Service Jam Session in Cologne

Amazing things can happen when a group of dynamic professionals come together for 48 hours to change the world. And so it was at this year’s Cologne-based Service Design Jam 2019 where hosts Service Design Network (HQ) and Denkwerk welcomed professionals and students alike to a problem-solving session driven by design and creativity.

Taking place March 29-31 at SDN’s Loft33 space, our Jam worked under the Global Service Jam umbrella (along with over 200 other cities), to ideate around their provided (secret) theme in the development and prototyping of entirely new services. Our event was moderated by Cristine Lanzoni (SDN) and Ko Wongpichet (Denkwerk) who kicked off the first evening with an informal meet-and-greet followed by a brief presentation on service design and it’s key concepts and methodologies.

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The night continued with an overview of how the Jam would work and the much expected unveiling of the theme** (blue!!!) around which the Jammers would develop their projects.

**New to this year’s Global Service Jam was the inclusion of a non-facilitated “Deep Jam” track set-up for experienced service designers who focused their work on the overarching challenge of sustainability and the reduction of plastic waste. This new track challenge was accepted by one team in Cologne, who initiated their project work with the assigned research pack as a starting point.

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What to Do With Blue

The work began with individuals dividing into strategic groups to brainstorm around the given theme and begin to draw associations around the word blue. The groups then used those connections to ideate around the challenge statement “How might we…,” to develop initial project concepts. Ultimately deciding upon one concept per group, teams then reorganised themselves based on their preference for a particular subject matter.

Day two of the Jam welcomed SDN President Birgit Mager who provided keen insights into service design framework and research techniques. The Jammers then got to work on research around their assumptions. This journey included hitting the streets, where teams took to interviewing the general public to gather insights that added real-life substance to their concepts.

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Participants then ideated and built initial prototypes which were again taken outside for further engagement with the public to assemble reactions. These prototypes and public responses were then presented by each team, with fellow Jammers providing valuable feedback to encourage progress and new thinking.

On day three, the morning started with Jessica Ströhmann, a service designer at Denkwerk who gave a talk about how to pitch a service. The Jammers then  continued their collaborative work by further developing and refining their concepts. The day concluded with a final presentation of each team’s project, ultimately showcasing the best of what service design thinking and doing can accomplish!

Check out what these amazing groups created here!

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