DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Oygur Ilhan, Isil; Ilhan, Ali O.; Trauth, Braden; Vogel, Craig
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Cincinnati, United States of America
Section: Professional perspectives for design students in a pluralistic future
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.31
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


With the service sector’s dominance in the world economy, we have witnessed the development of service design as an emerging field. Not only do design programs offer courses on service design, but there are universities offering undergraduate and graduate programs specific to this field. However, the professional development of service design and its alignment with other design disciplines is still in progress. With this perspective, we aim to take a snapshot of current service design offerings at the university level to discuss their impact on the future of industrial design education. We systematically analyzed the courses and programs of the first 50 design universities with design schools listed on QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Art & Design. There are 19 universities offering a total of 82 courses and 12 programs related to service design. Service design courses and programs are more common at the graduate level. The analysis of service design course descriptions shows that the skillset and knowledgebase identified by these programs are not highly unique. Their pedagogical goals are aligned with delivering human-centered design, design research, design thinking, and design strategy content central to industrial design education. Further integration of service design in industrial design programs might mean a decrease in the high-fidelity model-making capabilities of industrial design graduates and an increase in visualization skills for the communication of systems. Every industrial design program must assess and align service design based on existing course offerings to avert redundancies in a competitive resource environment.

Keywords: Service design, industrial design, design pedagogy, curriculum


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