design for service

service design books

Jeff Howard from Design For Service has created a new initiative:

"Service Design Books is a co-created library of recommended reading for service designers. It’s a community website. Anyone can add a book to the library and add ratings, tags or comments to help people make sense of an emerging field.

There are over forty books in the collection from a dozen different curators but that’s just the beginning. For this initiative to thrive it’ll need a little more help. Take a look at the collection and add your perspective. If you’ve read one of the books take a moment to rate it and if you think other service designers should read it as well then second the recommendation.

It’s easy to add your own picks to the collection. Just type a book title or an ISBN code to import a book. It should take less than a minute and you can always go back later and edit the information. The site is open to everyone."

Service designers draw inspiration from across disciplines and that means that a raw list isn’t always enough of a roadmap for people to triage unfamiliar reading. I think this could be very valuable, especially for students! This is a chance to devour all the books out there and ask questions to the people who submitted them about what they learned! This is something that I battled with throughout my dissertation "An Exploration into the Evolving field of Service Design" three years ago and Service Design Books wouldn't have been the brain child of a university librarian. That's why this field is so exciting and different in my eyes... I also think Service Design Books would add great value to Making Service Sense.

Let's make this the best it could be and share what we read and why!

Tackling Transformation

Having recently joined the Transforming Transformation Discussion Forum (hook up here) I have been lucky enough to listen in to some fantastic conversations from all over the world.

I joined the forum as a result of discovering Humantific: Humantific is a new breed of SenseMaking-based Transformation Consultancy. This article focuses on the work of the directors Garry K. VanPatter and Elizabeth Pastor.


This week I read Bruce Nussbuam's Transformation Conversation in Business Week. It is sparking off many debates across the blog world.

Jeff Howard comments:

"Transformation design as a discipline is being pioneered in the UK by Hilary Cottam from the Design Council and now at Participle, and to an extent by IDEO in the US. The Mayo Clinic's SPARC initiative is a great example of the power of transformation design."

Another comment tells us "transformation design" has been around for a while: see wiki.

I also read Jeff's lastest post on the subject @  Design For Service.

This 'buzz' encouraged me to get around to reading a paper I printed a while ago: RED Paper 02, Transformation Design, written by the Design Council.

Even though the website is a couple of years old, it summarises the Design Council's intiative RED. RED was set up in 2004 to tackle social and economic issues through design led innovation.


After reading the PDF, which is available on the site. I have spent the afternoon grappling with the subject. I would highly recommend the PDF to anyone who is interested.



I would like to highlight some points that got me thinking and asking questions: 

"There is a growing desire among designers, both young and old, to tackle society's most pressing problems."

"We are experiencing two important shifts: firstly, in where design skills are being applied, and secondly, in who is actually doing the designing."

The acknowledgment that "design is never done."

"Transformation designers are just as likely to find themselves shaping a job description as shaping a new product."

"Just as teachers are no longer the only people who help you learn, and doctors no longer the only people who can make you well, ...designers are no longer the only people who do design."

"Designers keen to work in this way are able to think systematically, apply design thinking in broader social, economic and political context, collaborate fruitfully with other disciplines, and champion a human centered design approach at the highest level."

So...who is doing transformation design that is not doing service design? and what is the difference? I'd like to learn more about individuals who label themselves as transformation designers. Interesting stuff...I think I need the evening to think more....