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Workshop descriptions

Workshop Descriptions

We are glad to announce the full list of workshops that will be conducted during the next ServDes 2018 Conference in Milan. In the following, you can find a brief abstract about each of the eight proposals. Participants to the conference will be free to choose where they want to join the conversation. We hope to see you at the conference.

19th of June


From A to B. Design the Mobility of the Future

Today, inclusivity means more than just overcoming physical barriers, it is about removing the barriers that create undue effort and separation, so to enable everyone to participate equally, confidently and independently in everyday activities.
Co-designing an inclusive e-Mobility scenario means to emphasize the contribution that understanding user diversity makes, to inform these decisions, and thus to include as many people as possible. User diversity covers physical, conceptual, economic, cultural and social aspects.

By utilizing collaborative tools, the attendees will experience the benefits of an inclusive design approach to design services that should be adopted by the majority of people.

In partnership with NTT Data.
With the participation of designers with a long experience in working with diverse companies’ profiles.


Data Challenges and Opportunities in Designing for Service

The rising relevance of data in the design of new services exposes service designers to new challenges and opportunities. The ever-growing number of services that use and/or produce data requires service designers to be equipped with the tools needed to understand, analyze and transform data as well as design and inform the process with them. It is then crucial to define how to achieve this data literacy to move beyond statistical analysis and consolidate a set of (design) practices for data usage. Achieving this higher level of data literacy can help integrate data better into the design of services.

Lead by Aalborg University, Narai, and Mappi-na.


Humanizing Organizations – the Pathway to Growth

The workshop focuses on the human aspects of organizations such as needs, values, motivations, beliefs or fears and introduces a framework for evaluating key factors that “humanize” the organization.
Through collaborative and interactive teamwork, audience – together with organizers – will explore, discover and identify emerging key challenges to become a human-centered organization, and ideate design solutions to solve them.

Lead by University of Wuppertal, University of Lapland, University of California, Aalto University.


Between servitude and collaboration. A service design choice?

20 years ago the debate on the upcoming service society started. Now it is here and it seems quite different from the one imagined: it is a fluid mesh of interactions colonized by neoliberal ideas and practices in which services are evolving towards a new form of servitude. That is: services based on encounters where the service delivered is subject to the power of a platforms and, behind it, of the platform owners. Until now, criticism has been mainly directed towards the economic environments in which it happens: the platform economy and the related gig economy. The workshop aims to discuss the implications of this in terms of service design and of design for social innovation.

Lead by the DESIS Network Association with the participation of invited discussants.

20th of June


How Service Design can Drive the Digital Transformation of the Retail Revolution

The retail arena is undergoing great transformations, also due to constantly connected consumers with 24hrs access to a global shopping experience, at their smartphone length. What does this mean for traditional retailers? How are new players eroding incumbents’ share of the market? How do you re-invent your business and your experience when you don’t know who your competitors are anymore? The workshop will investigate these questions and discuss about how a service design approach can help retailers to face these challenges and drive digital transformation in the post- commerce era.

In partnership with Deloitte Digital.
With the participation of invited companies from several industries.


Digital Transformation through Community and Relationship Building

Communities are increasingly central to the strategies of communication that companies adopt. ABB S.p.A. is an example of how collaborative communities can help shape a cyclic process of identity definition and development. This case will be presented in the workshop to explain how the Twig agency has guided digital transformation through communities, also thanks to the scientific contribution of the university and the development of a broader methodological vision, that has lead them to combine service, marketing, communication and technology in a synergic way.

In partnership with Twig.
With the participation of ABB EP Italy, Cefriel, and experts from Politecnico di Milano.


The Latest Words on Service Design: Talking about Books

An interactive roundtable with the authors of some of the most recent words on service design: Designing Better Services: A Strategic Approach from Design to Evaluation (Foglieni, Villari, & Maffei – 2017), An Introduction to Service Design: Designing the Invisible (Penin – 2018), Designing for Service: Key Issues and New Directions (Sangiorngi & Prendiville – 2017), CoDesign for Public- Interest Services (Selloni – 2017), and This Is Service Design Doing: Using Research and Customer Journey Maps to Create Successful Services (Stickdorn, Hormess, Lawrence & Schneider – 2018).

The workshop is organized by ServDes.2018 and will be lead by the authors with a moderator, who will engage in an interactive discussion with the audience.


Service Design for Autonomous Driving

Autonomous driving is a phenomenon whose impact goes much further than the car itself: it will truly change our lives for good on a social, cultural, economic, urbanistic and behavioral level.
The aim of the workshop is to highlight the new tools, environments, opportunities, and expectations that this tidal change will bring.
Participants will be divided into groups and challenged by convenors to come up with ideas and questions for each area of exploration (Love, Health, Space, Time, Money): how can we, as a society, “design” the best experience after the arrival of autonomous driving phenomenon?

Lead by V12design and Secolo Urbano.


Local Scientific Committee
Conference Chair
Anna Meroni, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

Davide Fassi, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Stefano Maffei, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Margherita Pillan, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Daniela Sangiorgi, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

Track Chairs
1. Learning and practicing
Alessandro Deserti, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Anna Meroni, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Bas Raijmakers, Design Academy Eindhoven and STBY, The Netherlands

2. Sharing and collaborating
Marta Corubolo, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Daniela Selloni, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Anna Seravalli, The School of Arts and Communication Malmö University, Sweden
3. Measuring and evaluating

Francesca Foglieni, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Beatrice Villari, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Froukje Sleeswijk Visser, TU Delft, The Netherlands

4. Governing and evidencing
Stefano Maffei, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Marzia Mortati, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Jesper Christiansen, Nesta, United Kingdom

5. Producing, distributing and organising
Venanzio Arquilla, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Massimo Bianchini, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Peter Gall Krogh, Department of Engineering-Design, Aarhus University, Denmark

6. Experiencing and shaping
Davide Fassi, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Laura Galluzzo, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Oliver Marlow, Studio TILT, United Kingdom

7. Community and relationship building
Margherita Pillan, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Francesca Piredda, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Lisbeth Frolunde, The Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Denmark

8. Envisioning and evolving
Daniela Sangiorgi, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Francesco Zurlo, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Lia Patrício, School of Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management, Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Learn more about the tracks

Conference Management and Organization
Conference Manager
Beatrice Villari, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

Conference Manager Assistant
Ana María Ospina Medina, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

External Events Coodinator
Martina Rossi, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

Workshops Chair
Marzia Mortati, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

PhD Special Seminar
PhD Special Seminar Management and Organization
Annalinda De Rosa, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
with Camilo Ayala Garcia, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Stefano Parisi, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

Advisory Board 
Silvia Piardi, Head of the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Luisa Collina, Dean of the Design School, Politecnico di Milano
Giuliano Simonelli, President of POLI.design, Politecnico di Milano
Matteo Ingaramo, General Director of POLI.design, Politecnico di Milano
Paola Bertola, Coordinator of the PhD in Design, Politecnico di Milano
Ezio Manzini, Honorary Professor of Design, Politecnico di Milano

Visual Communication Design
Andrea Manciaracina, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

Translations and English Editing
Rachel Anne Coad

Conference location

The conference address is: Milano, via Candiani 72 - 20158 - Milano - Italy
Screenshot 2016-02-10 17.17.32  





Beautiful Milano

Duomo di Milano

Conference committee

Yoko Akama
RMIT University, Australia

Jeanette Blomberg

Carla Cipolla
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Simon Clatworthy
School of Architecture and Design, Norway

Stefan Holmlid
Linköping University, Sweden

Yong Se Kim
Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea

Satu Miettinen
University of Lapland, Finland

Nicola Morelli
Aalborg University, Denmark

Janne-Valtteri Nisula
Laurea UAS, Finland

Lia Patricio
University of Porto, Portugal

Daniela Sangiorgi
Politecnico di Milano, Italy