Fjord goes back to school, again

Marco Righetto

Not so long time ago we saw a couple of Fjordians (Andy Goodman and myself) going back to school in the Netherlands. That experience was a great learning opportunity. We love to learn, but we also love to share our knowledge. And this is precisely what we did a few days ago in the University of Zaragoza, Spain: to talk about Service Design.

I was invited there to speak at the opening keynote of the fifth edition of their “Design Week”, and run a workshop afterwards.

A crowd of about 70 students and a bunch of professionals were eager to get a better grasp on what Service Design actually is, so my talk focused on providing a succinct introduction to the discipline and why it is relevant for product and visual designers.

The students were incredibly enthusiastic about broadening their perspective on design, learning about real life examples on the market, both within and out of Fjord. They were most interested in Fjord’s My 3 for the actual value people saw in making mobile phone billing more transparent and the Lockitron, for its elegantly simple concept and execution.

The Q&A that followed highlighted their interest in applying Service Design methodology not only to big corporations but also to more local SMEs. They key takeaway I aimed to convey was the notion of Service Design as a holistic discipline, and that as designers, they are entitled and expected to design not just the processes but also the protocols that facilitate relationships. This new role of the designer was embraced enthusiastically, especially because it was clear that, at the end of the day, they will get more opportunities to understand complexity and deliver simplicity.

During the afternoon, the session continued with a workshop for 24 students who had applied to participate in my workshop. They were taken through some key exercises informed by Fjord’s Ideator, the methodology we use at Fjord to generate as many good ideas as possible out of a workshop. We also had a bit of fun acting out presentations. The workshop allowed the students to experience what is like to discover opportunity pockets with extreme scenarios and try them out.

What was most interesting to me was how in such a broken economy, these students saw bargaining in their hypothetical future scenarios as a very viable space of opportunity. Let’s see what the future holds…

Marco Righetto

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