Enrique Encinas
IxD + Design Research



︎Concept and sketches for interactive system 
︎Language Learning

AlliHop aimed at studying existing and propose new everyday interactions in the urban environment of the Swedish town of Umeå between foreigners and locals in order to foster a Swedish language learning experience. AlliHop stands for Awakening Local Languages in Interaction and Hop, to jump over, or rather, jump into the urban wilderness. In the beginning of AlliHop we carried two co-design workshops with foreigners and locals in Umeå in order to learn more about how language learning happens in the wild. The first workshop took place at the Umeå City Library and the second at the Medborgarskolan, a learning association for adults. A total of fifty people (foreigners and natives) participated in both workshops combined.

After the co-design workshops we organized a two day design session during which we worked on understanding, analyzing and finally translating the workshop materials into design concepts. Our favourite idea turned out to be an interaction design concept that we named AlliQ - Awakening Local Languages in Interaction in Queues. AlliQ takes advantage of the interactive possibilities that the urban environment provides in establishments like bakeries or bus stations and helps those waiting in line to learn the language in the wild. Essentially, AlliQ transforms waiting in a line into a language learning activity by shifting the focus from numbers to words. When a person arrives at a busy establishment she picks up a paper with a written word that is part of a poem or a story from a local writer. On a big screen where usually a number would appear setting the order of clients, AlliQ displays the poem or short story from a local writer and next to it three words: the word whose owner is being serviced, the previous word and the following word. Those who are waiting in line must pay attention to the words on the screen and listen carefully for the public calling of their word in order to be serviced. Instead of listening or looking for numbers, one’s place in line is marked by a word in a publicly displayed and shared poem from a local writer.

Project in collaboration with Sania Dzalbe and Robb Mitchell.

︎ Encinas, Enrique. Dzalbe, Sania. Mitchell, Robb. Allihop - Awakening Local Language in Interaction. Proposal for EU funded Designscapes Project. Document available on request.