Monday, April 14, 2008

Service Design for India: Change in Design & Management Schools needed

Image: A page from the booklet "Design for Services" launched by SEE Design Network of Design Wales, Cardiff. Full pdf files can be downloaded from the links below.

Service Design for India: Change in Design & Management Schools needed

Service Design is an emerging discipline that lies between the various fields of Design and Management. It is the cusp of both these major disciplines, which in India have rarely met or exchanged expertise in an educational setting. Design schools do not teach management in depth nor do management schools teach about design, leave alone design management. We have thousands of management schools in India when the pressing need is for the creation of experts who can innovate great services across a huge number of sectors of our economy. In my view design is needed critically in as many as 230 sectors of our economy and I have written about these in the past.

Across the world many management schools have started embracing design and innovation as a core offering to their students and in this the charge is led by the Rotmans School of Management Toronto and a less known school in Scandinavia called the KaosPilot, both of which have been covered in previous posts on this blog. In the 80’s the London School of Business had produced a book on Design Management and at both the Stanford University, USA and the University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki, there have been concerted efforts to bring together Design, Technology and Management through a planned series of projects that bring together faculty and students from all these disciplines in a transdisciplinary format. The Design Council, London had spearheaded an initiative called RED where a series of innovative design and management exchanges had led to the development of some very interesting new services, all designed by keeping users in mind. The Design Wales too has been working with SME’s and local businesses to assist them to refine their service offerings and their booklet on service design is a very refined offering that can be downloaded as a pdf file.

Several unusual experiments have been taking place in this space and the work done at the Mayo Clinic, USA is one that stands out in using the IDEO methodology to improve the service offerings of the medical establishment and their hospital chain, which has been covered in an earlier post on this blog. This year the KaosPilot school from Sweden has deputed 35 of their students to spend their “Outpost” session of three months in the field at Mumbai, and they are in the city till the end of May 2008 to explore the creation of new and compelling services that can build local entrepreneurship in a number of areas of service offerings from transportation to health systems. The Welllingker School of Management in Mumbai has started a masters programme in Design Management and NID Ahmedabad has a programme on offer called Strategic Design Management, but these are very little for a huge country like India and many of the other management schools should consider offering such programmes if we are to make headway in improving our services with the use of design and innovation, all managed by expert hands that are trained to do the job.

There are many online resources that provide insights into service design and its emerging boundaries and some of these are listed below for immediate access:

1. Design Council, UK: Service Design

2. Rotmans School of Management, Toronto: Integrative Thinking

3. KaosPilot, Denmark: Design of New Businesses

4. Service Design: Wikipedia: Definition and links

5. Service Design Research: Rich Collection of Papers

6. Resources hosted by live/work UK

7. Design Wales, Cardiff: SEE Design Journals

8. SEE Design, Design Wales, Cardiff: Service Design booklet pdf

Part 1:

Part 2:

9. Design Management Institute

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