November 20, 2013

The Life 2.0 Business Model

Setting up a social network for elderly people is not an obvious exercise. The Life 2.0 project worked with this aim in the last three years. What is also not easy is setting up the right service ecology and the right business model. Here are some indications coming from the project.

November 20, 2013

Life 2.0 how do I create a new community?

The funding period for the Life 2.0 project is ended, but the communities are still there, and new ones can be added. Some suggestions on how to create new communities are available here

September 20, 2013

An old interview on service design in the public sector

After a PhD course on service design in the public sector, I was invited to reflect upon what we learned and what we still need to do…

March 4, 2012

Life 2.0 supporting elderly people’s independent life

The Life 2.0 project is a EU funded project that aims at supporting elderly people’s independent life through a platform of geographical positioning and social networking services. The project started in November 2010 and is now starting a pilot phase in which such applications will be tested in 4 pilot locations in Denmark, Italy, Spain and Finland.

The project is also involving elderly people in training centers (such as Kastanjegaarden in Aalborg, Denmark) community centers (such as  Agora in Barcelona) and local library (as in Joensuu, Finland and Milano, Italy).

In this blog I extracted a synthesis of the first results of the ethnographic analysis, the scenarios and the use cases the full deliverables and more information about the project are available at


March 4, 2012

A new service design master is starting!!!

A new Service Design Master is starting in Copenhagen in September 2012.

The professional profile of a service designer has so far been discussed in conferences and research projects, but so far no design education had offered a master program on this. Aalborg University is now proposing a master that will mix creative/design competences, together with IT and organisational/management skills. The master is open to international students and will be based on the work of researchers and professional practitioners working in relevant areas for service design, such as Industrial Design, IT and media communication, interaction design, experience design, user-driven innovation and strategic design.

More information about the master at

December 3, 2011

Design and the social sector

An annotated bibliography on design and social innovation

This is a project by Curtney Drake and William Drenttel, on design contribution to social issues and in particular to social innovation.

December 3, 2011

Joana Conill, Manuel Castells and Àlex Ruiz produced a new and interesting documentary that collects stories, cases and reflections on a different way of running economy and life. it’s about services, it is about new currencies, it is about local and sustainable production and consumption, lifestyles, social innovation,and many other things

September 14, 2011

A new book on service design

I just received a new book on service design. The book is “design for services”, by Anna Meroni and Daniela Sangiorgi.
I just browsed it and it seems quite promising, with a lot of case studies on different areas. I am particularly curious to see the areas of service co-design and on the future of service design. This could be the first real text book to support service design teaching

March 16, 2010

describing journeys as narrative

I’m trying to put together some idea about using a narrative approach to service design, and in particular I am trying to understand if we can use this approach to describe uers’ experience when approaching a service.

I found this description of the characteristics of a narrative on edutechwiki (according to Jean-Michel Adam’s definition)

  • a narrative involves a succession of actions (a description of a landscape is not a narrative);
  • a narrative involves at least one character, even if this character is not human (animal, object);
  • a narrative concerns a transformation from one initial state to a final state;
  • Unity of action: the actions is organized into a bigger unit, which forms a whole.
  • Causality: actions are causing other actions. Actions are not just following each other but are a consequences of each others.
  • Final evaluation: a narrative intends to exhibit a point of view, either explicitely (in the morale) or implicitely. In that sense, a narrative is a communication device.

Can a use case (or what many call “the user’s journey” be considered as a narrative, on the basis of this definition?

I hope someone will see this post and give me some feedback

September 10, 2009

Is service design boring?

I’m just back from an interesting trip to Finland, where I met a lot of people that have done the history of service design (e.g. Prof Birgitte Mager) and who will make the next history of this new discipline, such as my friend Redjotter and Satu Miettinen. The occasion was a workshop organised by Satu Miettinen and Kuopio Academy of Design.

The first day was mainly a seminar with Prof Mager and many other very interesting speakers; the second and third day was organised in 3 parallel workshops on different service design themes. I was particularly impressed by the organisation of the workshop on the hotel experience (for the use of personas and touch points, very well planned) and the use of the concept of journey (but I call it routine), to describe the average day of some of the actors, in the workshop on healthcare.

I also visited some colleagues at the Joensuu University of Applied Arts. In both cases I had a chance to expose my idea about service design as something that should not be just the design of the “front office”, as implicitely suggested by the idea of Experience design. I believe that if designers run the risk to get stuck, once again, in the position of “decorators”. The idea that product designers are just good at decorating the surface of products that have been technically defined by someone else is far from being antiquate. I believe that the idea that designer should just look at services as experience is more or less the parallel of this position in service design. I thing engineers and managers, who now claim their “ownership” on service design, would be very happy if we, designers accepted the idea that service desgin be just related to a series of human intervention to make the fron office more acceptable for users. But I cannot accept this role. I think we should work on the “mechanism” of a service, that means working on the organiational structure, on the technological infrastructure, and even on the business aspects of the service.

Well the reaction to this position have been positive in general, but a couple of comments struck me more: one of my colleague called me “engineer”, that implicitely means that he associated me with a sort of “machinistic” or even tayloristic idea about desgning services, nothing farther from my intention. Another comment, this time from a business professor, was that, seen from the perspective I propose, service design is boring. I may agree with this last comment, in the sense that the technical aspects of service desgin may imply less emotional involvement. However, given my whort past as an Architect and designer, I must say that I found the technical part sometimes challenging and even interesting!

However those comments, and especially the second, left me with the doubt: can service design be boring? If so, do we risk to make this discipline less “sexy” and therefore to loose students in the coming courses of service design? And above all, should we bother about this (And this is not just a rethorical question, I’m really asking this to myself)?