Industry Issues - the short version write up | A Festival Story by Sam Richards


Sam Richards is a programme development officer and illustrator based in London. She attended and helped out at three workshops at this year’s Service Design Fringe Festival. Here, she shares her thoughts on the Industry Issues event on 17 September.


Industry Issues, 17 September, Katie Baggs and Chris French

This was the first session of the festival and the organisers, Katie and Chris, drew in a big and varied crowd of designers, creatives, and students.

The room mapped out all of the challenges facing the service design industry but the focus was largely around one burning issue: why is service design so misunderstood? How best can we describe it and, importantly, how can we get senior leaders to understand its value?

The group also discussed what the best way to embed service design is and whether everyone (service designer or not) should have some degree of service design responsibility… Would that help or should it always be a specialist?


In summary the group concluded that, as service designers, we are responsible for measuring the outcomes of our work and we need to find as many ways as possible to share the value of the work we do.

We may not always be understood and some will still ask, ‘so you’re a project manager then?!’... But that’s ok because, to some extent, we are managing projects. Service design helps identify and redesign organisational structures benefiting the way organisations work and that can be a pretty big project!