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Life Services

Providing agency to manage our future economic, physical and mental wellbeing.
Our life decisions and choices interact with technology, systems and procedures via physical and virtual touchpoints. Emphasising the human, social and community in these processes, helping people have agency and knowledge to make the right choices requires understanding of the issues and barriers and how to access new opportunities.

The Life Services Lab is a place where society’s biggest challenges are creatively explored and co-created in virtuous ways. Where student projects live outside of portfolios and in the real world; winning back agency, providing opportunity and finding better ways of being human.
From financial services to the future of healthcare, come and work with us and our partners on developing the next generation of life services.Get in touch with us if you're an organisation working in this space and you'd like to collaborate on a research project. Get in touch

What can service Design do?

“Moving to a lower-carbon future is not going to be a great, dramatic transformation – it will be slow and chronic….I hope what comes next is a more focused, locally rooted and inclusive politics based around asking people what they actually need in their lives, and working out how to fit those things within an environmental framework.”
Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian

After COP26 we have a destination: huge cuts in carbon emissions.

What we don’t have is a path. How do we integrate millions of EVs into our neighbourhoods? Sensibly install hundreds of thousands of heat pumps into leaky, poorly prepared homes? Adjust our appetites for fast fashion, carbon heavy diets and impulsive travel? And do all that in a way that is fair, thoughtful and even fun?

The Design For Planet Lab aims to help map this path. Through live projects conducted by students and staff and in partnership with NGOs, companies and government, we apply these 4 core elements of service design to the urgency of the climate challenge:

Empathy: Through understanding the habits, dreams, desires and fears of people, we design solutions that people actually want and use.

Systems Thinking: helps us identify how sustainable solutions need to fit into complex social, cultural and economic systems and helps us anticipate the potential unintended consequences of our designs.

Bias To Action: We create prototypes to allow people to experience and react to/against possible sustainable futures.

Fail safely: Rapid prototyping and speculative design allow us to test future scenarios quickly and cheaply. Letting us fail, iterate, improve with the urgency the crisis demands.


EY Seren - Financial Sustainability

Working alongside EY-Seren and Nationwide we established a studio project with four student teams exploring financial decision making. The briefs unpacked the notion of banking and found ways to help people make sustainable financial decisions for the long-term.



We are grateful to EY Seren for their ongoing support and sponsorship of the Life Services Challenge lab. Alongside EY-Seren we have been working with Nationwide on this terms brief on 'Financial Sustainability'.


Daniel Birch

Project Partner

Head of Service & Experience Design at Nationwide Building Society

Justin Cook

Visiting Associate

Director of Center for Complexity at RISD

Kam Chana

Head of Financial Services Lab

Richard Sedley

Project Partner

Richard Sedley, Chief Design Officer, EY Seren and Partner, EY

Will Shaw

Visiting Associate

Strategic Design Director at EY-Seren

Work With Us

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