This list represents a summary of the past forty years of service design literature. The citations were compiled from the Emergence conference at Carnegie Mellon University as well as the Designing for Services project in the UK, service design syllabi at CMU and independent research. I've included the abstracts and introductions to the papers and cross-referenced examples and concepts so that it's easy to follow the development of ideas such as "service blueprinting" across multiple papers.

Select any underlined term to filter the list, showing only papers that share that particular concept, example, author, journal or decade. If you'd like to help fill in the gaps by suggesting other canonical papers, e-mail the citations to service at Thanks!

Filter: Papers that mention "School Bus" | View all papers
Silent Design
Design Studies, 1987
Peter Gorb
From the article: "This paper describes the outcomes of a one-year pilot research study and outlines the routes for the two-year wider study to follow. The research was prompted by the growing interest in the UK in design and its contribution to business performance, and the need to replace anecdote about 'best practice' in organizing and utilizing design with information about more 'general' practice. After defining design as 'a course of action for the development of an artefact' and suggesting that design activity pervades organizations, the paper describes the methodology used to examine how design is organized. Using matrices to explore the interaction of design with other business functions the report suggests that 'silent design' (that is design by people who are not designers and are not aware that they are participating in design activity) goes on in all the organizations examined, even those which have formal design policies and open design activities. It is the scope and nature of 'silent design', and its conflict and/or cooperation with formal design activity, which will form the basis for the hypothesis on which the wider investigation will be built."

Examples: London Business School, Design Council

Compare with:
Why Design is Difficult to Manage: A Survey of Attitudes and Practices in British Industry
Why Design is Difficult to Manage: A Survey of Attitudes and Practices in British Industry
European Management Journal, 1989
Angela Dumas
From the article: "Over the past decade design has emerged as a potent economic force in both the manufacturing and service sectors of Western industry. The notion of technology-led is now being replaced by technology- and design-led. The emergence of design, however, has been problematic for industry. Technological developments are relatively clear-cut: design developments are not. The formulation of effective design policy and the management of design are fraught with difficulties for companies. The research reported in this paper sought to investigate current practice and attitudes towards the management of design in British industry. This involved a survey of senior managers from major companies in Britain. A similar survey has been carried out in the USA which will be reported in a later paper. The main findings to emerge were (a) the existence of four distinct types of company, each with their own approach to design, (b) the pronounced effect a design manager has upon attitudes within a company and (c) the clear distinction between the manufacturing and service sectors. The practical implications of the research are discussed here with reference to the management of design in companies."

Examples: London Business School, Manufacturing Industry, Service Industry

Compare with:
Silent Design
Cheaper, Faster, Easier: Disruption in the Service Sector
Strategy & Innovation, 2004
Clayton Christensen
From the article: "New developments in health care, higher education, and the law are just the beginning. Most people think of disruptive innovations--the simple, cheap, convenient advancements that create new growth--as tangible products. However, service-related businesses face the same circumstances that drive disruption in product-related businesses, such as the pressure to improve to serve leading customers better and the presence of "nonconsumers" who seek to do for themselves what they historically paid an expert to do. As such, service-related businesses teem with the potential for disruption."

Examples: Health Care, Education, Law, Kmart, Wal-Mart, QuickMedx, University of Phoenix, Concord Law School, eLawForum

Relational Services
Knowledge, Technology and Policy, 2008
Carla Cipolla
From the article: "Recent research projects have looked for social innovations, i.e., people creating solutions outside the mainstream patterns of production and consumption. An analysis of these innovations indicates the emergence of a particular kind of service configuration—defined here as relational services—which requires intensive interpersonal relations to operate. Based on a comparative analysis between standard and relational services, we propose to the Service Design discipline an interpretative framework able to reinforce its ability to deal with the interpersonal relational qualities in services, indicating how these qualities can be understood and favored by design activities, as well as the limits of this design intervention. Martin Buber's conceptual framework is presented as the main interpretative basis. Buber describes two ways of interacting ("I-Thou" and "I-It"). Relational services are those most favoring "I-Thou" interpersonal encounters. "

Examples: Living Room Restaurant, Walking Bus, School Bus, McDonalds