Conference article

Dance of designing: Rethinking position, relation and movement in service design

Shana Agid
Parsons School of Design, The New School, USA

Yoko Akama
RMIT University, Australia

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Published in: ServDes2018. Service Design Proof of Concept, Proceedings of the ServDes.2018 Conference, 18-20 June, Milano, Italy

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 150:67, p. 800-811

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Published: 2018-07-05

ISBN: 978-91-7685-237-8

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Despite the recognised need for service design (SD) to understand the complexity in which it intervenes, we are concerned with its desire to fix dynamic configurations through a dominant instrumentalized worldview. We critique the journey map – an iconic method in SD – as one illustration of this fixing tendency in order to highlight how nuanced details are sometimes designed out and argue why such omission is ethical and political. In contrast, following feminist theory, we ground our accounts of practice to argue that service ecologies are situated and continually emergent, constituted by the changing configuration of various things. Instead of fixing to make static or finalise, we use freezing as a temporary state to trace and orientate our movements in a co-design workshop. The similarity of and tension between notions of fixing and freezing is used to call out nuanced differences and attend to the intrinsic, dynamic and temporal nature of service design.


positionality, politics, emergence, feminist theory, participatory design


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