Creating a Service Design District

On August 17, eight designers traveled to the SE quadrant of Washington, D.C. for the first SDN Chapter meeting and planning session. Many of us there had yet to meet one another face to face. This post provides an update to our first community planning meeting.

"DC is a service capital. All of the policy makers are here, there is a ton of opportunity for change."

We started off with introductions (and gratitude - to our co-founders Aza and Lisa for initiating this meeting!) – making new connections and associations. We were there to get to know one another and talk about the journey of building a service design community in DC. As the sun set we finished sharing our personal stories and Lisa passed out agendas, shifting the conversation to focus on our mission.

“DC is a service capital,” one designer said. “All of the policy makers are here, there is a ton of opportunity for change.” Heads nodded around the table, while taking into consideration the local industries and the challenges and opportunities at play. “In DC, we have a link to people all over the world,” another chimed in. “That’s important.” By the time our pickled veggies, summer squash, and sour beers were at the bottoms of their glasses and bowls we had distinguished two needs: 

1.     Programmatic needs

a.   Thought leadership – to plug into the global network of knowledge

b.   Partnerships – to keep us well fed and exploring different parts of the city

c.   Promoting service design locally - specifically to government agencies and organizations that need it

d.   Storytelling – a platform to share stories

2.     Social and creative needs

a. Designer friends – other people who live and breathe the design process

b. Designer hangouts – a community of design problem solvers

c. Making cool things – people who are ready and willing to collaborate

d. Cross-discipline dinners – curated and facilitated dinner + discussion

In order to collaborate and plan more effectively, we created a digital space to document our meetings and ideas. Not everyone was able to be there in person that night, however, we received several thoughtful emails from remote members and incorporated those into our working document and correspondences.

We eagerly await our Celebration event at the Booz Allen Innovation Center where we talk about the many ‘flavors’ of service design in DC . In typical design thinking fashion, we intend to build an understanding of what we are trying to do simply by immersing ourselves in our community event. So join us on September 27, listen, observe, and share your ideas. We are thrilled to create a distinct space for service design in DC!

Candid of Service Design DC planning meeting
Candid of Service Design DC planning meeting - Alissa Millenson

Related Headlines

SDN Chapters Service Design Global Conference 2024 - Registration and Speaker Call are open!

Service Design Global Conference 2024 - Registration and Speaker Call are open!

Super Early Bird tickets for the Service Design Global Conference (SDGC24) are now open for sale. Register early and get a free workshop included in your conference ticket, as tickets are available in limited quantity.

Continue reading
SDN Chapters Join us for the next Service Design Network Next Gen Conference 2024

Join us for the next Service Design Network Next Gen Conference 2024

Attention students, young and senior professionals and career shifters: Join us for the 3rd annual SDN Next Gen Conference 2024 held online with the amazing theme: “Infinite Threads: Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Unlock the Power of Service Design” on April 12th.

Continue reading
SDN Global News Replay tickets SDGC23

Replay tickets SDGC23

If you missed the Service Design Global Conference 2023, you can now register for a ticket to watch the recordings from our Replay section.

Continue reading
SDN Chapters 2nd Open Innovation Challenge 2024 - Shaping the Future of Food Manufacturing with Service Design

2nd Open Innovation Challenge 2024 - Shaping the Future of Food Manufacturing with Service Design

SDN Singapore Chapter is thrilled to share the incredible energy and innovation that unfolded at the Ideactio studio during our 2nd Open Innovation Competition centred around ‘Shaping the Future of Food Manufacturing’! Our talented participating teams embraced the opportunity to tackle this dynamic challenge head-on, bringing forth a wave of creativity and cutting-edge solutions. It was truly inspiring to witness the diverse perspectives and collaborative spirit that our participants brought to the table. Teams showcased ingenious approaches to tackle the challenge statements given. Innovative technologies and sustainable practices took centre stage, reflecting our commitment to a greener and more resilient future. Cross-functional collaboration at its best - Engineering, design, IT and life science students seamlessly blended their skills to craft holistic solutions. The amazing winners! Winning Team - Ngee Ann Polytechnic: Process automation to optimise delivery and improve efficiency Co-Runners Up (two teams) - Ngee Ann Polytechnic & Nanyang Polytechnic: Attract and retain young local talent for business expansion. Third Place - Singapore Polytechnic: Attract young talents by understanding prospective employees. A massive congratulations to all participating teams for pushing boundaries and redefining the future of food manufacturing! We believe in fostering a culture of innovation, and this competition was a testament to the extraordinary talent within our partners. A heartfelt thanks to all participants, mentors, and judges who made this event a resounding success. Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue to push the boundaries of creativity and explore new frontiers in innovation!

Continue reading