Morph was a service design project made during ten weeks in the spring of 2012 at Umeå Institute of Design together with Doris Feurstein and Shelagh McLellan.
Today, just as in ages past, people emigrate and immigrate around the world on a daily basis. Reaching new places and learning new languages always proves to be a hurdle, regardless if you’re young or old. Is there something we could do to alleviate their problems through the society and with the technology and we have today?
Working closely with users who came to Sweden for different reasons, and from different ages, a solution was developed which follows with you from day one in your new country and helps you through the process of being proficient in your new language. This process relies heavily on regular practice in the language as well as participating in social events together with others that are in your situation as well as native speakers. It helps you to keep your learning active by connecting with things that you find interesting or are important to you.
The solution is called ‘morph’, and its purpose to connect you through activities with others.
The greatest learning is done through social immersion and the easiest way to reach is by doing things you have a self-interest in. It is in the intersection between language learning and social immersion that morph exists.
Morph consists of five parts: a greeting you recieve in your home land before moving, a welcome package with a map and a wireless router cube, a web/mobile portal and actual events organized by morph.
Morph is also a method of slowly changing the words in your language over from your native tongue over to your new one successively by replacing words in text you see through correspondance with morph or through digital devices.
Through the wireless router cube you can track your progress as well as the words you should practice on in your coming days. By having an incentive, which for example could be sponsored discounts by local companies, you have a stepping stone to reach on your way to mastering your new language.
With the morph web-service you can, after setting up your profile in your native language, follow the events that are going on around you. Events that fall in line with your interests are recommended to you to attend.
The core of the morph system is your telephone which you carry around you everywhere. The system helps you to get to different places of interest, helps you with your language learning, slowly changes over words which become familiar to you to create a mixture, a morph, between your native language and your new language, until eventually all words are in your new language.
Morph does not stop at the point of becoming proficient in your new language but rather continues with you giving back, in a sense becoming a morph ambassador, helping new people as you were helped. This is reinforced by the social network that is created by attending and socializing at morph organized events.
Morph is not about making people speak fluently, morph is giving people the tools to go out and connect with others and create situations where language learning can occur in a more relaxed way away from classrooms and books.