Our first workshop takes place with Katharina and the students from the 4th Semester of Management by Design (MxD). Katharina is a Service Designer from Vienna, and she is also part of the Service Design Network (SDN). At first she introduces us to the idea of Service Design as a mindset. She explains that in order to make change happen through design, we need to consider the human relations, instead of focusing on products alone. The human experience of the world matters in design, and not only the technologies used to facilitate experiences.

Experience is a key factor in design, both in considering the users and in understanding the design activity itself. An important quote is that of Nigel Cross, who describes the skill to design as “designerly ways of knowing”, and so demarcates design as a particular way of understanding and intervening in the world.

In a following blog post we will reflect on the activities of the workshop:

  • We split into groups of 3 to 4 People.
  • As a group, we randomly chose an area which we would redesign
  • Everyone introduced themselves and provided words or sketches about three things how they felt connected to the chosen topic.
  • We conducted interviews about the topic with interview partners from other groups, and made notes.
  • We switched roles and conducted more interviews.
  • We defined the problem by distinguishing between what was said by the interviewees, and by what we though was meant.
  • We created a drawing of our solution to the problem we had discovered.
  • We proceeded to prototype our idea as a tangible object which we could show and explain.
  • Each of these activities was timed, and time limits were short and strict (5-15 minutes per task).
  • There were materials provided for each task, ranging from paper print-outs, pens, post-its, and craft materials.

Questions we want to explore are: How did we experience these activities? Which things worked for us and which didn’t? We will reflect on how materials influenced us in proceeding with the design activity.