ServDes2018 -Service Design Proof of Concept Politecnico di Milano 18th-19th-20th

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ServDes2018 -Service Design Proof of Concept Politecnico di Milano 18th-19th-20th
    ServDes2018  - Service Design Proof of Concept Politecnico di Milano 18th-19th-20th, June 2018 The designer as agent of community Thomas Østergaard, Design, VIA University College, Denmark   Abstract  A “changing paradigm” with a focus on design for social innovation (SI) has emerged over the last decade. (DESIS, 2012) The title of this article refers to a perception of design schools and design students as potential “agents of sustainable change”  adding new design-domains to the existing traditional design domains. (Chick, 2012, Emilson, 2010, Manzini, 2008, 2012, 2014).  The study finds it is hard for the design- students to establish their “roles” as designers and have a natural “authority” working in complex and time- limited process’ . The paper produces recommendations for other educators in terms of preparing, planning and doing a SD for SI course and discusses the critics views on future requirements for Design-educations. (Bason, 2013, Mulgan, 2014, Norman, 2010)  The empirical basis for the article is a case used as part of the collaboration between VIA Design; Design for Change (DFC) in 2014-18 and four external partners; Teknologi i Praksis (TiP), the City of Aarhus, BorgerDesign and CareWare (CaT). KEYWORDS: service design, design for social innovation, social innovation, design for change, welfare innovation, service design for social innovation Introduction  As the challenges of the welfare state rises the need for multi-disciplinary insights from citizen perspectives emerged over the last 10-15 years in public management. (Brown &  Wyatt, 2010, Jegou and Manzini (2008), Yang & Sung, 2016). Social Innovation (SI) is now used as a new human-centered paradigm of ““value  -  co creation” for the long  -  term benefit of society”   (Yang & Sung, 2016) in public management and public networked innovation process’. In England The Design Council established the RED unit, based on trans-disciplinarity and consisting of both professionals from other than design-disciplines and designers, and Burns et al. (2006) described the units approach as “Transformation Design”, based on involving stakeholders as early in the process, through participatory Design. In Denmark we have had private design as well as public- funded business’ over the last 10 years trying to work their  way into the new field of SI, solving public social issues and sustainable challenges, using SD methods. Amongst these companies like DesignIt and Mindlab ( have brought SD into SI.   Thomas Østergaard  The designer as agent of community Linköping University Electronic Press 77 Theoretical Backdrop SI is connected to the development of new initiatives, strategies, products, services or processes meeting the emerging demands that changes perceptions of authority flows, use of resources, organizations, basic routines or beliefs in the social system in which they arise. SI can be performed by a wide variety of institutions such as communities, associations, NGO’s, charity organiz ations or municipalities or a combination of all. Biggs, et al. (2010) describes SI as a “bricolage”.  The term “Service Design” (SD) has emerged as a topic in research as well as practice in design research and educations over the last decade. (Nisula, 2012). When defining SD, practices are often described as co-creational involving other professions and non-designers in the idea generating process, using involving methods and participatory facilitation methods. (Burns, et al., 2006, Holmlid 2009) SD implies designing with   and not  for   people. (Sanders & Stappers, 2008) In this sense, the scope of the process can become how   the actors relate in the value creation, (Kimbell, 2009) SD is often described as holistic and focused on systems, interactions and transformations. (Manzini, 2009). New design disciplines emerge within SD, such as Transformation Design and SD for SI. (Nisula, 2012) These design disciplines boundaries may blur, but they are all concerned with the study of co-designing, design for social innovation and transformational change. (Jegou & Manzini, 2008; Sangiorgi, 2011, Wetter-Edman, 2014) In a SD for SI or Design for SI perspective, the DFC course creates connections between the two discourses of the design theory by suggesting that services can be co-designed with an aim of generating social innovation processes in which new constellations between the actors are being established, as well as some students “break  - out” and make completely new concepts, co -creating value and social benefits to meet the future needs and perhaps establish alternative production and consumption systems. (Cipolla, 2016, Cipolla & Manzini, 2014, Manzini, 2016).  Yang & Sung (2016) proposes integrating the methodology of SD to create a sustainable mechanism supporting multi-disciplinary stakeholders continuous involvement in SI. Recent research shows the complexity and diversity of the interests of the stakeholders and how the designers often occur during the value creation processes due to the difference of views or  values. (Yang, C. F., & Sung, T. J., 2016) In the following the scope is how the design practice is unfolded and what role the designer has in a SD context, followed by a reflection on SD and SI and finally how value co-creation and SD works. The design practice and the role of the designer  The act of designing is defined by the capability of visualizing through the use of personal skills manipulating different materials. On the other hand the process of designing requires a  wide variety of processing skills. The design process demands both communicative skills, being intuitive, empathetic, creative and capable of thinking deconstructive, holistic, iterative, divergent and convergent. On top of this a designer often has to have a human-centered approach, trying to visualize or frame the users minds, capture experiences and prototype   Thomas Østergaard  The designer as agent of community Linköping University Electronic Press 78 these with the user. (Kelley, (2001), Press and Cooper (2003), Wetter-Edman (2011). In the DFC setting, SD for SI becomes a multi- discipline in which “T - shaped people” can collaborate. (Dijk, p. 110 ,2011 in Stickdorn et al. 2011) T-shaped refers to the metaphor introduced by the design-company IDEO (Kelley, 2000) and describes the intention of having a broad (the top of the T) understanding in various disciplines combined with a deep (the vertical part of the T) knowledge in a specific area. Ideally the combination of a broader general understanding and a specific skill provides a tool enabling valuable collaborations providing viable service concepts and their implementation. (Dijk, 2011, in Stickdorn et al. 2011) Research on the actual value-creation of the design- process’ is limited, but central to the idea of value-creation through the use of SD led innovation are 1. Human centered, 2.user experience based, 3. participatory and 4. a contextual understanding approach. (Wetter-Edman, 2014). The designers often have to position themselves in the midst of the challenges and move between different modes in iterative processes, trying to co-create solutions together with users or other designers. This thinking requires a high level of abstraction and an open mind towards creating unknown solutions, using visual thinking and multiple sorts of prototypes. (Cross, 2006, T. Brown, 2008) The encounter with, mapping of human experiences and interactions in the service are crucial to the design-process and the design-students. (Wetter-Edman, 2014). In the DFC course, the aims were creating “ideas, systems or process’” that could “enable or help the user to a better position, everyday life or understanding”. The aim of the cour se was also to bring the design students into new professional contexts, with a focus on creating a social approach using methods from SD for SI. So, understanding the expert-users experiences and working out-side-in to the core of the challenges was the approach of the designers. (Sangiorgi, 2012). But understanding the social and personal context, both in terms of actual psychical settings, irrational and sensitive values, (such as emotions, personality) issues of the person requires an empathic and often anthropological approach of the designer. Design ethnography aims at understanding the future users of a design and can be a helpful tool to work with for the students, as they try to identify with the people they are co-creating with. In ‘Design for the 21’st Century’ Inns, (2007) describes 6 roles of the designers. Inns describes the roles as; 1) negotiator of value, 2) facilitator of thinking 3) as visualizer of the intangible, 4) as navigator of complexity, 5) mediator of stakeholders and 6) as coordinator of exploration. (Wetter-Edman (2011), Inns, (2007:24). Attention has risen towards the role of the designer in the co- creating process’ (Leadbeater, 2008, Sanders & Stappers, 2008) and designers working for service innovation are often described as “facilitators of co -  design process”.  (Wetter-Edman, 2014.) Sanders and Stappers described in 2008 how the design practice is changing from a product oriented to a purpose focused design approach and how this influences the role of the designer. Sanders and Stappers, (2008) describes how the roles of the participants in a co- designing process gets “mixed up”. The designer has to b e capable of listening, sensing and supporting the user- experts. So, instead of “designing only” the designer becomes an anthropological researcher and often have to perform at least two roles at the same time. In this process, the designer might even discover loosing her own domain, the design-position, to a non-designer. (Dijk, in Stickdorn, et al. 2011) Some of the methods used by the design-students can enable the person involved in mapping their lives and experiences are storytelling  –  personal narratives through the use of sketched “user - journeys” –    “storyboards” made on -site with the person. It requires a holistic  view of the persons lives. The role of the designer in the SD for SI is having a human rather than user  -centered entry to the process and understand, real-life situations with the person, building empowerment and common narratives of a better future situation, (value-creation) through common visualization, storytelling and on-site prototyping and future possibilities   Thomas Østergaard  The designer as agent of community Linköping University Electronic Press 79 together. (Wetter-Edman, 2014) But, it is, by far, not easy and it will be influenced by the Designers personal values, prejudices and moods.  Yang & Sung, (2016) analyzes the key factors for developing a lasting design-led social innovation process. In 2016 they issued their research based on a large scale participatory action research program in Taiwan, including more than 4200 designers and volunteers involved in multidisciplinary SI program called “5% Design Action”. Yang & Sung, (2016)  identified four types of key stakeholders for building a lasting value co-creation mechanism in designing for SI: 1: designers (referring to designers and other professionals); 2: NPO/NGO and Public participants; 3: private sectors participants; 4: co-creation platform owners.  Yang & Sung (2016) defines the roles of the designer as foremost “ challenging current positions” and contributing with a user and human centered focus resolving the challenges of the lack of resources by offering new outside-in perspectives, escaping old logics and restraints in the organizations. Secondly, their research, concluded designers developed “products” satisfying both the providers and  receivers needs based on value-co creation process’. Thirdly the designers managed to combine and use their expert skills by using the SD methods and tools to facilitate and extract knowledge from multi-disciplinary debates, and thus lead the process into a deeper insight and a more efficient value-co-creation. Value co-creation in SI  Value co-creation processes brings risks and potential costs to the process of designing as  well. It is based on working with multiple networks of people, values and systems, in which it can be hard to establish trust and common aims, especially in often very fragile or delicate social innovation issues. (Yang, & Sung, T. J, Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004) But using diversity as a social collaborative and praising multi-disciplinary can help generate dynamic open collaboration-models between the stakeholders. In order to meet the demands of many stakeholders wishes, the value should therefore preferably be co-created. But these value co-creations in service systems are highly dependent on ressources, time and spaces for interaction. (Yang & Sung, 2016) Defining the key-stakeholders and their roles and their personal motivators is needed in planning the SI design-process.  Yang & Sung, (2016) proposes investigating “motivators”  in the design-process, such as the expansion of specialty, as both designers and professional who worked for years in a certain profession could gain new knowledge and increase their practical capacity of working multi-disciplinary.  The NGO and public sector participants could, according to Yang & Sung find the roles of introducing the current status as well as guide the innovation process and presentation of the result in a wider complexity. Their motivators for participation and lasting innovation can be found in the injection of innovation and energy through the participation of external designers. Through long-lasting collaborations in the project 5% Design Action, many of the NGO’s and public sector participants became familiar with the applied methods and design tools in use over time. This became useful for the empowerment of the organizations capacity for own innovation. In the DFC program, many of the NGO’s and public participants already knew, used or had experience with design-led innovation, methods and tools. To them it really is a motivator for collaboration, as they already experienced the energy and enthusiasm from other projects, but to some of the “expert - users” these tools and the language connected to them, were unknown.  A meaningful motivator for the public sector to participate is entering in networked relation-innovation. Value co-creation with external stakeholders provides relation-making and lasting friendships and even new resources; man-power, skills, knowledge, technology, creativity and innovation. These motivators for participation were highly underlined by our collaborating partners from the both the public sector (CareWare / Aarhus Municipality) and   Thomas Østergaard  The designer as agent of community Linköping University Electronic Press 80 the NGO’s. (   Yang & Sung, 2016)  The fourth category; Owners of Co-creation mechanism, consists, according to Yang & Sung of the srcinal initiators, coordinators and producers behind the process. Their role is to maintain and produce the innovation process. Their motivation would be an urge to develop sustainable business models, new networks and strengthen teams and professional growth. In our case, this would be VIA Design,TiP, CAT and Aarhus Municipality.  According to this study, the motivation to join becomes stronger for external companies as the process contains strong capacities in compliance with what Yang & Sung found in their research. (See table 2) Critics of the Designers role as Agent of Community  According to Bason, (2013) design-methods have been applied in many kinds of collaborations in Denmark. But Bason sees a series of challenges, which are connected to using design-led innovation in the public sector: The first is, how to ensure the new design- led approach to actually find its “authority” within the complex nature of the many participants, stakeholders, users and end users. The second is about building and assessing capacity for using design-led innovation in the public sector. Design-led innovation has to become “internalized” to have an effect and cannot solely co nsist of external consultants (experts). Bason points the design-schools have to address the need and help the students to become agents of the communities. The third challenge is how to open up the bureau-cracy to co-production. As the public sector takes a more collaborative approach through design-led innovation it forces the public sector to work inclusive and multidisciplinary, across sectors and the political system. But dealing with many and different stakeholders can be an overwhelming task for anyone  –    also a designer. The underlying wish to act “with” rather than “for” the end users and citizens is challenging in SI. Norman, (2010) is very explicit in his critics on the role of the designer in the new design-domains. He stresses several issues which needs to be altered at the curriculums of the Design Educations. According to Norman design-students are often puzzled by the fact that their solutions are seldomly implemented, and if they are, they often fail. This, he claims, derives from the design-schools where students are insufficiently taught. He writes: “It is rare  for design education to have course requirements in science, mathematics, technology, or the social sciences. As a result the skills of the designer are not well suited for modern times.”     To understand and interact with complex social or political issues the students also lacks requisite understanding and knowledge about technology, personal biases, basic scientific research and validation skills, behavioral sciences or academic research. Norman underlines how hard it is to find a valid testing method at the design-schools where designers often provide limited testing of ideas and concepts among their fellow students and only rarely
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