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Service Design focuses on education, teaching and learning in the area of service design. As more designers work in areas where a service perspective is dominant, new demands on knowledge, skills and attitudes are being forefronted. As relational perspectives become more important to design, culture and design can strengthen each other across old borders. As more designers call themselves service designers, new constellations of and relations between design practices develop. As more non-trained designers are doing and being involved in design work, new possibilities and challenges ensue to act as a trained designer. As universities and design schools increase their engagement in service organisations, social or societal challenges, new ways of working develop that relate to taking responsibility in such relationships. These challenges are not uniform for all universities, design schools, programs or courses. Across countries and cultures there is a large variation and a pluralism that is a good growing ground for sharing and developing knowledge. 

While this invitation uses terms like ‘service design’, which may assume a prefigured field, this working group is also open to other understandings of what ‘service’ and ‘design’ might mean when framed from another culture or practice. Exercising diversity is one aim of this group so we may respectfully connect and share in our encounters.

The basic idea of the working group is to connect universities and design schools around the new challenges for design and design education when engaging in service industry, public sector, civil society and societal transformation. The foundation is open sharing of challenges, ways of working, development goals, ideas for solutions, curricula, etc. The goal is to develop each other into being better in responding and handling the challenges, so that our students become better designers and our collaborators are better for designers.

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