Nick Leon: Royal College of Art


Nick Leon: Royal College of Art
Nick is head of service design at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. Dr Leon began his career as an industrial designer at IBM, moving from designing products then services, through to developing entire new businesses in his role as business development director for IBM’s Global Services division in Europe.

DAY 1 – Donald Gordon Theatre – 9:45AM – 10:15AM

The Service Design Imperative

See the presentation slide at SDNC13 

Service Design is the application of design practice to the other 80% of the economy. It demands new skills, tools and techniques, perhaps even a rethinking of what we mean by design itself. Designing product service systems and the business models that enable them, means crossing boundaries between design disciplines, business and technology. It means changing the processes and practices not only of designers but how firms innovate and organize themselves. This isn’t easy as we share different working practices and cultures, but, it’s essential, for service designers, if we are to collaborate or even lead innovation. Innovative service systems can create rich and integrated customer experiences – delivering real social and economic value, opportunities for self-expression, and bring meaning to peoples’ lives, as well as to the world we share. We live in extraordinary times, a perfect storm faces us; the environment and climate change, an ageing demographic, pressure on resources, rapid urbanization and issues of social and economic exclusion. These systemic issues need a systemic design response and that’s the role of service design if we are ready to take up that challenge and responsibility.

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