Service Design Bingo!

Just one cheap Easyjet flight away, Croockfield is practicing service design in the Netherlands. On a quest for acing our service design pitch, we stumbled upon the Service Design Fringe Festival and couldn’t resist coming over.

What an inspiration and energy! Although there seems to be a therapeutic aspect to it: what a tough life explaining what it is we do. How do we get buy in on your projects? And how do we prove the value we bring to the table?  

We came well prepared. We took our own stand on pitching service design and created a probing tool to evoke discussion. You might have heard of it: ‘the service design bingo’. 


The tool is based on the following 5 principles: 

1.Explain its value. Instead of focusing on the process and what it is we do on a daily basis, focus on the results service design brings. 

2.Make it small. Pull them in rather than push them over. Don’t start lecturing an extensive course about service design. Instead, give bits and pieces that grasp their attention.  

3.Use down to earth examples. Keep away from abstract stories, were your audience drifts away. 

4.Compare to what your audience understands. Is he or she a software architect, UX designer or business strategist? Tell how service design is comparable or different. 

5.Make it visual. Use visuals as a handhelds in your story - for you and your audience.  

We’ve already had some exciting discussions going on, and today we will be evoking them at the EY Seren workshop. If you’re interested in what we’ve learned and what the probing tool might develops into, check out our website Or send a message to one of us, and we’ll keep you posted.  

Aafke Croockewit and Evelien Veldhuijzen  

Partying with limited food waste!

When you organise an event, you often end up with leftovers. You want to make sure your guests are well fed, but what happens when there's too much food?

At the Service Design Fringe Festival, we organised a VIP evening and a Launch Party to kick it off. We ended up with a decent quantity of perishable foods, and it was out of the question to waste any!

Lucky for us, we know a super cool charity, FEAST! WITH US who make meals for adults at risk in homeless shelters, all made from surplus food. They are always looking for volunteers to help in their kitchens, or donate any salvagable surplus. If you fancy learning more about it or coming along, check out or email

Lovely Hannah, the founder of FEAST! WITH US came on her colourful bicycle to pick up everything she could, including vegetables, juices, fruits, flour and sugar. She informs us that this has already contributed to a FEAST! session at a homeless shelter in Kilburn.

lovely hannah.PNG

So, when organising big parties or events, check out the charities/hostels/soup kitchens/groups locally. There are so many in London that will be more than happy to collect your extras! Hopefully this will inspire others to do good by people, and by the environment!



Launch party & podcast launch

Launch party & podcast launch

Today we're halfway through the Service Design Fringe Festival 2017! It's been an incredible, packed week so far. Twitter is the best way to watch how it unfolds if you can't make it in person - we have ambassadors at every event taking photos and tweeting. 

At the party, Service Lab London launched their brand new podcast which has three episodes live already. They record their monthly meetup talks and will make them available through this channel. The festival is collaborating with them so you'll be able to hear select talks from this year's and last year's festival through their podcast. 


Hi, I am NiChun. I'm working as part of this great team as a graphic and website designer. My work list is full of design items, in other words, I design touch points for people who want to join the festival, such as the leaflet you got. At the same time, I work on improving the official website. (I wasn't the one who built this nice website from nothing though!)



I call myself a research designer. I worked in the service design industry for two years before I came to London. Research, for me, is our greatest guide. Without research, designers are left to blindly navigate paths in the dark. 

Currently, I am studying MA interaction design in Goldsmiths College, and I am going to graduate this December - yeah!


I am from Taiwan. And it's great to join the festival to learn more about how the service design industry works in London. An ambitious dream of mine is to one day bring this festival back home and hold it in Taiwan! 


My independent project for my degree show is an exploration of the possibilities of cooking spaces. I welcome input from everyone, so feel free to talk to me about your cooking experiences. For me, I cooked in the toilet for months (!). If you want to know more, feel free to contact me. And also, I am looking for internship opportunities.

You can find out more about me at, which includes some of my past work and CV.

If you'd like to contact me, my email is:

connect me via LinkedIn


Services reimagined for brighter futures: Announcing the 2017 Student Service Design Awards winners

Services reimagined for brighter futures: Announcing the 2017 Student Service Design Awards winners

A service to support migrant sex workers, learning materials to assist people with autism preparing for job interviews, and a system to help those without a fixed address to access crucial services. Announced today, these are this year’s worthy winners of the first-ever Student Service Design Awards, presented by the Service Design Fringe Festival and Arts Thread.

SDFF’S first Co-design Diversity & Inclusion Workshop: Let’s keep the conversation going – there’s so much to learn!


After unanimous nods of agreement from the SDFF team a few months back urged on by Lior (Festival Founder); it was clear that we wanted to make progress in the area of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the Service Design Industry. And we wanted to use the Festival this year (and forever) to do this.



For us this wasn’t about empty D&I chat. We see diversity and inclusion as a social good that should be embraced by all, especially change makers and designers. And we don’t want to just talk – but do something, maybe even lead by example if we could! We had a few ideas lined up which included shaping our internal D&I principles, but we knew our biggest challenge would be beginning the external engagement needed to feed into our thinking.


So, we did the unthinkable…. drum roll…. we welcomed a diverse bunch of designers to come and design stuff with us! Our focus was on ideas on how the festival could improve our diversity and inclusion - with a focus on ethnicity which was evidently poor at last year’s festival. We also wanted thoughts/ideas for the wider sector. It was a gutsy attempt – but proved worth-while.  


Firstly, people actually turned up (phew). Then after some initial exploring of our understanding of diversity and inclusion, we focused most of our creative energy on small groups creating a party manifesto for the design sector, which addressed pain-points we identified. Each group had to present their manifesto to the group. Great ideas emerged! It was fun. There were commonalities. Healthy tensions. But most importantly, there was rich conversation!


The conversation was the best bit. Individuals opening up about their often-silent views, observations and gripe. It was absolutely fascinating to watch voices emerge on a topic that can be very sticky. And we certainly had a couple of ‘low level’ sticky moments. It was great. Those moments are key. They hold us in a place of uncomfortably. Forcing us to sit with it and work through complexity. We/organisations must get better at sitting with sticky stuff attached to D&I, but not for too long that no action is taken!


It then dawned on me. How often do we put ourselves in a room with different people talking about D&I? For many of us we don’t – and we should. We are and contributed to through conversations. And although some great ideas emerged from the workshop, the value of what we discovered through conversation was the true gem. In fact, the designers wanted more discovery!




Golden insights from the workshop/discussions:

  • We need new and engaging ways of talking about and increasing D&I

  • A key part of addressing challenges around D&I is about sharing privilege

  • How do we prepare the next generation to be better at D&I?

  • Design institutions have a role to play proactively asking themselves and the industry questions about how we play closer attention to D&I.




My facilitator takeaways:

[1] Time: Diversity and inclusion requires time – so don’t be hasty with session outputs. Even if a simple conversation takes place, it’s a useful and powerful starting-point, as well as part of the solution, because we don’t talk about D&I enough which undermines our ability to make positive progress.

[2] Tension between diversity strands: Although there is a broad diversity and inclusion agenda, the individual strands (LGBT, Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Disability, Faith etc) share common characteristics, but also have different challenges which require individual focus. They should never compete against each other, but should be self-aware when separating them out to gain depth and tackle specific challenges.

[3] Diversity and Inclusion are cousins: The relationship between diversity and inclusion is an interesting one. Diversity is about the mix. Inclusion is about getting the mix to work together. Without inclusive environments, diversity will not thrive. But without some diversity, shaping inclusive environments for a diversity can also be a challenge.



Next steps:

A big thank you to those on who attended our first co-design D&I workshop, as we now have even better understanding of where SDFF can add further value. As a starting point, we want to get better at starting and developing the conversation around diversity and inclusion in service design, and will find different ways of doing this through our festival.


The Story Behind The Service Design Fringe Festival

We managed to catch our founder, Lior, in a quiet moment to quiz her about all things Service Design Fringe Festival. Here's what she had to say.

Why did you start the Service Design Fringe Festival?

I started the Service Design Fringe Festival because I was dissatisfied; the same motive for a lot of entrepreneurs starting their own ventures. I was 24 and I was finding it hard to get a job as a service designer. I already had some great experience on my CV so it just didn’t seem right that it should be such a struggle. I’d been on the design scene, and attending the London Design Festival, for the last ten years or so (since I was 15) and I didn’t understand why service design wasn’t part of the London Design Festival. I thought: if it were part of it, there would be more awareness of the industry and its necessity and eventually more jobs - and then I would be able to get hired! I saw it as a long-term solution to problem that I, and other service designers, were facing.

If you had to sum up the Service Design Fringe Festival in a couple of sentences, what would you say?

The Service Design Fringe Festival is there to introduce service design to people who don’t know what it is. It’s also for practitioners to come together and help each other raise their game, through problem solving and co-design. It is also great for those involved in the industry to develop knowledge and networks. And, of course, for everyone to enjoy themselves!

[That was more than a couple of sentences, Lior, but we’ll let you off.]

What excites you most about the festival this year?

I’m a bit of a geek in some ways. I’m really excited about the quality of the events this year. The hosts have thought really deeply about things so we’re getting into the nitty gritty of the challenges within service design, which I love. We’re also going to have one or two events for kids, which is cool, so they can learn about service design for the first time.

I’m super looking forward to festival time - the vibe is unbeatable. It feels like a grown-up practitioner version of a design school studio, with camaraderie and candid constructive challenge. With the melting pot of people that come, in a mindset of inventiveness and goodwill, you can witness new knowledge being created when we come together. I come from a theatre family, so I try and bring a bit of fun and spectacle to the mix too. Why shouldn’t our work be fun?

We have lots of great partners for the festival. What would you say to anyone considering joining us as a partner this year?

Apart from supporting this amazing culture change of making service design a more established discipline with better quality outputs (as that’s what comes out of the festival: really great outputs), it’s also a really good way of getting in front of the best practitioners around today. As a company, getting your name in front of them means having lots of opportunities of getting those people on your team and gaining more, and better quality, clients.

What are your hopes for the festival in the next 5 years?

I would really like to take the festival around the world. A September London Festival, Milan in April and then San Francisco and Korea, to run alongside design weeks. I also hope we play a role in ensuring that service design doesn’t continue to be a fringe thing. I would like, in the next 5 years, to expand what we do to non-festival activities too. Perhaps learning opportunities and mentorship schemes to do with issues we’ve seen in SD.

Thanks very much for your time Lior and best of luck with the festival.

If, after our interview with Lior, you can’t wait to be involved or learn more, then we can’t wait to hear from you.

Potential partners, please get in touch with us at

For all other enquiries, you can contact us at


It's our last Be Part of It! tonight

Tonight is another one of our brilliant Be Part of It! evenings - and we’re excited to see some of you there! These evenings are for our prospective event hosts to come along and share their ideas for their talks and workshops that will make up the festival’s programme that is fit-to-burst with interesting, thought-provoking and engaging events.

Why do we love our Be Part of It! evenings so, you might wonder? Luckily, we’ve created this handy list of 5 reasons why these evenings are our favourite:

  1. We meet new people who are keen to participate in the festival as event hosts. They’re all linked to service design in some way, but their backgrounds are really diverse which means we meet some really interesting people and companies

  2. We hear new and innovative ideas from service design practitioners; ideas that are really pushing the envelope and introducing new ways of thinking

  3. We work collaboratively with the people who help make the festival what it is by contributing our ideas for their workshops too - we all help and support each other which makes the final events the best they can be

  4. We show our event hosts the ethics behind the festival, from why it started to our hopes and dreams for the festival to our commitment to great inclusion and diversity as part of the festival

  5. We feel the festival coming together as ideas and events are thrown into the mix, inching ever closer to the kick-off in September

So, there you have it. Five great reasons why we love our Be Part of It! evenings.

This is our final session of the year, having had some excellent event ideas brainstormed and submitted to us for the festival in September. The deadline has passed for submitting an event idea to be in the festival now. However, we will be making the odd exception on a case-by-case basis. If you’re kicking yourself that you’ve missed the deadline, then do get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.

Introducing our new Ingenious Intern!


I’m Ella and have just joined the Service Design Fringe Festival Team as the Ingenious Intern. 

Having only just graduated I'm a total newbie to the world of Service Design and can’t wait to get involved. I’m here to assist with the festival programme curation and co-ordination, enabling the festival to run as smoothly as possible.

I studied Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University and my design approach has developed into a passion to change the way information is translated from the company to the user.  


An example of this is my final year project Check Your Chest. It is a campaign to encourage people to regularly check for Breast Cancer. The project involves adding lumps to everyday products that evokes the haptic sensation of engaging with a physical object as opposed to the typical information leaflets from the NHS. The everyday products I have adapted include bars of soap; push panels on doors and oyster cards. The overarching aim of this project is to remove the stigma attached to checking your breasts and encourages people of any age to look for symptoms. The campaign aims to promote a better understanding and result in eliminating late diagnosis, and therefore dramatically reduce the fatalities from this disease.

Having not really been exposed to Service Design at university I am really excited to see all the amazing work and learn lots of new information about it. 

This is one article I found that really explained, through examples, what Service Design is. One example I really connected to was the MacMillan Nurses. Below is the link that has more examples of the Public Sector using Service Design.


Currently I’m on the look out for exciting new opportunities and always up for a chat over coffee/ beer. 

Feel free to email me

& check out my website:

follow me on twitter: