RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates: 6-9th July 2020
As the field of service design matures, questions of the impact of its practices, including a robust evaluation of its methodological gaps, potentials, limitations and claims, become necessary. Being held for the first time outside Europe and in the Asia-Pacific, ServDes.2020 invites you to focus on the three key conference themes – tensions, paradoxes and plurality. We invite you to reflect on the tensions and paradoxes of undertaking service design in contexts of plurality—cultural, economic, historical and environmental—in ways that privilege difference and diversity.
In an increasingly globalised world, the Asia-Pacific region offers a stage for negotiating systems and service complexity. This is a region where ‘design’ is positioned as a key driver for improving the living standards of many, and where its human and environmental capital is pivotal to economies all around the world. It is also a region of paradox and tension—of massive divisions of wealth; of both developed and emerging economies; where climate change is already displacing its peoples; where ancient cultural practices sit alongside emerging ones; where the effects of old colonialisms are still lived; and, new globalised relations offer new opportunities and challenges.
The conference seeks to explore the tensions and paradoxes of negotiating traditional knowledges, cultural practices, and relational obligations in the rapidly changing global landscape. We ask how might service design adapt its approaches to attend to such diversity? What can be learnt from the diversity of local practices and know-how of the region? How might we engage respectfully with Indigenous knowledges? How do collectivist societies see ‘services’ or ‘design’ as means of addressing the pressing concerns of their communities, and does the spectre of the designed service act as a lever to shift old modalities into the new?
We invite participation from you – practitioners and researchers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond – to share your insights and what you see as critical learnings for ‘service design’, ‘co-design’ or ‘social innovation’ in your areas of work by allowing plurality in these definitions.