Arriving – A good place

This workshop is about the reasons why people seek refuge elsewhere and about arriving in a new environment. The Archive of Refuge offers a wealth of stories about why people are unable or unwilling to stay in their country or region of origin and about what they experienced on their way to a new place and after arriving there.

The workshop participants engage with interviewees in the Archive of Refuge to understand what made them seek refuge elsewhere and what circumstances they encountered upon arrival. Drawing on these stories, they formulate their own ideas about the ideal conditions for refugees to encounter on arrival. After putting their ideas down on paper to create a prototype, they use multiple media to translate this vision into virtual reality on the learning platform CoSpaces, which they can then experience with VR glasses.



Half-day workshop (3.5 h – with a 20-minute break)


15 years and over 


migration and flight, reasons for seeking refuge, politics in other regions, asylum law, shaping society, living alongside others, multiperspectivity, transformative learning


  • VR production (virtual reality) with the free app CoSpaces
  • non-linear storytelling
  • introduction to coding with CoBlocks
  • audio production (optional)


  • smartphone/tablet/laptops
  • Internet/online
  • VR glasses (if available, but doable without)

Bridge to the Archive of Refuge 

The Archive of Refuge serves participants as a source and inspiration for developing their own ideas about an ideal place for arriving in Germany. The participants get to know up to six interviewees, initially in general terms through an introduction with a few biographical details, then through personal narratives about their circumstances when they arrived in Germany. Prior to this, they receive an introduction to the theme of refugees and their reasons for fleeing their countries of origin, before engaging with interviews in the Archive of Refuge which illustrate this background in immediate and understandable ways.



arrival in Germany – 01:02:12 – 01:17:23


escape and arrival in Germany – 52:00 journey – 1:12:27
new home in Germany – 53:30 – 01:08:50


arrival in Germany – 50:10 – 01:06:10


arrival in Germany – 1:47:41 – 2:03:40 (16 minutes)


arrival in Germany – 48:00 – 1:03:30


arrival in Germany – 1:07:27 – 1:23:00

Learning sites | face-to-face + online

Ideally the work is done in groups of two or three. Basically, any site of learning is suitable as long as the technical equipment is available. Particularly suitable options are schools during a day/week devoted to projects and out-of-school sites such as libraries.

The learning platform CoSpaces is a digital site that facilitates collaboration. This means that people can work on projects together from different places. As the project outcomes can easily be divided up and embedded in websites or Hedge Docs, they can be made accessible to a digital audience. This method can also be implemented on a completely digital basis, but the advantage of personal attendance is that the participants can later see their products through VR glasses, enhancing their identification with the work.


Educational objectives and practical options

The participants have been acquainted with the reasons why people flee their countries of origin. They explore a variety of scenarios in which refugees arrive in Germany and learn more about how selected interviewees from the Archive of Refuge experienced their arrival and about their needs. The participants develop their own utopias by imagining an ideal place for arriving in Germany.

Participants develop their own ideas about a good place for refugees to arrive in Germany. These independent thoughts, which they can implement in a virtual world, empower them to visualise their own ideas about living alongside others in society, to enrich these with information or verbal messages and to make them available to others. The immersive, collaborative VR format offers an excellent opportunity to present a variety of perspectives, especially those of young people, in an immediate, tangible manner that can be made available to decision-makers. The method also gives young people who have been prevented by language barriers from contributing their point-of-view a chance to express their ideas in visual form.

Detailed description of the workshop/module

11:00 am
90 min
  • Equipment check
  • Seating: preferably chairs in a circle
  • Badges with names
  • Has everyone consented to photographs? Collect forms
  • Prepare laptops/materials
12:30 pm
10 min
People arrive, brief welcome
  • Brief welcome with presentation of team and workshop objectives
  • Note young people’s perspective on the Archive of Refuge
  • Ask about breaks: either two short breaks or one longer break
  • Objective: Engagement with people who, for various reasons, have been forced to flee their countries and build a new life in Germany
Familiarisation with a few biographies (selected sequences, exploration of thoughts about what makes a good place for arriving in a new country, development of a prototype, implementation of the prototype in Co-Spaces (VR)
12:40 pm
10 min
Energiser/getting to know each other
  • Introduction game
  • All the participants stand in a row (mark places on the floor with masking tape)
  • Depending on room size, a second row can be marked up 5 metres from the first.
  • Start the game, participants speak unprepared, each one can choose their turn, first giving their name then describing one characteristic or making one statement about themselves. All the participants to whom this characteristic or statement also applies switch rows and cross the room to the markings opposite.
  • Then another participant gives their name with a characteristic/statement, and everyone to whom this also applies switches ends. This ensures permanent movement in the room.

  • P 1: “My name’s Anna, and I love pizza”
  • P 2: “My name’s Paul, and I like cooking.”
  • TN 3: P 3: “My name’s Laila, and I play Fortnite a lot.”
12:50 pm
10 min
Archive of Refuge
  • Presentation of the Archive of Refuge
  • Project summary / oral history
Slide presentation
1:00 pm
10 min
Reasons for seeking refuge
  • Ask the plenary: What reasons do you think people might have for wanting to escape from their home country?
  • Presentation: reasons for seeking refuge, right to asylum
1:10 pm
10 min
  • During the break participants should break out into pairs
1:20 pm
15 min
The Archive of Refuge
(in twos)
↳ The participants receive the hand-out for the person they are most interested in.
• They can watch from the start or navigate between sequences.
• Answer the following questions:
1. Who is the interviewee? Name, possibly age, where from (if known)
2. What did you find out about this person?
3. What do you remember best / What did you find most interesting?
  • Feweyni Habtemariam
  • Mila Mossafer
  • Khesrau Behroz
  • Kerim Borovina
  • Fatuma Musa Afrah
  • Mouna Aleek
1:35 pm
20 min
presentation of the interviewee
  • max. 3 per group
1:55 pm
20 min
Arrival / Arriving in Germany
Introduction to the method

  1. Watch a sequence and a true story – as inspiration for working on an idea for a good place
  2. Participants put their own idea for a good place onto paper
  3. The idea is transposed into a digital environment at the computer

↳ watch a specific sequence from your video (see hand-out, the participants can then choose another person)
↳ learn more about how this person arrived in Germany and what their situation was like
↳ jot down notes, e.g. challenges (red tape, language barrier, who to turn to...), first impressions of Germany upon arrival

2:15 pm
10 min
2:25 pm
10 min
Prototype – A good place
use a sheet of paper, work together on a prototype of your “good place”

Guide question:
↳ How do you imagine a good place to arrive in might be like? (Think perhaps about the buildings it would have. Are there certain people who could be there? What should the atmosphere be like? – There are no right or wrong answers, you can paint the future any way you see it.)
Sketch your ideas on a sheet of paper. You can also use text.
2:35 pm
15 min
Introduction to the basic functions of Co-Spaces
  • Create a VR environment
  • Select the setting
  • Add people, objects, text, audio
  • Animation in Co-Blocks, movement and audio
2:50 pm
40 min
A good place to arrive in

↳ create a virtual environment
↳ choose a background
↳ implement your idea for a good place in Co-Spaces by animating objects and text blocks
3:30 pm
15 min
Gallery walk (presentation)
Presentation and gallery walk for the environments that have been created (participants can explain these worlds in more detail).
Presentation and gallery walk for the environments that have been created (participants can explain these worlds in more detail). All the groups present their environments to the plenary by using the computer and all the participants can take turns at diving in with the VR glasses.
Here is a guide to presenting with VR glasses and screens if there are not enough VR glasses for everyone.

3:45 pm
15 min
Evaluation, can be digital
  • Workshop evaluation
  • Feedback round/flash input (everyone can speak, but no comments or questions to follow)
Questions for the feedback round:
  1. Did the workshop arouse your interest in the themes addressed by the Archive of Refuge, and if so, what themes?
  2. Have you learnt anything new?
  3. Would you watch your interview to the end or watch other interviews?

Tools and aids

Detailed workshop/module description and schedule

Co-Spaces – Recommendation: fee-based Edu licence for teachers with student access, ideally one access per student, optionally one access for two students; laptop application only requires a browser, iPads and tablets require app to be downloaded (free)

Links and further recommendations

The digital project outcomes can be displayed in a digital exhibition (“Good Places”) and expanded at will. This makes them accessible to a wider audience and helps to inspire discussion about how Germany needs to develop as a country that takes in immigrants so that people can have a decent arrival experience.