service design in chicago

Picture 7me_sanfran_01 I would like to introduce Karelia:

"I’ve had a pretty clear idea of “it” ie. my big picture for a few years now. I knew that I simply wanted to help people via design. I just didn’t a) think an actual position/title of “it” existed, or b) knew exactly what “it” would be called, since it’s an amalgamation of so many things. but i’m pretty sure, as of yesterday, that i’ve found “it.”

*cue heavenly chorus*

And “it” is called SERVICE DESIGN."

She is on a google frenzy, buying post-its and drinking coffee - becoming a service design sponge! With a background in Graphic Design, Karelia has connections with Design Ignites Change and Project M.

Karelia is a prime example of why there is a growing need for Making Service Sense. We had an exciting conversation over the weekend, she said 'I don't have a filter'.

Based in Chicago right now, Karelia is happy to move anywhere her service design journey may take her. So who's doing what in America -

And of course, not forgetting the fact President Obama needs service design!!

Obama Profile

I would like to ask you all to post any links/ advice/ books/places/ people / opportunities you can think of to share with Karelia.

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Elliott talks Pink

pink_bird Today, Elliott from Pennsylvania based service design agency Pink* told me the story of the company, the people and how they came to be...

With backgrounds in electrical engineering, cognitive science and graphic design these three twenty-six year olds are working out of their own pockets, "going after what they want and worrying about the details later." Steve and Elliot studied the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon Masters program, whilst Alex studied design.

These courses aim to "understand and create technology that harmonizes with and improves human capabilities, goals, and social environments through interdisciplinary research and education in design, computer science, and behavioural and social sciences."

Guided by Shelley Evenson, the group designed a service design firm as part of their module descriptor. This involved market research, branding, business case. After graduating, what was once a project is becoming reality.

So, why Pink? Well, the word Pink has a strange absurdity attached to it in the States. They guys are certainly standing out from the crowd! Their work happens in a converted barn space in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pink* are keen to have an ongoing dialogue with the public, and want to "show what service designers actually do on a day to day basis."

Whilst working on a press publication, website, blog and lots of other media stuff, Pink* have recently completed a large project with a pharmaceutical company made up of over 70,000 employees. Lots too look forward to!

Image: Flickr

Service Firm in US

Yesterday saw the launch of the first Service Design firm in the U.S. (thanks for the link Kate)


"Service design is a well-defined discipline in Europe, but Frontier Service Design is the first firm in the United States to focus exclusively on this growing trend"


I would have liked to have seen a few killer images on the press release. I also echo Nick's opinion that we need to see some case studies, biographies and evidence!! Only time will tell.

Nevertheless, a very exciting development! In the spirit of Douceurs, I think I may write them a letter...