Tuesday, 30 November 2010

London Service Design Christmas Drinks

Since 2008, London has been host to the service design community almost every month with Service Design Drinks nights at various locations around the city.

What started off a small gathering of service designers a few years ago has grown to monthly drinks nights, a handful of Service Design Thinks events, having its own servicdesigning.org website and now 14 (and growing) international cities in different countries all over the world doing the same thing.

On 3 December 2010 we'll be celebrating a special London Service Design Christmas Drinks.

It will be my last in London, as I head back to Australia to live in December this year. So if you're free this Friday and interested in service design and having a drink with the community please join us at the Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell to say 'hello' and also 'goodbye' (until I'm back to visit London in the future).

The Slaughtered Lamb has been one of our favourite locations for drinks. It can get pretty busy on Fridays so if you're coming along, it'd be great if you could wear something red so we can spot you in the crowd.

While I am sad to leave the London service design community, I look forward to connecting with the Sydney service design community, who were actually the first city to sign onto servicdesigning.org. There's no doubt there's lots to discover, exchange and share back in my home city.

On the note of leaving London, this blog will still continue until I come to the end of my PhD. I have a few other plans in the works, so watch this space for updates. Till then, hope to see you at Service Design Drinks!

Friday, 19 November 2010

The different roles of the designer and their value

The annual bbetween journal was published by Billy Blue College of Design and 2nd Road (both in Australia) in August this year. The topic was 'the value of design (thinking)' and there were many great contributors (check out the list here).

This year's bbetween journal cover

I submitted a paper about three (of the seven) roles of the designer I have been exploring in my PhD research. These roles were the designer as strategist, researcher and facilitator. The Dott 07 projects of Urban Farming, Design and Sexual Health (DaSH) and OurNewSchool were used to illustrate these roles of the designer and their value. If you'd like a read, download the bbetween paper here. Otherwise the key points were that:
  • The designer as researcher: Uses design research for inspiration, not only information, to inspire new ideas and opportunities;

  • The designer as strategist: Connects organisations to the real-life experiences of people to inform and influence strategic decision-making; and

  • The designer as facilitator: Adds tools to the facilitator’s toolbox to engage stakeholders and inspire their creativity to understand challenges and create innovative responses to them.
Having almost completed my PhD, I have seen that when we take a detailed look at the roles of the designer and compare and contrast these to roles in other professions, it becomes clearer where designers add value and have synergy to work collaboratively with other disciplines to tackle society’s most challenging issues.