A group of representatives of the public sector, service designers and the University of Lapland visited Milan from 26 to 30 November 2013 in order to benchmark how service design and social innovations are used in public services renewal.
Theoretical background: A meeting with Anna Meroni at the Politecnico di Milano
Our trip started from the Politecnico di Milano. Established in 1863, Politecnico di Milano is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. It is ranked as one of the most outstanding European universities in Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design, and also regarded as a leading research institution in the world. Anna Meroni, Assistant professor of Service and Strategic Design, told us at Bovisa campus about the background of Service Science, service design master classes and DESIS network. The key reference disciplines of Service Science are ethnography, social sciences, management, engineering, behavioral sciences and computing.
Politecnico School of Design offers two-year master classes in such areas as Product Service System Design, Product Design for Innovation, Communication Design and Social and Collaborative Housing. The goal of the Product Service System Program is to integrate the designer to the whole service system instead of an individual innovation. The goal of the Product Design for Innovation Program is to integrate creative product development into experimentation, design and enterprise activities. The goal of the Communication Design Program is to cope with strategic communication problems and provide innovative solutions and coordinate all the roles and competences needed in a complex communication project. The goal of the Social and Collaborative Housing is to design and manage private social housing and public or private forms of collaborative living.
Politecnico is a member of DESIS (Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability), which is a network of design labs, based in design schools and design-oriented universities, actively involved in promoting and supporting sustainable change. The network was established in 2009 and today consist of 43 design labs around the world. The nearest labs to Finland are at Linnaeus University in Växjö and Malmö University in Sweden.
Social innovations in Practice