The Impact of ‘Service Design’ on the Industrial Design Engineering Curriculum

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Visser, Froukje Sleeswijk; Stappers, Pieter Jan
Series: E&PDE
Institution: ID-StudioLab, TU Delft, The Netherlands
Section: Service and Systems Design
Page(s): 813-818
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


Recently, both media and practice are dealing with a wave of interest in “service design”. Some present this as a radically new approach to product development that overarches the established disciplines. Others regard it as the natural next step in emerging specialisations of design, in the line of interaction design, experience design, and systems design, but don’t see anything particularly new in it. Examples of the ‘service design’ phenomenon are that a sizeable number of design graduates now work in disciplines beyond classical product design or interaction design. Some work in the building industry or urban planning, some in financial services, some in developing complex organisations; in the fuzzy front end of development, methodical approaches to design seem well applicable for many purposes. In order to better prepare our students for coping with the situation in practice, and to better equip our curriculum with the means to teach this, we analysed the current academic literature, discussed with peers of other academic institutions who are trying to integrate these new mindsets and tools into their education system as well. Based on the findings we have set up an elective course ‘service design process’ for Master students of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE). The course addresses the overlaps and differences between the design processes of products and of services. This paper discusses these developments and how we aim to promote a critical discussion about the positioning of the new generation of graduated designers from our school in design practice.

Keywords: Industrial design curriculum, service design, new roles of designers


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