening, and translation. Making sense of the conversations that took place through conversations changed based on the translation received.
Today i experienced more convergence than divergence based on fact finding.
Tonights presenations seemed to be converging on facts and truths and confirmations that seemed to paint a reality of the situation which contrasted with earlier ideation and outlandish technology speculation.

Read more: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/u.lab-in-dalian/1/1335305595/tpod.html#ixzz1wDU4v3gl

BX 1 Diversity and Communication

Diversity effects communication in myriad form.

Diversity of experience, ethnicity, culture, language, discipline, age and gender make for a wider array of creative ideas to draw upon. Individuals express themselves and their creativity based on their unique viewpoint of their world. When those individuals are combined in a team the diversity of thought and creativty is increased to the power of the number of individuals within that team. When those team members come from diverse backgrounds then this idea power is increased again.

This is not to say that this diversity does not come without challenges. Difference in background may also create barriers of language, preconception, assumption and acceptance. Though when we look at what barriers exist between us and others most people will aim to dissolve these to great greater communication. We come together over what connects us and then learn to bridge differences.

Communication methods may differ from diverse backgrounds so exploring these differences is revealing in and of itself.

Methods that worked for us today were 

language translation, 

finding common life themes (food, family and passions)



Communication is shaped by languange, common ground, familiarity, intimacy, humour and shared experience.

Numerous modes of communication develop, gestures, changes in complexity, simplification, finding essentials, descriptions. We sometimes find that subjects that are banal amongst closer friends and associates are revealing and bonding with others.”Do you have pets?”

Collective creativity is enhanced by diversity as groups share others expereience, findings and insights.

In relation to our site diversity has influenced our communication enabling greater penetration of issues. Diversity of experience and culture has enabled our Chinese friends to deliver to us investigative outcomes  regarding our site that would not have been available to us. Max was able to overcome as much possible language barriers by use of translation. Our background in design thinking enabled us to assist our team members in feeling more at ease with rapid ideation. Their expereinces led us to feel more in touch with the site.

The progress of our team has and will be challenged by our diverse backgrounds but with greater diversity of backgrounds also comes greater diversity of problem understanding and solutions.

Typically communication improves amongst team members as they come to a greater understanding of each others and begin to empathize.



In the first day in Dalian, I’ve got the meaning of intensive and at the last day I’ve leant a lot from intensive.


Ideation — I’ve thought about it at the beginning of the workshop and now. I’ve found something different. It’s really helpful via experiencing an intensive workshop and ideation had appeared in these five days. Actually, those ideas that generated via workshop are not all related to our project itself.        What we found mostly are about communication and about how to do a fast teamwork without words.


A preparation of project should be done before the teamwork. The Chinese explanations of words “stakeholder” and “empathy” really speed up our 5×5 because there is not exact word in Chinese to translate the word. What I suggested is giving some word explanations before we run 5×5 if it is really professional or it will be run via different languages.


Table facilitators need to be professional. I’d like to see all the table facilitators just say few words and quickly find team leaders in each group. We cannot give personal ideas when we perform a table facilitator. Actually a professional training might be useful while running 5×5 in different occasions. Languages and professional vocabularies will affect the quality of communication and communications are the essence of 5×5.


Ideation will continue even our 5×5 is not perfect now. We need do some improvement in the orient of being professional. 



Teamwork is a test for communication. Every team member has to let others know their ideas and let the others accept those ideas. So, because of the barrier of languages, diversity of all the factors mentioned gives us chances to communicating well. When the talk comes to a new depth, defects show at the same time.

During the process of prototyping and testing, some factors, such as life background and culture contribute creativities. Otherwise some defects display at the same time. The process of communication is a process of finding talents. The nature of lead, act and writing will display soon. Some defects such as ego-centric will appear at the same time. How to make a team works as a team and how to avoid quarrel and waste other talents is a very important skill.

A rich life background will be the Lubricant between team members while talking. A person who could help the team working smoothly is the key to success.



A successful project needs talents; a mature project needs harmony, trust and tolerance.


P.S.: On the side of talent, girls in our team are all good at drawings, either on computer or by hands. Sometimes Job needs me to translate some from girls’ ideas and I can’t do it very well because it’s so fast while changing in 2 languages. The slow translating between girls and Job will annoy both sides. Girls’ drawings help a lot when talking and it also help to generate new ideas. That means personal talent will not directly influence teamwork but have effect on communications, which is another lubricant somehow.