Service Innovation and Design: A Giant Leap

13th September 2013, my first master class on “Design Thinking and Innovation” at Laurea University and I must say What A START!!!

It was a very exciting day meeting all new people and introducing each other in all different ways. For example by creating persona, empathy maps and bingo game, this made it easier for our SID2013 batch to know each other better. This is when I realized that it is going to be an exciting learning journey ahead!


Laurea “Service Innovation and Design” (SID) 2013 batch Persona 🙂

Our day began with fun-filled group activities followed by introduction in to the concept of Design Thinking and Innovation. Special Thanks to Professors Katja Tschimmel and Gijs van Wulfen for introducing me to the world of different methods and toolkit used in the process of Service design and Innovation.


Design thinking is an iterative process!!

Prof. Tschimmel explained the concept very well that design thinking is an experimental and iterative process, not a linear process. Also it can be seen as a collaborative and participative process. This iterative process model is composed of four phases: Exploration(understand and observe), Creation (choose and define) Reflection (prototype & test) and then Implementation, simple isn’t it? Design thinking is all about transforming process in to evaluation and there are variety of tools that designers can use, such as visually related tools – drawing, sketching, mapping and prototyping.

I am so glad that in this two days session I also got chance to work on a group assignment using different methods and toolkit in the process of Design thinking, such as Brainstorming, Brain writing, Mind-Mapping, Foto Safari, Mood Boards, Ethnography and many more cool stuff.

Professor Wulfen also explained very well how an Innovation process is a journey of discovery, using this FORTH model.


Personally I feel FORTH model is a brilliant and systematic method to use it in any organizations. Hence, I decided to elaborate it more and here are my learning’s on the essence of this method:

Full Steam Ahead:  Prof. Wulfen has explained this as “Bay of doubts”. This stage is all about passion, determination, and lots of patience. Remember Innovation takes time! At this stage potential target groups should be identified and then KICK-OFF the innovation workshop.

Observe and Learn: Important is to be an open-minded, be curious and alert about everything. Listen to others, understand the need and learn. This stage is about exploring innovation opportunities.

Raise Ideas: Brainstorm, consider all other possibilities instead of your own judgments. Prof. Wulfen mentioned it is wise to choose multiple ideas rather than only one idea, because you never know which one will turn out best. It might be that combining two-three ideas can give birth to one innovative idea!!

Test Ideas: Concept testing. This is the stage where you can present your concept to others. Do mistakes but most important is to take feedback positively from others and from as many as possible. Don’t jump in to the end results directly.

Home coming: Presenting the idea. An effective Ideation process is then completed by groups and end results are presented.

And guess the end result after combining FORTH model with different tools one can use for design thinking? All groups had excellent innovative project ideas for the given assignment. Some of the things that I learned during this group assignment are – do mistakes, listen to others, take feedback positively and improve, improve, improve 🙂

For me The Innovation Journey has just now started. What about you?

Written by Sofiya Utge, Laurea SID student 2013 batch.


1. Tschimmel, K. (2012). Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona. ISBN 978-952-265-243-0.

2. Wulfen, Gv. (2013). The Innovation Expedition: A Visual Toolkit to Start Innovation. BIS Publishers. ISBN-13: 978-9063693138.

One thought on “Service Innovation and Design: A Giant Leap

  1. Hi Sofiya, I liked your entisiastic approach to the theme! You can see that the two day contact days got you lot’s of new ideas and tools for the coming year. I hope we all can implement and use these things during our studies. Our journey has indeed started with a giant leap! 🙂

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