Chapter events - United States

This three part series “A mindset for service design: a logic to the madness” presented by Mauricio Manhaes,, is co-hosted by the SDN chapters of Pittsburgh, Atlanta and DC.

Now more than ever we need to begin to consider shifting our mindsets as the world we live in shifts around us. We have a window, a fleeting chance to design anew how we work and play and learn. A tangible chance to design some elements of the ‘total service system’ we call society.

Join our special guest, Mauricio Manhaes, Associate Design Researcher at Livework and Service Design Graduate Program Coordinator and Professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for a three part series “A mindset for service design: a logic to the madness”, co-hosted by the SDN chapters of Pittsburgh, Atlanta and DC!

New to systems thinking? This series will allow you to gain a shift in perspective to incorporate a more systems thinking mindset. Well-versed service designer? Come to deepen your theoretical knowledge based in philosophy as it applies to service design and practice more authentically.

Each session will encompass 3 rounds of 15 minute presentations followed by 10 minutes discussion. There will be an option to stay on an additional half hour for those interested in having further dialog. To be able to have a continuous conversation we recommend attending all sessions consecutively, but if you are unable to attend one or more we plan to send out the recordings so you are caught up for the following session.


6:35 - 6:45 Introduction

6:45 - 7:55 Speaker Presentation (with integrated Q&A)

7:55 - 8:00 Closing

8:00 - 8:30 Deeper Discussion (Optional)

Details for all three series topics and about our speaker are included below. We look forward to having this rich and important dialogue with you!

Part 1: Postmodernity (Wednesday, June 03, 6:30 - 8:00pm)

Why have contemporaneity been so excited about systems? How did we arrive at this point? Did we always see the world in terms of systems? And what exactly does systems thinking mean? This first session will briefly travel the last twelve thousand years of human history in three steps: Pre-Modern, Modern, and Post-Modern. Through that journey, knowing the places we visited, the concepts we collected and the ones we left behind, we will discuss how it shaped the place we are now: Postmodernity.

Part 2: Places of Truth (Wednesday, June 10, 6:30 - 8:00pm)

One of the main concepts of Postmodernity is Truths (plural). How can reality exist and, challenge of all challenges, be apprehended if truth is not singular anymore? Or, turning the question on its head, and if precisely to the apprehended, reality needs to be perceived from different places of truth? Which ‘places’ are these? The second session will present a ‘map’ where these places are located. And, based on these places, discuss how they can support our interests.

Part 3: Knowledge and Human Interests (Wednesday, June 17, 6:30 - 8:00pm)

During this twelve thousand years journey, human interests evolved. At each step of the way, building on each generation’s legacy, humans were able to control more, to know better, to explore further. The third session will present three of the main human interests, and they influence our perception of reality. As a last discussion, we will connect the concepts of service and design, to make service design transparent to the “carpenters” of total service systems.