Design is no longer focused on the material world. In the last two decades, it has expanded its impact to the world of services. Services are interconnected systems of people, processes, structures and material evidence, embedded into a cultural context. Designing for service experiences includes a broad range of activities.

Service designers are working in interdisciplinary teams in order to explore opportunities for improvement and innovation within service systems. These opportunities can be related to the physical evidence, to people-to-people or people-to-machine interactions. They can be related to the front stage as well as to the back stage of the service performance.

Twenty years ago, service design was implemented as a new and experimental discipline at the Köln International School of Design. Throughout the last two decades, it has become an internationally recognised field of science and practice. Universities all over the world are offering educational programs, service design agencies have been successfully established and industries are applying service design with the aid of agencies, but are also educating their staff and building in-house competencies.

So what is different about service design? How does it relate to the more traditional areas of expertise and how has it changed the meaning of design? Is there a theoretical and methodological framework that redefines design? And what is needed in education and in practice to make people more aware of of service design? Can we talk about the future of the service economy and the role design will play?

This conference will explore the theoretical and methodological framework of service design and how the expertise of service design influences the role of design within our society and economy. Case studies will give insights into service design as a practice and workshop settings will allow detailed insights into the processes and methods of service design. Renowned researchers and practitioners from all aver Europe will make this an incomparable service design summit.

After the conference day, we will have a delightful reception, celebrating 20 years of service design at KISD.

The conference will be held in English.

Who should participate?

  • Service providers from the public and private sector will have the opportunity to learn about the opportunities afforded by service design and to connect to a community of innovative and inspirational people.
  • Practitioners and researchers from related areas will come together in an interdisciplinary community and interconnect their expertise with design.
  • Also, designers and design students will enjoy this fruitful gathering of state-of-the-art research and practice in service design.

Concept and organization:

Prof. Birgit Mager
in collaboration with
Enis Akiev



Wegen der Konferenzsprache ist das Programm auf Englisch.

8:15 AM Registration

9:00 AM Opening: Professor Dr.-Ing. Christoph Seeßelberg, President CUAS
Birgit Mager, Service Design – Introducing Adam Lawrence (workplayexperience) MoC and Facilitator of the Conference

9:15 AM – 10:45 AM Speeches

“Shifting the Focus. New domains for Design.”
Mark Bernhardt, Jennifer Bagehorn, Meiré and Meiré & Pia Betton, Bastian Boss, Edenspiekermann

Two agencies with a strong design background on stage! Edenspiekerman has integrated service design into the portfolio for many years already, Meire and Meire is starting to explore the opportunities service design might offer for the future. Why is this happening? Adam Lawrence will have a conversation with the two agencies – putting his finger on the central questions „why“ and “how”. So this opening session will give insight into the changes in our economy and how this redefines the meaning of design!

“Educate for the future”
Nick de Leon, RCA, London & Gaby Odekerken, SSF, University Maastricht

Two Universities – two approaches to service design. Nick Leon, head of the Service Design Master Program at the Royal College of Arts, London and Gaby Odekerken, Head of the Service Science Factory at the University of Maastricht will give insight in how service design is changing education – in design and in business programs.

“Software to Service”
Kalle Buschman, frog

The digital transformation is long term disrupting all markets, but most companies are not set-up to fully embrace the changes. A common tactical reaction is the investment in creating new, or updating existing software products and digital touchpoints. These companies often don’t understand the new class of challenges they are facing as a service organization. In his talk Kalle will present how frog as a product strategy and design firm is using Service Design to support companies on their journey to become a modern service provider — one touchpoint at a time.

10:45 AM Coffee Break

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Parallel Sessions “Doing Service Design”

“From Zero To Hero – E.ON meets Service Design”
Jenny Bauschmidt, E.ON & Jan Schröder, minds & makers

Over the last four years E.ON Germany and minds & makers took on the adventure to implement an in-house Service Design approach in order to lead E.ON Germany towards a customer centric organization. We will take you on the journey that started with a lot of skepticism and resulted in global board members joining in. You will have the rare chance to hear and learn about both sides of the story – the client’s and the agency’s.

“A report from reality – Service is dead, long live Servitization.”
Benjamin Schulz, Service Innovation Labs & Felix Scharf, VW

Innovation hurts, yet shift happens. Anecdots from practicing Service Design in the corporate context. Few years ago, practicing Service Design still felt like a challenge to convince people and organisations, where today it seems like everyone is screaming the hype of Design Thinking and that Service Design is needed in every corner of organization and projects So what! Shift happened —> From the why to the how —> what to prepare for and involve in the shifted reality.

“Service design and financial services – an outside-in and an inside-out perspective.”
Taina Makijarvi, NORDEA & Alex Nisbett, Livework

“What if …? Designing Customer Centric Services In NORDEA” Taina will share experiences and learnings of planting Service Design within Private Banking and Savings & Wealth Offerings in Nordea. Taina will give insight in the internal cross-border Service Design training activity – how to start transferring the organisation towards customer centricity. What are the practical challenges that emerge when planting new ways of working? “Service Design and Financial Services – An Outside-In Perspective” Alex will take a look at some of Livework’s projects in the financial services industry from the last ten years, looking at a wide range of challenges and solutions, sharing what worked, and even what didn’t. Is there anything that typifies working in this traditional but fast moving sector? What can we learn? What is the value that service design delivers which brings banks, insurance companies and buidling societies back to the designers again and again?

“Bringing Service Design In-house – a toolbox”
Manuel Großmann & Martin Jordan, Service Design Berlin

Companies need to learn how to apply Service design themselves – instead of relying only on external experts. The session follows a pragmatic approach that provides best practises on bringing knowledge and experience in-house. We will discuss different learning concepts that address various stakeholders ranging from front stage staff to managers. An essential part of the conversation is to shed light on boundaries and pitfalls as this is an important aspect of learning as well. Furthermore dos and don’ts of ‘learning how to service design’ will be discussed.

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM Speeches

“From a medical product to a trusted health service”
Verena Augustin, IXDS & Maria Kevorkova, CardioSecur

IXDS and CardioSecur will present the story of how they launched a ground-breaking new service structure and application for heart partients. CardioSecur developed the technology that enables users at home to professionally monitor their heart health and share the data with their doctors. IXDS set out to turn the experience of monitoring your heart health into a delightful service experience through a holistic service design approach. The presentation will include experiences and perspectives on the project as well as on the process. We will discuss what’s important when designing for a service ecosystem around new technology and how to emotionalize the experience of a medical product.

“Bravery, Banks and Brands – People, technology, courage and dreams and their role in designing great experiences.”
Clive Grinyer, Barclays

Designing digital services and experience requires vision, courage and deep insight into people – the customers and the people who make decisions that impact the experience. This talk looks at how we make decisions and how design can drive better decisions and next generation digital customer experiences.

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Lunch Break

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM Parallel Sessions “Doing Service Design”

“Stein gehabt! – Die Drive-In Customer Journey bei Carglass®”
Martin Irmler, Result Learning and Transfer GmbH & Co. KG & Reinhard Strobel & Thomas Hennig, Carglass GmbH

Stein gehabt? – Was dann? Carglass® ist ein offenes Haus, jeder Kunden kann spontan vorbei kommen, ohne Termin. Empfangsraum und Werkstatt – alle Räume sind zugänglich und der Kunden ist eingeladen beim Reparaturprozess zuzuschauen. Ein Zeichen für Expertise und Premium-Service, aber auch eine Herausforderung für die Service-Mitarbeiter, die oft Kundenbetreuung und Montagearbeiten zugleich machen. Wie zeige ich Expertentum? Welche Prozess, Werkzeuge und Verhaltensweisen setzen das richtige Zeichen beim Kunden? Wie überzeuge und begeistere ich ganz unterschiedliche Kunden-Typen von der Carglass® Qualität? Und wie fördere ich die notwendige Verhaltensänderung der Mitarbeiter? Wir zeigen den Entwicklungsprozess der neuen Drive-In Customer Journey bei Carglass® und testen gemeinsam die Herausforderung der Verhaltensänderung und des Expertentums.
This session will be in german.

“Make it real. Start with post-its, finish with the implementation.”
Barbara Grosse-Hering & Ione Ardaiz, Designit

Service Designers have long discussed about the research and conceptualisation of services, building a solid expertise. The implementation of services however, is a phase that has set aside. The implementation phase is the one which makes our service ideas come to life and is the one that we should really take care of. In this session we would like to share our experiences on implementing services and discuss them with participants: the process, examples and key learnings.

“How to make friends, and save the economy”
Aviv Katz & Nicholas Campbell Watts, Innovation Unit and Certitude

The workshop will focus on the power of our social and emotional assets – and how to use them to become more successful. Through storytelling and scenarios we will explore how service design can help make people happy and connected. It draws on the experience of certitude, a London-based charity that offers a range of services for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities. They have been looking at new ways of supporting users become more confident and independent. Working with the Innovation Unit’s service design they are rolling out an asset-based approach to supporting their users.

“Designing Back Office’s Services”
Marion Fröhlich & Mauro Rego, SAP

Enterprise IT is a complex context. It is usually taken only as a provided software for a specific work transaction, however it is part of an entire experience. The software is part of a delivered value that goes beyond its functions. So what changes for the designer when the enterprise IT is not anymore a product provider? From cloud services at work to tablets in the classroom, the individual software applications are now framed as service-bundle. We are putting enterprise services under the microscope. We discuss its challenges, short-comings and potentials.

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM Coffee Break

3:45 PM – 5:45 PM Speeches

“Prototype your way forward”
An on-stage interview with Barbara Franz, IDEO & Dorothea von Boxberg, Lufthansa

In 2013 Lufthansa joined forces with IDEO to rethink the airline’s business class service on long-haul flights: An ambitious service design project took off – including prototyping the new passenger experience in a 1:1 prototype of an Airbus A380 with 92 business class seats and fully equipped galleys in Lufthansa’s test center. The concept has been tested, “live” on board, since July 2014 – and in this session participants will have the opportunity to hear first-hand about the project, the process and the results. Adam Lawrence will be on stage in conversation with Dorothea von Boxberg and Barbara Franz.

“What’s next for Service Design – Designing for Disappearance?”
Thomas Müller, Fjord

Thomas Müller will illustrate how Fjord as a global leader in service design, looks at how the relatively young category of ‘wearables’ is challenging the very notion of design. Designers will need to continuously evolve their role, skills and tools to stay relevant, inspire, collaborate and guide even as the results of their work increasingly will become invisible or altogether disappear.

“Service design for networked business models”
Aldo de Jong, Claro Partners

With increased connectivity, networks at both a global and local level are growing rapidly whilst new communities can develop and flourish through digital channels. These allow for resources to be shared, swapped, borrowed and traded; bearing a new economy that favours access over ownership. We’ll make sense of how these models, like Whipcar, Airbnb, Zopa and Thredup work and examine the way in which they disrupt business as usual. This is a dramatically different user experience context that demands a transformation of our approach to service design. In this session we will share findings from our global research that explored the experiences and opportunities involved in moving from an ownership economy to one built on access and sharing. We will present guidelines for creating value exchange networks and share some tools we’ve developed for creating networked services and business models in the sharing economy.

Think Big. Discussion with some of the thoughtleaders in Service Design
Description is coming soon

5:45 PM Final words by Birgit Mager
6:00 PM Service Design Reception:
Celebration 20 Years of Service Design at KISD

Picture Gallery:


  • Address Ubierring 40
  • City Cologne
  • Post Code 50678
  • Country Cologne

Date 18. May 2015

Time 8:15 am - 6:00 pm