design thinking initiatives for a better urban life
This past week we had the opportunity to visit the Villa Victoria housing project in South End. From multiple talks, we learned that the former mostly Puerto Ricans community has changed over time to a more diverse demography. What used to be a purely Puerto Rican community now has a big Chinese community and other Hispanic ethnics. Some of the questions raised by this visit were:
How can you reduce segregation?
How can we create conditions that would make people interact outside their own cultural groups?
How can we make people collaborate with people outside their own cultural group?
These questions led to a one-day workshop where Chen Huang (from China) and I (from Puerto Rico) sat down and talked about our cultural backgrounds in order to find common grounds. The exercise helped us identify three main issues that threaten cross-cultural interactions; myths, cultural differences, and lack of trust. In order to create a ground for cross-cultural interactions it is necessary to equip each group with tools to understand and deal with their differences. The image above was a result of the exercise.