Tag Archives: designersblock

Call for service designers

The London Design Festival is coming, and service designers are now more involved in the festival. What are you and your team doing for this September to showcase your work?

Last year, we stimulated service design representation in the festival at a fantastic event held in the newly renovated Old Sessions House during Designersblock. There were five lightning talks by talented service designers from a range of sectors, followed by an extraordinarily useful service design skills workshop run by STBY. Networking afterwards led to connections being fostered between potential employees and employers. The event successfully raised awareness of service design in the wider design community, and beyond.

This year, we are producing a map of service design events going on around the capital during the festival (19-27 September 2015). If you would like to show off your team’s innovative work, and demonstrate thought leadership, the London Design Festival is the best time to do it.

The London Design Festival is a celebration of design. As service designers, it’s our due to show the game-changing work we are doing during this world renowned festival. Apart from driving business opportunities and making contacts through sharing your success stories, this is a chance to come together to change culture: we can help more non-designers start to understand what we do.

What you could do to take part:
– hold a studio tour
– host a networking event
– run a talk
– host a Q&A with an experienced service designer
– run a service design skills workshop
– screen a film of your work
– make an exhibition with photos and diagrams of what service design means to your organisation
– give people the opportunity to try out design research techniques
– mentoring sessions for young/new service designers
– ask for participants for co-design sessions – those looking to get into the field would be happy to be involved at this level as a starting point
– run a hackathon
– hold a competition
– release a report about a project that involved service design (plus a launch party!)
– host a recruitment speed dating party

There are lots of people who want to get into service design, and there is plenty of demand from private, public, third sector and start ups for service design input. Working service designers can help strengthen the industry practice by sharing knowledge. It’s also an ideal opportunity to go and see what other service designers have been working on recently.

You can set charges for any event you run if you need to.

Email liorsmith [at] me [dot] com if you would like to be included in this service design map. We are also able to meet with you to discuss how you might be able to execute your idea, including linking up people that could do talks together.

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Service Design @ Designersblock 2014


Service Design @ Designersblock 2014 was on the 19th September during the London Design Festival.

This was the first ever major service design event at any London Design Festival. Previously, service design had not been well represented at the Festival. As a growing industry, it was high time that the service design community got more involved with the well-established Festival.

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Design and Entrepreneurship

Image from Designersblock website

During Designersblock at the Southbank Centre this year, there was an excellent lecture series. I attended the Design and Entrepreneurship seminar, despite being exhausted from running my own workshop that day – and I was very glad I did. Here are some inspiring quotations.

You need rigour of thinking… Fake it til you make it.Daljit Singh

How do you cope with risk of failure?
Put distance between yourself and your project. Believe that it will work. Accept that risk is a part of it.Russell Pinch
Make mistakes at other people’s cost [don’t start out as an entrepreneur, start your own business when you have learnt enough from other projects]. Fail fast.Michael George Hemus

Design is making a conscious decision about the future.

Create demand for skills that exist through marketing and communication. Create opportunities by seeing and understanding circumstances, and reaction.Paul Bishop
Read: If you build it, will they come? – Peter Thiel

A good entrepreneur is a Master Jack of All Trades – it takes a long time to get there.Michael George Hemus

Always employ someone that scares you because they’re better than you at something.Russell Pinch

It might all end tomorrow – that motivates me to do whatever I can today. It takes a huge amount of energy and stops me from enjoying the fruits of my labour, and my relationships can suffer.Paul Bishop
That attitude will help you achieve a great deal professionally. But is it worth it? This happens a great deal with high achievers.

Thanks for the advice guys. There was much more in this talk that came up that I didn’t record. Hope to see something similar again next year.

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Upcoming events I’m going to

DB 16
19-22 Sept

Designersblock Edition 16 takes place in partnership with Southbank Centre.
Inspire — Experience — Interact— Explore
New furniture, lighting, textiles, ceramics and jewellery from 60 Uk and International independent designers.
International pavilions – Ung Svensk Form – La Tlapaleria diseno mexicano – India Art n Design
Designers in Production – New work from established designers and companies.
The Fifth element – Science Tecnology and Process in Design – 30 cutting edge projects.
Programme – Conference Workshops Screenings Presentations

19-22 Sept

How to replicate social impact across the UK: Research launch
26 Sept

Why do so many high potential social change organisations fail to scale up and replicate? What can they, you, and the sector, do to change this?

The International Centre for Social Franchising (www.the-icsf.org) will be sharing insights to answer these questions based on research for Big Lottery Fund. Findings, based on a survey of 150 social organisations and in-depth interviews with 15, will include the main barriers facing social organisations attempting to replicate and interventions to address them. The event will be valuable for both organisations seeking to improve scale up across the social sector in the UK and those replicating their own projects. Speakers from the ICSF, Big Lottery Fund and interviewees from the research will address the audience for 40 minutes, after which there will be drinks, light snacks and networking.

ClearlySo Tea Time Q
12 Sept and 14 Nov

ClearlySo invites you to come in to our offices for a chat over tea and coffee.
This is a perfect opportunity to meet in an informal environment, discuss all sorts of issues affecting you and your business – and get your caffeine fix at the same time!!!
Entrepreneurs, existing or prospective will be invited to ask anything, challenge us or just listen in. The session will be chaired by one of our senior investment team. It’s a chance for us to give out advice and take advantage of the peer learnings and relationships that develop during each of ClearlySo popular tea-time gatherings.

KK Outlet
12-28 Sept

To celebrate the London Design Festival this September, KK Outlet and leading food, arts, and culture journal The Gourmand are combining forces to present a series of exhibitions, talks, and dinners that celebrate food as a catalyst for creativity.

Perfume, Sir? – Designmarketo
17-21 Sept

Enter DesignMarketo’s world of fragrance. Discover Pepper under new forms. Enjoy specially commissioned objects by a range of versatile designers, scents, flavours, workshops, fine dining and cocktails inspired by and infused with Pepper!

Only one week to explore your senses and experience anew. See the ordinary as unordinary…

RCA Battersea Projects: Mind The Gap
15-23 Sept

How to introduce spontaneity and play into highly controlled environments, such as train stations?
RCA Battersea Projects: Life Examined – by the Helen Hamlyn Research Associates 2013
15-23 Sept

Life Examined is a presentation of design projects by the 2013 Helen Hamlyn Research Associates that could help improve people’s lives. Socrates famously observed that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. Here the theme of ‘life examined’ reflects the emphasis on in-depth user research with different groups of people.

Generally I will be hopping around the Brompton Design District next weekend.

Mindapples: Meet Your Mind
25 Sept

You rely on your mind for everything you do, but how much do you know about how it works, or how to use it?
Join us for our upcoming event, part of the Mindapples’ Your Mind: A User’s Guide series, to learn about how your mind works and how to get the most from it.
Featuring interactive exercises exploring how we think, how to take care of our minds and how we influence each other, this is a fun introduction to mental wellbeing and using your mind effectively in life and work.

Here’s one that I want to go to but can’t:

The Happy Start-Up School Summer Camp
20 Sept

Whether you’re at the idea stage, have already started up or are just looking for inspiration on how to build a happy company, this day will help you get better at business and life. A hands-on day of workshops and talks where you’ll learn how to create a happy, thriving business, meet some amazing people and have some fun in a stunning location in the heart of Hyde Park. We promise it will be a day to remember.

See you there!

All images are from respective linked-to websites.

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EGAKU+SMILE at Designersblock

EGAKU+SMILE held an art fundraising evening for the Japan disasters on Thursday at Designersblock.
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Designersblock Confluence

The fruits of our work!

‘Selecting one object from each year, showcased at designersblock events since its launch in 1998, they offer insights into how contemporary products anticipate and inspire cultural change. It covers a period when creativity has moved from the side lines to centre stage in the collective imagination and in our economies.

Come and visit it at Europe House, 12 Star Gallery, 32 Smiths Square, London, SW1P 3EU. Open until 30th September, Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm.’
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Preparing for the Designersblock Confluence exhibition

These are some photos from the ‘making of’ the exhibtion that accompanied Designersblock’s first conference. It’s a show of the graphics from every year that the Designersblock shows have been running, with one designer’s work from each year. It shows how Designersblock have sought out the most innovative, ahead of their time designers consistently through the years. The display will be on show until 30th September at the 12 Star Gallery at Europe House. It’s free entry.

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