New to a city
How can Design help overcoming the current refugee-crisis?
Ask’m is an app for people new to Munich. (Munich is a placeholder for other cities here.) It’s an app for everyone who find themselves in a totally new surrounding and want to know more about this alien city which is now their home.
Video: What is Ask’m?
Exactly the same feeling don’t only exists in residents who recently moved in, coming from a different city, but also refugees often feel this way. Looking for an answer to the question “How can Design contribute to solving the current global refugee crisis?”, within three weeks the concept for this app was developed. An application that treats refugees not like they are fleeing, but like they are simply newcomers to a city. The concept describes a platform which can a be basis for a community that doesn’t make a difference between someone who is new to a city and someone who fled their old home.
Working on this short term project was very exciting and inspiring at the same time. We learned a lot about remote-collaboration, because we mostly worked together from different places. This also later inspired the topic of my Bachelor Thesis. Despite all trouble, we created a convincing project within only three weeks that only waits for its implementation.
I was very much surprised when I spent more time on the topic, beyond reading the news. Obviously there is so much work still to be done to integrate refugees in a kind and meaningful way and be able to properly welcome them, depending on their situation and capabilities. Contradictory, there is already such an amount of ideas, work and projects going on to mitigate the problems at hand and to create a better situation for helpers and refugees, trying to make the best of the situation. Still, refugees drown or are sent to “safe third countries” where the threat for them is as imminent as in their home countries. In the end, the refugee crisis is not a problem of absent humanity, missing zest for action or fear of investment. It is a homemade, political problem rooting in structures that are based on an ancient view of the world.