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Make New
Experiences
Possible
For
By
Date
Power and Service Design
Making sense of service design’s politics and influence
...
I’m Gord Ross,
VP and Partner at
OXD in Vancouver
@gordonr on the twitters
Hello Toronto!
C A U T I O N
THEORY
AHEAD
Where is service
design going?
Service design
has ambitions
Service design wants to
be the new normal
“ Designing a purpose driven
circular economy”
SDGC 2019 Program
“ Lessons from Five Years of
Deep Partnership to Redesign
the Canadian Welfare State”
SDGC 2019 Program
“ The Evolving Double Diamond:
How Design Can Tackle
Economic and Societal Changes”
SDGC 2019 Program
“ Designing for Public Education:
Partnerships Across Government,
Technology and Design”
SDGC 2019 Program
“ Designing Futures We Can’t See
or Even Understand”
SDGC 2019 Program
What exactly is being
designed here?
Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
The service encounter
A focus on the experiences people
have as they engage in interactions
with touchpoint provided by ot...
The value co-creating system
A focus on the dynamic exchanges
of resources and processes that
achieve outcomes for the act...
The socio-cultural configuration
An assemblage of constituents,
which emerges through the
dynamic unfolding of practice,
p...
Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
Source: Design Issues: Vol. VIII, Number 2, Spring 1992, MIT Press
Source: Design Issues: Vol. VIII, Number 2, Spring 1992, MIT Press
1. Symbolic and visual communications
2. Material objects
3. Activities and organized services
4. Complex systems or envir...
1. Symbolic and visual communications
2. Material objects
3. Activities and organized services
4. Complex systems or envir...
Service designers need to
better prepare ourselves
for intervening at scale
The stakes are higher when
working at scale
Where does service
design happen?
Large organization image
Organizations are places of
DIVERGENT INTERESTS
Organizations are places of
CONFLICT
Organizations are places of
POWER
What should be done?
1. Bringing about futures
2. Evaluating futures
3. Enlisting sponsors for futures
4. Materializing futures
“Design makes f...
Large organization image
Source: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/economy/issues-
by-the-numbers/trade-in-services...
“ ...design gives material expression to ideological
landscapes that prefigure particular forms of living,
moving, gatherin...
“ The world is on its way to ruin
and it’s happening by design.”
Mike Monteiro, Ruined by Design
What do we really mean
when we talk about our
power as service designers?
Who is gaining and who is
losing and by which
mechanisms of power
when we design services?
A theory of power
A theory of power
A theory of action in
the face of power
Manuel
Castells
Source: http://biblioteca.uoc.edu/sites/default/files/styles//
public/manuelcastells.jpg
THE NETWORK
SOCIETY
(Yes, I know it’s a weak attempt at linking this
talk to the conference theme. Sorry.)
What is power anyhow?
Relational capacity to
influence asymmetrically
other social actors
Coercion
and/or
Construction of meaning
Domination:
Power embedded in the
institutions of society
Power is not an attribute,
but a relationship
EMPOWERMENT!
...their empowerment
against other social
actors...
Networks
NODE
NODE
NODE
NODE
NODE
NODE
TIE
TIE
TIE
TIE
TIE
TIE
NODE
NODE
NODE
NODE
NODE
NODE
ACTOR
ACTOR
ACTOR
ACTOR
ACTOR
ACTOR
Source: https://www.palaisdetokyo.com/en/event/carte-blanche-tomas-saraceno
(This is a social network
visualization I created using
MS Excel and a plug-in
called NodeXL. For real.)
Power + networks
Networking power
Network power
Networked power
Network making power
Bunny power
Dog power
Sheep power
Cow power
Networking power
Who is in / who is out
“Unbanked, those without smartphones,
and low-income people.”
Who gets to use the service
you’ve designed and who
doesn’t?
Network power
The rules of inclusion
(Is that like a printer with a phone attached to it?)
Progressive elimination
of the alternatives
We trade convenience
for choice
What ways of designing
and forms of knowledge
are privileged over others
in your standards?
Networked power
Some actors have power
over others
This is the way the world should be
What if no one signs
up for our futures?
Network making power
Ability to form networks
Ability to
program/reprogram
networks
Sounds like governance to me
Source: https://medium.com/pulse-lab-jakarta/coming-together-to-design-safe-transit-solutions-for-women-c7a10b052c99
Who gets to make the
decisions of inclusion?
Networking power
Who’s in, who’s out?
Networked power
Who has influence
over others?
Network power
What are the rules
of i...
So what the hell do
service designers do
with all of this?
Knowledge is power
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomachean_Ethics
techné - τέχνη
Knowing by making
Concrete, variable, context
dependent knowledge.
Technical know how.
episteme - ἐπιστήμη
Knowing by thinking
Universal, scientific knowledge,
invariable in time and space.
Theoretical know wh...
phronesis - φρόνησῐς
Practical wisdom
Ability to contemplate our choices
and discern the best course of
action in the cont...
techné technical know how
episteme theoretical know why
phronesis practical knowledge
and practical ethics
Getting your craft wrong
Source: https://www.washington.edu/news/2016/03/14/documents-that-
changed-the-world-hanging-chad...
Source: https://www.driving.co.uk/news/pointless-road-signs-removed/
Being illogical
1. Where are we going?
2. Who gains and who loses, and by
which mechanisms of power?
3. Is this development desirable?
4. ...
We are aspiring to
better process AND
better outcomes
Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/08/
china-abandoned-bike-share-graveyards/566576/
Service design has ambiti...
We must think critically about the futures we are creating.
Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/brazil-iphone-prison-2...
It’s time to explore some new/old theoretical territories and intellectual adjacencies.
Sociology, communication, and plan...
Concepts like communication power and phronesis point towards a new power-aware,
responsible and reflexive service design t...
1. Service design has ambitions and our work has systemic consequences.
2. We have no choice but to think critically about...
Post-normal service design
You have power. Use it
wisely.
Service Design and Power Reading List
https://ideas.oxd.com/sdgc19power
Have a favourite book that should be on the list?
...
Image: Adam Fagen / CC-BY-NC-SA2 https://flic.kr/p/N45H8A
Unlike the act of navigation, wayfinding
implies progressing ten...
Make New
Experiences
Possible
Thank you
Gordon Ross, Vice President & Partner
210-12 Water Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A5
g...
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD
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Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD

In this talk, Gordon Ross will discuss different partnership models that exist between organizations and consultants collaborating on service design initiatives. He will reflect on his experience as a service design consultant across a wide range of private and public sector projects, highlighting challenges faced along the way.

Become a member!
https://www.service-design-network.org

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Power and Service Design: Making Sense of Service Design's Politics and Influence | Gordon Ross | OXD

  1. 1. Make New Experiences Possible For By Date Power and Service Design Making sense of service design’s politics and influence SDGC 2019, Toronto Gordon Ross, Vice President & Partner, OXD October 10, 2019
  2. 2. I’m Gord Ross, VP and Partner at OXD in Vancouver @gordonr on the twitters Hello Toronto!
  3. 3. C A U T I O N THEORY AHEAD
  4. 4. Where is service design going?
  5. 5. Service design has ambitions
  6. 6. Service design wants to be the new normal
  7. 7. “ Designing a purpose driven circular economy” SDGC 2019 Program
  8. 8. “ Lessons from Five Years of Deep Partnership to Redesign the Canadian Welfare State” SDGC 2019 Program
  9. 9. “ The Evolving Double Diamond: How Design Can Tackle Economic and Societal Changes” SDGC 2019 Program
  10. 10. “ Designing for Public Education: Partnerships Across Government, Technology and Design” SDGC 2019 Program
  11. 11. “ Designing Futures We Can’t See or Even Understand” SDGC 2019 Program
  12. 12. What exactly is being designed here?
  13. 13. Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  14. 14. The service encounter A focus on the experiences people have as they engage in interactions with touchpoint provided by others. Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  15. 15. The value co-creating system A focus on the dynamic exchanges of resources and processes that achieve outcomes for the actors involved, typically organizations but possibly individuals Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  16. 16. The socio-cultural configuration An assemblage of constituents, which emerges through the dynamic unfolding of practice, providing interfaces through which actors engage with resources. Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  17. 17. Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  18. 18. Source: Kimbell & Blomberg, “The Object of Service Design,” Designing for Service (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  19. 19. Source: Design Issues: Vol. VIII, Number 2, Spring 1992, MIT Press
  20. 20. Source: Design Issues: Vol. VIII, Number 2, Spring 1992, MIT Press
  21. 21. 1. Symbolic and visual communications 2. Material objects 3. Activities and organized services 4. Complex systems or environments for living, working, playing and learning Buchanan’s Four Orders of Design
  22. 22. 1. Symbolic and visual communications 2. Material objects 3. Activities and organized services 4. Complex systems or environments for living, working, playing and learning Buchanan’s Four Orders of Design
  23. 23. Service designers need to better prepare ourselves for intervening at scale
  24. 24. The stakes are higher when working at scale
  25. 25. Where does service design happen?
  26. 26. Large organization image
  27. 27. Organizations are places of DIVERGENT INTERESTS
  28. 28. Organizations are places of CONFLICT
  29. 29. Organizations are places of POWER
  30. 30. What should be done?
  31. 31. 1. Bringing about futures 2. Evaluating futures 3. Enlisting sponsors for futures 4. Materializing futures “Design makes futures.” Source: Cameron Tonkinwise, “Just Design” (Medium) https://medium.com/@camerontw/just-design-b1f97cb3996f
  32. 32. Large organization image Source: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/economy/issues- by-the-numbers/trade-in-services-economy-growth.html
  33. 33. “ ...design gives material expression to ideological landscapes that prefigure particular forms of living, moving, gathering, expression and connecting. Everyday, everywhere, humans make their lives out of designed artifacts, systems and environments in which are lodged with adamant beliefs and contentions about what constitutes a life worth living.” Keith Owens reviewing Tony Fry’s Design as Politics https://www.academia.edu/827369/Design_and_Politics_by_Tony_Fry_A_review_by_Keith_Owens
  34. 34. “ The world is on its way to ruin and it’s happening by design.” Mike Monteiro, Ruined by Design
  35. 35. What do we really mean when we talk about our power as service designers?
  36. 36. Who is gaining and who is losing and by which mechanisms of power when we design services?
  37. 37. A theory of power
  38. 38. A theory of power A theory of action in the face of power
  39. 39. Manuel Castells Source: http://biblioteca.uoc.edu/sites/default/files/styles// public/manuelcastells.jpg
  40. 40. THE NETWORK SOCIETY
  41. 41. (Yes, I know it’s a weak attempt at linking this talk to the conference theme. Sorry.)
  42. 42. What is power anyhow?
  43. 43. Relational capacity to influence asymmetrically other social actors
  44. 44. Coercion and/or Construction of meaning
  45. 45. Domination: Power embedded in the institutions of society
  46. 46. Power is not an attribute, but a relationship
  47. 47. EMPOWERMENT!
  48. 48. ...their empowerment against other social actors...
  49. 49. Networks
  50. 50. NODE NODE NODE NODE NODE NODE
  51. 51. TIE TIE TIE TIE TIE TIE NODE NODE NODE NODE NODE NODE
  52. 52. ACTOR ACTOR ACTOR ACTOR ACTOR ACTOR
  53. 53. Source: https://www.palaisdetokyo.com/en/event/carte-blanche-tomas-saraceno
  54. 54. (This is a social network visualization I created using MS Excel and a plug-in called NodeXL. For real.)
  55. 55. Power + networks
  56. 56. Networking power Network power Networked power Network making power
  57. 57. Bunny power Dog power Sheep power Cow power
  58. 58. Networking power
  59. 59. Who is in / who is out
  60. 60. “Unbanked, those without smartphones, and low-income people.”
  61. 61. Who gets to use the service you’ve designed and who doesn’t?
  62. 62. Network power
  63. 63. The rules of inclusion
  64. 64. (Is that like a printer with a phone attached to it?)
  65. 65. Progressive elimination of the alternatives
  66. 66. We trade convenience for choice
  67. 67. What ways of designing and forms of knowledge are privileged over others in your standards?
  68. 68. Networked power
  69. 69. Some actors have power over others
  70. 70. This is the way the world should be
  71. 71. What if no one signs up for our futures?
  72. 72. Network making power
  73. 73. Ability to form networks Ability to program/reprogram networks
  74. 74. Sounds like governance to me
  75. 75. Source: https://medium.com/pulse-lab-jakarta/coming-together-to-design-safe-transit-solutions-for-women-c7a10b052c99
  76. 76. Who gets to make the decisions of inclusion?
  77. 77. Networking power Who’s in, who’s out? Networked power Who has influence over others? Network power What are the rules of inclusion? Network-making power Who decides who’s in and who created the rules?
  78. 78. So what the hell do service designers do with all of this?
  79. 79. Knowledge is power
  80. 80. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomachean_Ethics
  81. 81. techné - τέχνη Knowing by making Concrete, variable, context dependent knowledge. Technical know how.
  82. 82. episteme - ἐπιστήμη Knowing by thinking Universal, scientific knowledge, invariable in time and space. Theoretical know why.
  83. 83. phronesis - φρόνησῐς Practical wisdom Ability to contemplate our choices and discern the best course of action in the context of a particular set of circumstances.
  84. 84. techné technical know how episteme theoretical know why phronesis practical knowledge and practical ethics
  85. 85. Getting your craft wrong Source: https://www.washington.edu/news/2016/03/14/documents-that- changed-the-world-hanging-chads-and-butterfly-ballots-florida-2000/
  86. 86. Source: https://www.driving.co.uk/news/pointless-road-signs-removed/
  87. 87. Being illogical
  88. 88. 1. Where are we going? 2. Who gains and who loses, and by which mechanisms of power? 3. Is this development desirable? 4. What, if anything, should we do about it?
  89. 89. We are aspiring to better process AND better outcomes
  90. 90. Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/08/ china-abandoned-bike-share-graveyards/566576/ Service design has ambitions, our work has systemic consequences.
  91. 91. We must think critically about the futures we are creating. Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/brazil-iphone-prison-2013-4
  92. 92. It’s time to explore some new/old theoretical territories and intellectual adjacencies. Sociology, communication, and planning theory can help, as their focus is all about the systemic consequences of knowledge, power, and rationality.
  93. 93. Concepts like communication power and phronesis point towards a new power-aware, responsible and reflexive service design that can interrogate the futures we are envisioning and materializing. Source: CMU, Dash Marshall, Decolonizing Practices
  94. 94. 1. Service design has ambitions and our work has systemic consequences. 2. We have no choice but to think critically about our role and the futures we are creating. Our profession needs to do better at this. 3. It’s time to explore some new and old theoretical territories, intellectual adjacencies. Sociology, communication, and planning theory can help, as their focus is all about the systemic consequences of knowledge, power, and rationality. 4. Concepts like communication power and phronesis point towards a new power-aware, responsible, reflexive service design capable of interrogating the futures we are envisioning and materializing.
  95. 95. Post-normal service design
  96. 96. You have power. Use it wisely.
  97. 97. Service Design and Power Reading List https://ideas.oxd.com/sdgc19power Have a favourite book that should be on the list? Tweet me your faves (@gordonr) or email me (gordonr@oxd.com)
  98. 98. Image: Adam Fagen / CC-BY-NC-SA2 https://flic.kr/p/N45H8A Unlike the act of navigation, wayfinding implies progressing tentatively and incrementally reaching out from one’s situated circumstance, using oneself, and not some independent external point, as the basis of reference. For the wayfinder, the territory is boundless and bottomless, using self-referential devices to express experience there and then as he or she moves through the landscape. Wayfinding precedes navigation. Robert Chia & Robin Holt Strategy without Design: The Silent Efficacy of Indirect Action (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
  99. 99. Make New Experiences Possible Thank you Gordon Ross, Vice President & Partner 210-12 Water Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A5 gordonr@oxd.com +1 604 694 0554 x103 oxd.com

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