Friday, 17 October 2008

Universities exploring Service Design

Following on from the previous post, here are some Universities I know of exploring, researching and/or teaching (usually as a subject) Service Design. To date, there is no running course in Service Design (but I am aware there are definitely some on the cards shortly).

Northumbria University (UK)
In 2006, Northumbria University held the first Service Design conference called ISDN (International Service Design Northumbria). Since 2006 the University has held 2 other conferences around Service Design, one later in 2006 and the most recent, this year in April (download presentations and listen to podcasts here). I am currently doing my PhD research out of Northumbria and 2 other peers of mine are also exploring PhDs with strong Service Design themes.

Birmingham City University (UK)
Birmingham City University’s Service by Design programme is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and seeks to raise awareness of Service Design in SMEs both in the private and public sectors. The SbD programme does this by developing their academics as “Innovation Managers” to work with SMEs. In September, SbD held a Dissemination Event explaining the progamme, experiences, learnings and results. You can download a presentation file of the event here.

Imagination Lancaster (UK)
Imagination Lancaster is a research lab situatated at Lancsaster University. One of the lab’s focal areas is Service Design undertaking research and projects into service design models, processes, evaluation and tools. See details here.

Carnegie Mellon University (USA)
Since 2004, CMU has taught and been involved in Service Design. CMU have also hosted conferences called Emergence in 2006 and 2007 exploring the boundaries of Service Design. Their next conference will be in 2009.Having worked with CMU design graduates before, I am quite familiar with their robust user-centered design methodology applicable to both products and services.

Kingston University (UK)
This year, just began a Master programme called Design for Development, which "focuses on the value of design as a vehicle for addressing social and ecological concerns in both the developed and developing worlds." Core modules include strands dealing with service design and sustainability, and optional modules include subjects that deal with human rights and politics.

Koln International School of Design, Koln University (Germany)

Since 1995, Koln University has been involved in Service Design research, teaching and publishing, spearheaded by Professor Birgit Mager. In 2005, Klon joined forces with other international Universities and design practices to set up The Service Design Network. In 2006 Mager founded sedes research (the Centre for Service Design Research) at Koln University.

Polytechnico di Milano (Italy)
Having produced some of the first Service Design PhDs, Polytechnico di Milano also runs a Master of Science course in Product-Service-Systems Design.

Domus Academy (Italy)
Offers 8 Masters degrees with Service Design strands throughout.

Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
In 2009, Laurea University will offer a Master of Business Management degree progamme in Service Innovation and Design. Click here to see more detail.

Kuopio Academy of Design, Savonia University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
A source tells me they are about to launch a BA in Service Design in Autumn 2008. I’d be keeping up to date with their News page to see when it finally launches.

Linköping University (Sweeden)
The University is currently undertaking projects around developing design techniques for service development, projects in healthcare, IT and learning labs for innovation. More details here.

Said Business School, Oxford University (UK)
This project, named Designing for Services in Science and Technology-based Enterprises (click on the name to go to the blog), ran from 2006-7 and looked at what would happen if you put Service Designers with science-and-technology SMEs. Academics also participated in the project, attending several workshops throughout the project process to make observations on what was happening. A key deliverable was a report published earlier this year, edited by Lucy Kimbell and Victor Seidel who lead the project.

University of Technology, Sydney (Australia)
As mentioned in an earlier post a few months ago, I completed my undergraduate design degree at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Service Design is a major one can do in their Master of Design Degree.

Here are some further additions to the piece I have been informed about.

(From Jeff Howard's Design for Service blog)

Rhode Island School of Design (USA)
Rhode Island's Service Design Studio is currently running a course which "explore[s] opportunities, tools and methods in the emerging field of Service Design."

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design & The Danish Design School (Denmark)
The schools, in collaboration, will be piloting a Master of Interaction Design programme with a large Service Design component. See curriculum outline here.

(From Nico Morelli)

Aalborg University, School of Architecture and Design (Denmark)
Nico says, "We have been teaching design of Product Service Systems for about 7 years now, as a part of the Master in Industrial Design. Some of the outcome of this activity and some research, methodological and strategic results of our research is available at the wiki"

(From John)

Illinois Institute of Design (USA)
Are currently teaching a class called 'Services in an Evolving Society.' The description reads, "This class will discuss the trends driving this dichotomy of constraint and abundance and explore how services can uncover new possibilities for people to live well in a resource constrained world."

(From Qin)

University of Dundee (Scotland)
The University's Master of Design degree covers Service Design in its focus on multi-disciplinary design research and practices.

Thanks Jeff, Nico, John and Qin!

Just in...

Glasgow School of Art (Scotland)
Their Product Design degree teaches Service Design, recognising that the term 'product' needs to also encompass the design of systems, services, interactions & organisational behaviours.


Anonymous said...

I would also add Aalborg University, School of Architecture and Design. We have been teaching design of Product Service Systems for about 7 years now, as a part of the Master in industrial design. Some of the outcome of this activity and some research, methodological and strategic results of our research is available at the wiki

Anonymous said...

IIT Institute of Design in Chicago also teaches courses in Service Design. Here's the description for one taught by Mark Jones of IDEO:

Qin Han said...

And Master of Design at University of Dundee that cover multi-disciplinary design research and practices - service design included of course!

Anonymous said...

Glasgow School of Art is another...although it's still called product design they teach and look at service design methodologies as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren, just a quick note, Birmingham City University ( isn't the same institution as Birmingham University ( , amazing the difference a single word can make!

lauren said...

Thanks Matt. Have corrected it now. Apologies for that!

Unknown said...

I would also like to mention The University of the West of England. The head of the technology department is extremely passionate about Service Design and very nurturing of students whose projects are in this field. They have very progressive teaching methods and as a result a number of us have been very successful with the services we designed since graduation.

I still believe there is a huge gap in education here in the UK for service design. I also feel a lot of this is down to service design itself; it's methodologies and practices are still not fully understood by everyone. And many design students are still better equipped to consider the aesthetics of products in terms of engineering processes, much like some individuals (service designers) are better suited to solving human needs through storytelling and mapping out the world around them.

Rhealyng Inguito said...

i am Asian design student,i study at Raffles, they have great professors and i should say i learned a lot.

Cosmetic Surgery Melbourne

Unknown said...

Do you know of any Service Design courses which are online?