On April 12th 2013 a group of ser­vice design edu­cat­ors met in New York City for the first “Ser­vice Design Ped­agogy Colloquium”.

The col­loquium was an encounter of ser­vice design edu­cat­ors from key design schools to con­sider the ped­ago­gic infra­struc­ture of ser­vice design teach­ing and learn­ing, map­ping and debat­ing cur­rent ped­ago­gical prac­tices and its impact in defin­ing dif­fer­ent ser­vice designer pro­files. The prin­cipal aim of the col­loquium was to engender crit­ical and pro­gress­ive dis­course regard­ing the emer­gence of ser­vice design ped­agogy, serving as space for dis­cus­sion, cri­tique and val­id­a­tion of ped­ago­gical methods.

The group shared the dif­fer­ent cur­rent cur­ricular mod­al­it­ies that sup­port ser­vice design teach­ing in each school as well as courses and gradu­ate pro­files. The group also mapped out the dif­fer­ent ser­vice design approaches and their dis­cip­lin­ary ‘DNA’, as an exer­cise to define a ser­vice design tax­onomy, in rela­tion to other design and non-design dis­cip­lines. Other map­ping exer­cises included identi­fy­ing most used meth­ods and tools, and a meter on ser­vice design val­ues and polit­ics, aim­ing at veri­fy­ing if and how we acknow­ledge the inher­ent polit­ics of ser­vice design in our courses.

Ini­tial find­ings from these col­lect­ive exer­cises include the iden­ti­fic­a­tion of pos­sible gaps and oppor­tun­it­ies worth explor­ing for example at the inter­sec­tion between ser­vice design and the design areas con­cern­ing the build envir­on­ment (archi­tec­ture, interior design, urban and land­scape) and between design and eco­nom­ics and policy. In terms of meth­ods and tools, our map­ping revealed, per­haps not sur­pris­ingly, that time-based nar­rat­ive tools are the most used within our courses, clearly reveal­ing the time-based nature of ser­vices and the chal­lenges of its representation. More find­ings will be shared soon.