Immigrant Integration through Codesign: A Journey Map of integration into working life

Hilkka Lydén, Mari Suoheimo, Alina Leminen, Satu Miettinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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The shortage of workforce in several sectors has created a desperate need for immigrant workers in Nordic countries. However, integrating into the local work-life can be challenging for people moving to the region. To address these challenges, this paper explores the use of service design, social design, and especially codesign as approaches to easing immigrant integration into the labour market. Our case study consists of 11 codesign groups, comprising immigrants, potential employers, and various integration support professionals or volunteers, who participated in seven virtual and four on-site workshops. Through these workshops, participants shared their experiences and perspectives on immigrant employment and developed an employment/recruitment journey map that combined the immigrants' employment processes with their employers' recruitment processes. The resulting journey maps provide a representation of the various stages and milestones of employment, highlighting the barriers and enablers encountered in each stage and the different actors involved in the integration process. Our study demonstrates the value of codesign as an approach towards more effective and inclusive integration initiatives. We argue that a designer needs to act as an orchestrator for the whole ecosystem around the integrating individual to facilitate a holistic understanding of their whole life situation, such as their social situation, family, skills, health, or housing. By doing so, we can move from focusing solely on a single aspect of integration, such as employment status, to a more comprehensive approach, which in turn allows for a better chance of wellbeing and integration in a new country.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 IASDR Congress
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Association of Societies of Design Research International Congress 9 – 13 October 2023 Milan, Italy
EditorsDaniela de Sainz Molestina, Laura Galluzzo, Francesca Rizzo, Davide Spallazzo
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherDesign Research Society
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912294-59-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventDesign Research Society International Conference - Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Duration: 9 Oct 202313 Oct 2023


ConferenceDesign Research Society International Conference
Internet address


  • codesign
  • immigrant integration
  • employment
  • service design

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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