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.

Our Conference Programme is ready!

Our conference programme is ready and full of transversal content, experienced participants and wonderful locations around Milan. We are looking forward to joining the discussions.

Monday, June 18

For those participants who are arriving early: you are invited to join the Complimentary Pre-Conference Workshop “Gamification for Service Design and Innovation”, lead by the IADE – Creative University Lisbon, ideaChef; stay tuned for more information, as registration is limited.

On the “PhD Special Seminar: unfolding a proof of concept”, PhD candidates and Early Career Researchers will meet at Appartamento Lago to explore and discuss the field of service as an established discipline. They will develop open questions to actively be involved in the following Conference sessions.

ServDes International Committee Meeting and the DESIS Assembly —the annual meeting of DESIS Network members— will take place at OpenKnowledge. Then, the Conference Grand Opening will be held at La Triennale di Milano, one of the most vibrant, popular and important exhibition centres in the city.

Finally, a moment lead by Service Design Drinks Milan, in which our international track chairs will share some preliminary thoughts on the 8 tracks of the conference, followed by a standing dinner at the backyard of Triennale.

See detailed programme

Servdes.2014 archive

The Servdes.2014 conference ran from 9-11 April 2014. Check back later for papers and proceedings.


ServDes2014 explores how Service Design is contributing to ‘Service Futures’ and how it is developing as a field of research and practice. Download the ServDes2014 programme with paper and workshop abstracts.


Find out what's on the schedule and plan your must-see events for days 1, 2 and 3 of ServDes. 2014.

Travel & Accommodation

ServDes2014 will take place at ImaginationLancaster (Lancaster University). Find out how to get here and where you can stay once you've arrived.

Conference organising committee


Daniela Sangiorgi, Chair
David Hands, Co-Chair
Emma Murphy, Co-Chair
Pam Hearne, Administration
Rachel Cooper, Design Journal

Lancaster University Management School:

Katy Mason, Advisor
Martin Spring, Advisor

Servdes. sponsors