Somehow Related is the work of Alison Thompson. She is a designer that works in healthcare. I interviewed her to find her views on service design, since it is an area that I’m interested in but I don’t feel like I know enough about it. She doesn’t like the term ‘service design’ – service designers do a project and then leave; they have a limited time to propose solutions. Rather, she researches and experiments for as long as it takes, since she is a permanent member of a research team.
Her work is charity funded. She has designed a way of explaining to patients what’s wrong with them by using food, in a restaurant setting. It’s quite fun – I hope it works.
She didn’t like being defined, but she said that she wants to make other people’s work more interesting for them. She wants to inspire other people to again enjoy the job they already have. I like that idea. Maybe we could call that job title ‘Job Satisfaction Inspirer’… I wonder if anyone has had to officially give her a job title or has she escaped?
She was quite scornful of the RCA launching a service design course – she did Design Interactions there. I would like to speak to more people working in this area. If you’re a service designer reading this – or at least if some people might define you that way – please get in contact.