Designing for Service, Multidisciplinary Perspective BY: Bruce Tether, Edited by Lucy Kimbell and Victor P. Seidel

Summary: This article starts with comparing the differences in perspective that manufacturing firms and service firms take when thinking about design. Manufacturing firms thought more about creativity and saw that designers had a role throughout the process, while business and financial firms said design had a very little role played. This leads to barriers within these fields because there are no clear results, and this leads to many people in these fields working in ‘silent design,’ where they are using design thinking and now knowing it. Manufacturing has learned to use design because it adds value to a product where it may have otherwise lost to competition because of this lack of something special.

The second half of the article describes peoples journey through understanding the perspectives on design. Over time design methods have developed from being a broad sense of what people do while they design to a series of tools. Then the article goes on the explain the different views on ‘artefact design’ and ‘service design’ through the perspective of what design methods are used. Mostly they have been artefact driven, but now, after much debate and study, service design tools may be a methods of working with people and a human centered design.


Reflection: This article is good at describing the two very different perspectives on design. I’ve learned why design has been more focused within the manufacturing field, and it is because you get a more tangible result that adds value and attracts customers on a production and consumption level. The second half describes in a bit more of a person opinion, where design has come from. I really liked when the author says that design is “anything one does while designing…” because it really shows how far the study of design thinking has come, it started as something so not understood and vague to something that is full of methods and tools for designing around people.


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