Call for ServDes.2023 proposals

The ServDes conference committee welcomes proposals to host the Service Design and Service Innovation conference 2022, ServDes.2023. This will be the 8th edition of the biannual ServDes conference, following Oslo (2009), Linköping (2010), Helsinki (2012), Lancaster (2014), Copenhagen (2016), Milan (2018) and Melbourne (2021). ServDes is the premier research conference for exchanging knowledge within Service Design and service innovation studies. It is a biannual conference with the aim of bringing researchers and practitioners together to discuss, share and evolve the emerging discipline of Service Design, and design-related service innovation. Proceedings from the conference are published open and online, and their availability for readers and indexers is guaranteed by Linköping University Electronic Press.

We welcome applications from institutions with a proven history of research and/or education in or related to this field and a relatively active local environment to deepen understandings and practices of Service Design.


Your proposal should answer some basic questions, in order to be part of the selection process, and be around 2000 words long:

Where: information on the hosting organisation and city (why there?) and accessibility (can delegates easily get to the conference venue?)

Who: who is the organising committee (Is there the required capacity and expertise? what are the ongoing and past topic-related projects, publications or education activities?) including a documented commitment from a local research group/team and the host institution (Is there the required commitment and support?)

What: what is the proposed theme of the conference (How is it relevant for the development of the field?), any idea for its possible format and publication options beyond the proceedings, and potential social program

Why: why do you want to organize the conference (What is the interest in relationship to service design and service innovation)

When: when will the conference be held, and how does those dates fit with other conferences and deadlines in 2022-3 (does the timing fit?)

How: information on facilities, accommodation and supporting services (conference services, transport, IT, etc.) (does the location has all the necessary facilities and resources?)

How much: costs, estimated number of participants and possible conference fee (Is it sustainable and accessible?) plans for sponsorship

ServDes.2020: Tensions / Paradoxes / Plurality

ServDes2020 B+W

RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
NEW Conference dates: 2nd-5th February 2021

As the field of service design matures, questions of the impact of its practices, including a robust evaluation of its methodological gaps, potentials, limitations and claims, become necessary. Being held for the first time outside Europe and in the Asia-Pacific, ServDes.2020 invites you to focus on the three key conference themes – tensions, paradoxes and plurality. We invite you to reflect on the tensions and paradoxes of undertaking service design in contexts of plurality—cultural, economic, historical and environmental—in ways that privilege difference and diversity.

In an increasingly globalised world, the Asia-Pacific region offers a stage for negotiating systems and service complexity. This is a region where ‘design’ is positioned as a key driver for improving the living standards of many, and where its human and environmental capital is pivotal to economies all around the world. It is also a region of paradox and tension—of massive divisions of wealth; of both developed and emerging economies; where climate change is already displacing its peoples; where ancient cultural practices sit alongside emerging ones; where the effects of old colonialisms are still lived; and, new globalised relations offer new opportunities and challenges.

The conference seeks to explore the tensions and paradoxes of negotiating traditional knowledges, cultural practices, and relational obligations in the rapidly changing global landscape. We ask how might service design adapt its approaches to attend to such diversity? What can be learnt from the diversity of local practices and know-how of the region? How might we engage respectfully with Indigenous knowledges? How do collectivist societies see ‘services’ or ‘design’ as means of addressing the pressing concerns of their communities, and does the spectre of the designed service act as a lever to shift old modalities into the new?

We invite participation from you – practitioners and researchers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond – to share your insights and what you see as critical learnings for ‘service design’, ‘co-design’ or ‘social innovation’ in your areas of work by allowing plurality in these definitions.

Read more for here for further details

Servdes.2014 archive

The Servdes.2014 conference ran from 9-11 April 2014. Check back later for papers and proceedings.


ServDes2014 explores how Service Design is contributing to ‘Service Futures’ and how it is developing as a field of research and practice. Download the ServDes2014 programme with paper and workshop abstracts.


Find out what's on the schedule and plan your must-see events for days 1, 2 and 3 of ServDes. 2014.

Travel & Accommodation

ServDes2014 will take place at ImaginationLancaster (Lancaster University). Find out how to get here and where you can stay once you've arrived.

Conference organising committee


Daniela Sangiorgi, Chair
David Hands, Co-Chair
Emma Murphy, Co-Chair
Pam Hearne, Administration
Rachel Cooper, Design Journal

Lancaster University Management School:

Katy Mason, Advisor
Martin Spring, Advisor

Servdes. sponsors


  • 05 February 2021, 05:23
    Yes! It is one upside to having a virtual event and we are so glad you enjoyed it.
  • 03 February 2021, 14:26
    #servdes2020 crowd: ice breaker question- What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment? #servicedesign