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What’s SDR


What is the Service Design Research initiative?

It aims to collectively build an understanding and foster a dialogue on where ideas and concepts of Service Design have come from, how these evolved over the last two decades as well as report and review current research and service design practices. The motivation is to consolidate existing knowledge and to support the growth of a research community that engages in meaningful research relevant to the challenges design is dealing with today and in the future.


While Service Design is now being acknowledged by most within the design community, the various initiatives, events and research projects that aim to define what Service Design is and does are starting to grow in number with little focus and on shaky foundations. Likewise, design practices are quickly evolving to stretch existing boundaries and to question again the reason and need for this specialisation (in Service Design).

We argue that to support the growth of activities around Service Design, there needs to be a space for deep self-reflection on its theories and practices. The idea is to create solid foundations for its further development both in education and research and to support an open and diverse research community as well as interdisciplinary dialogues with other related disciplines.


The ‘Service Design Research’ initiative will start as an online blog that will host interviews with key people working in the Service Design Research area. This sharing of knowledge, experiences and opinions on Service Design will allow us to compile downloadable reports, generate fundamental insights and create the necessary network and themes that will allow us to set up or inform potential research events.

Who is involved?

Daniela Sangiorgi
ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University
Lancaster, UK

Stefano Maffei
SDI Agency, Politecnico di Milano
Milano, Italy

Nicola Morelli
School of Architecture and Design, Aalborg University
Aalborg, Denmark

Anna Meroni
DIS, Politecnico di Milano
Milano, Italy