The third International Service Design Northumbria conference happened last week on Wednesday 2 April and Thursday 3 April, 2008.
The event was to illustrate the scope of PhD research in design around social issues and design which places people in the middle of both the design process and design outcomes.
The conference kicked off on Wednesday evening at Northumbria University's School of Design gallery space with an introduction from Robert Young, Associate Dean of the School and keynote presentation from Anna Meroni, Assistant Professor in Service and Strategic Design at the Politecnico di Milano.
Anna talked about her involvement and the project called Creative Communities, which aimed to increase our understanding of innovation through identifying and presenting case studies of social innovation throughout the world. Anna's keynote was right on the mark. Messages and themes from her presentation were carried throughout the conference, especially through the 7 PhD research presentations the following day. For a run down on each presentation, Bas Rajimakers, blogged the event, in situ on his website here.
The conference was not without some good social mixing, even though some feedback requested for more next time. Our first night saw the majority of us hit The Cluny in Newcastle's up-and-coming creative hub the Ouseburn Valley.
A well-timed 10am start the following morning launched us into 7 PhD research students' presentations. These students, including myself, were PhD's of both past and present, and I know that most of us felt disappointed we did not have more time to discuss ideas, themes and issues.
A plenary session closed the conference. It took us all a bit of time to warm up, but then good conversations happened right up until the clock struck 4pm. We adjourned having made new contacts, new friends and taking away with us a whole load of new ideas.