According to ‘The Design Economy’ reports (Design Council, 2017 & 2018) Wales is a part of the UK with one of the lowest proportions of design-intensive firms and smallest shares of design employment. Therefore, it came as no surprise that during our stakeholder meetings and policy workshops, promotion and awareness raising activities were often raised and discussed. Many remarks were also concerned with the discipline of service design as much needed but lacking skill in Wales.

The first ideas for action developed at the Design Action Plan workshop in June 2018 included:

  • Promotion and awareness raising activities :
    – Develop and implement a promotional campaign based on an in-depth mapping of design activity.
  • Service design as a norm in government and public sector:
    – Building a community of service design,
    – Organising showcases of best practice and workshops,
    – Development of service design guidelines and toolkits. 

Therefore, we are excited to see Service Design Cardiff (SDC) initiative taking shape. It is a stakeholder-led initiative initiated by a mix of individuals with an interest in service design.   

During a chat back in March, a group of service design enthusiasts that included private sector (SatoriLab, Kainos), public organisation (Office for National Statistics) and academia (PDR, YLab and a student from the University of South Wales) started to plot out what this community could be and wanted to open it up to others.

Working in Service Design means that you generally have an idea of the other “Service Designers” out there, but there are probably lots of people who work in designing services who aren’t Service Designers… or maybe don’t even know that it’s a thing. Therefore, it was important to open up the community to anyone who:

  • Is working on the design of services; and/or
  • Is interested in Service Design.

The first open meetup at the end of April brought together thirty people representing entrepreneurs, government organisations, service providers, as well as design providers and pockets of groups in-between. There were a few lightning presentations (prepared and impromptu), discussions and activities focused on shaping the future of Service Design in Cardiff - where could it evolve? what do people expect from the network?

From the event, a consensus of sharing good practices and knowledge was reached. There’s a hope that there will not just be quarterly events but also informal, yet themed, monthly catch ups to share what’s on our minds. The community also plans to contribute to the programme of the Cardiff Design Festival  and organise a local event during the Global Service Jam next year.

Creating such a community can really help to raise awareness of service design by building platform for promoting good practices and create a critical mass for progressing the discipline in Wales. PDR will actively take part in the community to make that happen and to monitor the results and impacts. 

For more updates or if you want to get involved follow the community on Twitter @CardiffSD