service design network

Berlin Beckons

The  Service Design Network Conference Agenda was released this week. I went along to their first event in Amsterdam, November 2008, I couldn't afford a ticket on my student budget so I asked my university to buy me a ticket instead of paying me for the teaching I was doing at the time. Like many others I decided not to go to the event in 2009 primarily because its location, but it did spark a huge debate amongst the community about what the next conference should be!

So, here we are in 2010 with the "next conference "only months away! I'm feeling pretty proud of myself because I have been invited to be a keynote speaker on the second day and my partner in crime, Sarah is lecturing on the first day. I am also initiating a design challenge around Making Service Sense. A hat trick for the Snook team !

I can't wait to meet new people and put many faces to twitter names! This opportunity has really got me thinking, I want to make an impact. I re-read the post I wrote about the event in 2008 and the journey I have been on since then has been pretty incredible.

I can't wait to share it with you.

Service Designers Cast your vote

At this very moment Service Designers from all over the world are voting, debating and discussing. Joel Bailey has set up a forum to capture the online conversation about next years Service Design Network Conference. joel_baily_service_design

The location of the event, accessibility and content are the main thread of chatter. The way our online community lives and breathes is something that has been on my  mind alot lately. Particularly, as it was one of the main influences of MakingServiceSense and the reality that things are changing, the landscape is shifting at such a dramatic pace.

Here is a snapshot of a very insightful chat  Fergus Bisset and I had about this very topic...

"What of that value our networks provide? Beyond the obvious pleasure that sharing links, drinks and thoughts provide, or the joys of discoursing with like minded individuals? How are we formalising the value that each of us takes away from these interactions? How is it guiding our autonomous activities, how is it intertwining itself with our ‘personal’ thoughts, dreams and ambitions? As Shirky, Leadbetter and many others have highlighted, social connectivity can be such a powerful driver and influencer how can we be sure we’re heading in the right direction?"


I think this is brilliant and a definite leap in the right direction. Hopefully, the network is listening to this conversation - the overriding message to you is 'practice what you preach'...

Service Design News Scout

I have some very exciting news. I have been asked to be an 'Offical Service Design Network News Scout' for the Service Design Network, who have recently launched their new site. Jeff Howard and I are responsible for providing the network with all the latest Service Design news from around the globe.


I will be exploring issues, links and events from around the world  and everything that could be interesting for the users of the SDN site as well as the readers of Insider, the SDN Newsletter and Touchpoint, the Service Design Journal.

With news coming from San Francisco and Scotland I am confident Jeff and I will provide fresh and innovative input! If anyone has any links, stories, case studies, opinions or stories they would like to share with me pop them in an email.

I think it would be exciting to build up a bank of powerful images that represent what Service Design is all about. As Birgit and Oliver mention in Touchpoint:


"...find ways to make the intangible tangible. The fold in the tissue paper to demonstrate your hotel room has been attended to by housekeeping."

What is the first image that springs to your mind?

Funky Projects

Funky Projects is a company that runs innovative and creative projects for public institutions, companies and cultural platforms. It designs interactive services, experiments with cultural behaviour in the real environment and devises situations and settings to stimulate participation and to involve others. picture-1

Based in Bilbao, Spain this company recently became a member of the Service Design Network.

I like what I have seen of funky projects so far. They seem to have a little something different...

Service Design takes centre stage

I have spent the last few days at Europe's first conference dedicated to Service Design. I was also lucky enough to see beautiful Amsterdam in the snow.. In the 168people crowd there were many familiar faces; it was nice to finally put faces to names I have gotten to know. The presentations were all good, some were excellent... Oliver King, co-founder of Engine, most definitely stood out from the crowd.


I left inspired although I have to say I didn't learn anything new; this was a missed opportunity for show casing and bench marking. I was hoping to learn about successful Service Design projects from the business world, the private and public sector.

I would have liked to learn more from Shelley Evenson from Carnegie Mellon University who discussed Service Innovation within Health Care. She described design as a 'catalyst for change', reinforcing the importance that designers adopt a 'fearlessness of really listening'.

I believe our job now is to develop new ways of communicating Service Design to the public. We need to spend less time talking to ourselves and each other. There is still too many fruitless conversations spent defining disciplines and labeling people; it doesn't matter how we define it. It is how we do it that counts!

This will require painting the bigger picture; conveying the strong connection to business, strategy and the importance of diving into the customers world.


For me, the last few days proved that the demand for Service Design is growing. It definitely is an emerging field and more people are curious... I hope to stay in touch with the interesting people I met. As Birgit Mager concluded "We need to spread the word. Let's get started and do it, getting better and better everyday."

My plan now is to get out into the world and do just that.

My Flickr photos from the event.