Are you a Designer?

I am a designer!

How many of you consider yourself as a designer? This was one of the first questions we were asked in our service design workshop at Lahti University of Applied Sciences on October 9th 2012.

Probably you can guess the answer, roughly half of the participants raised their hands. Then it was time to wake people a bit. We were asked to draw twenty different pictures, and for every picture there was 5 seconds time for drawing. After the exercise Bas Leurs, one of our teachers from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences announced: Now you all are designers! Yes, he is correct, everyone is a designer.

Why and when do we design?

One student expressed well the reason for design: “We must design because we are not perfect”. This is true. We are constantly aiming for the better life quality. And feeling better.  Whether we are designing our daily tasks at workplace, decorating your own house or even when the aim is higher, for example improving public transport in the cities in order to save environment, at that point we are creating something new, designing.

What is design, paper balls throwing?

What is design?

Well, yes, in our workshop, design can also be that. Putting us to write our thoughts regarding design into paper, then by scrunching the paper and throwing them away, teachers made us to create again something. Enclosed our conclusions regarding the question: “What is Design?: “solution”, “people”, “simplifying”, “creativity”, “innovation”, just to mention few. But creating something new is not just enough, you need also to put the idea into practice, or in other words from context to form as Saskia Best, lecturer from  Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences taught us during the day (Analysis-Synthesis Bridge Model).  The main thing what was left into my mind during the workshop day was that customer is the key. Of course this is the thing we all students now already. This is easy right?  But as a service designer you are also connector.

You need to think not only consumer experience but also touchpoints, important stakeholders and brand values in order to design high-quality service.Slightly difficult to uderstand, isn´t it?

Luckily we had an opportunity to test some methods during the day.We experienced for example of brainstorming, critical artifact, customer journey map, and personas.  By finding what actually is the journey of a customer and what are the main characteristics behind his persona you are much closer in order to really getting into “customer´s mind”.

During the day I think that we had good training regarding different tools and for me the day opened more my own creativity also. And we had fun. But what about you then? Do you dare to challenge yourself? Do you start to think yourself as a designer? (Different ways of design: Ikea hackers)


I do. From this day on I will think myself as a designer and also rehearse my mind into innovation and creativity. Even if this would mean to draw different pictures into my notebook´s corners during the work meetings.

Text by Laurea SID student: Tinja Lindfors

References: This blog post was created as an assignment in SID course New service development and innovative service systems.

3 thoughts on “Are you a Designer?

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