Defining a Service Design Student

A research project dedicated to establish a deeper understanding of the Service Design department at SCAD through various research methods and the creation of effective promotional materials. 
Our goal is to reach 100 students enrolled in the program. It became clear, in order to
grow our department, we would need to understand and showcase the culture of Service Design students to make our field of study seem more accessible.  

Research Methods

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Our qualitative research showed us that these students did not particularly align in one area. The variety was divided among the scale with only one recognizable pattern: that those who identified themselves as interested in having clarity in a work environment were more prone to answer they preferred “self discovery” in a new city over getting directions. This pattern helped us see that “clarity” does not always necessarily mean “the opposite of ambiguity”, but could also be recognized as the act of organizing chaos.


Secondary Research

We were introduced to a scholarly article titled How Nascent Occupations Construct a Mandate: The Case of Service Designers Ethos, by Anne-Laure Fayard, Ileana Stigliani, and Beth A. Bechky that had, serendipitously, been published earlier the same month we began our cultural profile, in September of 2016. A 5-year long study that completed the goal of defining how Service Designers are beginning to differentiate themselves from other traditional designers and management consultants, which enact many similar material practices in their work.


SMS Cultural Probe

As a part of a 10-week cultural profile looking into the culture and attributes of SCAD Service Design students one thing proved invaluable: the possibility to access people’s perceptions through their smartphones. Using short-messaging-services and mobile platforms such as iMessage and Facebook, we created a cultural probe to connect with students, teachers, and alumni from various parts of the country strictly through the use of a smartphone.





In results of our cultural probe, we selected four promising candidates to interview for more qualitative information about their lives and journey at SCAD. These in-depth interviews enabled us to craft our final insights about SCAD Service Designer's values and material practices. 


Going Steady

Intimate Discourse with SCAD Service Designers


Service Design can be complicated to explain and mean different things to different people, but it shouldn’t feel unapproachable. We created a promotional book in hopes to reach students who may flourish in the Service Design department.