Our mission is to grow the Service Design discipline in the Greater Philadelphia area by developing, promoting, and strengthening the knowledge and practice of Service Design. We hope to foster a community of Service Design practitioners through accessible events that are both social and educational. We believe the power and flexibility of service design presents a unique mentality and skill set for addressing complex problems. Since 2013, various professionals have worked to grow the Service Design community in Philadelphia through free or low-cost meetups via meetup.com and eventually an official SDN sponsored group. Unfortunately, the group dissolved during the Covid-19 pandemic after
some of the original founders moved out of the region, but we believe the time is right to revive the Service Design community in our area. Our meetup community has grown to over 480 members in Philadelphia. Forming an SDN chapter is a vital stage in our growth as a Service Design community.


We recently conducted a short survey of a select group of members asking what they would like to gain from a Philadelphia-based Service Design group. The top responses included growing their knowledge of the Service Design industry and connecting with others in the local community. There was also interest in building a curriculum for Service Design at local universities. Our specific objectives are as follows:

  • Grow the profession of Service Design in the Delaware Valley through in-person and virtual events in the Philadelphia region.
  • Hold regular chapter events using a mixture of in-person and remote activities. Building from our monthly meetups we will add professional and educational workshops in order to grow our community to a more professional level while maintaining the low barrier of entry.
  • Broaden our reach in the Philadelphia community and region by reaching out to organizations and institutions to educate and inform them about service design  through informal networks and our LinkedIn Group and SDN Chapter website.
  • Grow a network of executives, leaders, practitioners, and students focused on Service Design that can sustain the need for talent in our city.
  • Promote community and connectedness through formal and informal gatherings such as panel discussions and workshops throughout the year.
  • Identify and connect organizations and top tier research institutions to SD leadership where SD can make a difference.
  • Ensure we sustain a cross-disciplined community, knowledge base and approach to Service Design by inviting and including a variety of related disciplines and expertise in our membership and event content.
  • Connect with colleges and universities to encourage the formation of student members and groups. Create a professional network for student service designers and related professionals. Raise awareness of Service Design as a career option and path for those that are design-oriented. The goal of this effort is to inform them of the service design profession, to mentor their career development, help them engage the local community with service design initiatives, and guide them in building leadership skills to be valuable as the next generation of service designers.

Our MeetUp Group

Andy McDonald
Andy McDonald - Service Design Director

Relation with Service Design: At frog, I lead multidisciplinary teams of design researchers, strategists, designers, and technologists to successful solutions that address core challenges that companies are looking to resolve as quickly as possible. I employ relevant research methods and use findings to inform design strategy. I lead the creation of innovative and simplified processes services. Our work enables clients to explore new business models and service offerings. And I ensure the outcomes of our work achieve business goals while making lives better. I have over 20 years of experience and hold a professional accreditation with the Service Design Network.

Susan Nyberg
Susan Nyberg - Design Strategist

Relation with Service Design: I have a MS in Design Research with a background in higher education administration and community engagement. My expertise lies in using ethnographic qualitative research methods to discover the needs, motivation, and behaviors of customers in relation to their interaction with a product or service and to create experiences that foster belonging and community throughout the life of the customer experience. Most recently, I worked with Penn Medicine’s Healthcare Innovation Center on a patient discharge process. My "north star,” regardless of industry, is to design innovative processes and experiences where people feel seen and valued through authentic, safe, and meaningful interactions.

Diana Nicholas
Diana Nicholas - Assistant Professor; Director, MS Design Research

D.S. Nicholas (Dee) established the Design + Care 4 Health Lab for interdisciplinary design research and scholarship into health supportive innovations, in 2013. She is a tenured Associate Professor and the Founding Director of the MS Design Research Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Dee holds a BARCH from Carnegie Mellon, an MFA from The University of the Arts, and is currently working towards her Social Science Ph.D. in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. Primarily concerned with the health-supportive possibilities within our environments, Dee’s work springs from her formative experiences as a “third culture kid” and MENA woman. With 25 years of practice and Higher Ed. experience, including as a small business owner. Dee also co-holds two patents and collaborates with researchers and students from STEM and Health. She specializes in two processes she has developed, “insightful design thinking” and “slow engagement”, both of which are based on design-led strategy.