Calibrating your Cultural Compass

In an increasingly connected world, everyone has the temptation to get as fast as possible to the information you want. It was my first time in Asia when I arrived in Singapore. It didn’t take me more than one minute to download the Uber App. So it was the easiest and fastest way to get to my Airbnb accommodation. Before I came here, I just read some articles to be familiar with the rules and regulations. But there is a huge difference between reading articles and experience by yourself. I didn’t expect the number of hints and signs. If you try to find similarities to Germany, it is hard.
In the chapter, the author describes different concepts of “going native” and adapting to another culture.
In a more and more globalized world cities become multinational. Hence it is a matter of social acceptance that signs and regulations are in a particular language as English. During my first weeks, I visited the most famous locations in Singapore and observed many of the ideas discussed in the chapter. I got an idea of food behavior and the habits of the locals. Due to the large distance from NTU to downtown, we always have to spend more than one hour in the MRT. It is a very good place to observe the people, who also have to bridge the time. Due to the density in the rush hours, there are not many possibilities to distract oneself. The queuing behavior and the e-payment options were also new for me.
In summary, one can say that it’s very important for a designer and entrepreneur to know the external circumstances and the local behavior as well as the government regulations to prevent offense and failures.

Q1:  How can a designer minimise the data collection in a multinational city or country where many different cultures clash together?

Q2: Which compromises in design can be found and what were the biggest design failures?