At the heart of the Service Design course is engagement with real problems in the world. Working with a diverse mix of industry partners, the student work has covered a broad range of projects. This year we have arranged the work around 3 Challenge Labs - Design for Planet, Social Impact and Life Services - that showcase the impact and ethos of service design. Each lab hosts a set of studios looking at what’s next in EV Charging, a circular future of sport, true carbon zero, domestic heating transformation; Alternative to Recall and ensuring life-long financial safety and stability for all;

Thank you to all the partners, from EY Seren, Nationwide, Catch 22 and Adidas who have worked with our project teams for the last few months…

WIP show projects 2022

The Social Impact Challenge Lab is a place where societies biggest challenges are creatively explored and co-created in virtuous ways.

Where student projects live outside of portfolios and firmly within the real world; winning back agency, affecting policy, providing opportunity and finding better ways of being human.
The climate crisis is so pressing that the next 3 or 4 years will determine the future of humanity. So says a recent UK Chief Scientific Officer.

How can designers respond to a call of such overwhelming urgency?  

How do we employ our design skills, choose projects with the most impact and bring an environmental lens to all of our work?

The Design for Planet Lab is a practical experiment in answering these questions: a place to design for our planet with confidence, sensitivity and impact.

FINAL show projects 2021

While we keep developing and solving some problems, other issues become visible. As Service Designers we question fixed mindsets and actively respond to potential challenges. Designing for equity doesn't mean that everyone should be treated exactly the same, but we need to understand the real needs and create a space which allows diversity. We are not equal yet, but we can design the way our world serves us towards an equitable future. Amplifying the voices that need to be heard, find a balance, and enable people to enjoy the same beautiful world.
Since the industrial revolution, consumer consumption has been a driving force within the global economy; but today the vast amounts of materials and energy used to supply the markets is leading us beyond safe planetary boundaries. We question the net benefit of some existing practices and propose system interventions that can contribute to the emergence of truly sustainable societies.
Progress is a human instinct and inherent desire. Yet we reached a point where even our most mundane objects are reinvented almost daily and science fiction movies promote more apocalypses than utopias. To not only master but strive within a frequently changing world we need to build resilience. For Service Design this means to share our creativity and optimism. So even in times of trauma we can collectively imagine an alternative reality to jump off to.
The landscape of our businesses consists of ever new and fresh ideas, while big players are growing in accelerating speed. It’s a race between agility and consistency. As Service Designers we are focused on the legitimacy and purpose of a business and help the existing landscape to flourish. We mediate between the makers and the people and planet to bring together real needs and real visions. Transforming businesses to flexibly progress towards a more social and sustainable future.
Our daily routines are quietly haunted by 24/7 availability, permanent productivity and increasing functionality. It is even more important to build strong cultural systems to give people the chance to take it all in, to connect and create in local and global communities. For us in Service Design culture is not only a heritage or identity, it is also a much needed void to escape the confrontations of our hyper-effective systems and explore our (human) nature together.
Data and new technologies can be both saviours and secret weapons. They are independent, yet the ways they are used or abused are driven by human biases and purposes. What can be the true potential of data? Service designers are stepping in to explore how our technological tools can truly benefit humanity and the planet. And make contributions to health, politics, built environment and education in becoming responsible data.
The whole world needs to be reframed and put under construction. So as Service Designers we move beyond the actual invention and think about ways to set an impulse, to educate ourselves and others creatively. Finding ways to distribute knowledge for everyone to make more conscious decisions from the inside. When the immediate environment becomes a complex mesh of responsibilities we need to reimagine peoples agency.

wip show projects 2021

Social Resilience & Impact
Social Resilience reflects the growing challenge in pandemic that amplify deep routed social issues. Projects look at the role of regulators to embrace the needs of all society and create a more inclusive approach, able to anticipate the impact of legislation and policy.
Future of Work
The Future of Work projects combine speculative design visions of a future possible that breaks our work rituals and finds new solutions that allow us to reduce stress, work at different paces and collaborate creatively. The projects are rich inspirations for our future ways of working.
Sustainable Solutions
Sustainable Solutions develops new commercial platforms for sustainable consumption and behaviour change.
New Interactions
New Interactions explores how we will interact with services in a Zero UI, non touch world where voice and gesture will provide safer and richer alternatives to touch screens and buttons.
People Powered Health
Three projects have focused on the topic of Genomics. A vitally important component of the future of health, our scientific endeavours in mapping the human genome in over a 100,000 people has triggered huge progress in the fight against illness and genetically inherited disease. Working with NHS hospital trusts and experts in the field, the students tackled the human aspect of life changing information and decisions. Combining the human with the scientific is at the heart of service design and how we can help scientific advances contribute to our quality of life.
Citizen Centred
Citizen Centred presents the work of a collaboration with Aalto University in Helsinki and the build to rent organisation UKAA that looks at the relationships between property development, inclusive design, and community innovation.