Service Design and Innovation

Early thinking and research in the innovation studies discipline was predicated on the models devised in relation to manufacturing activity. Indeed, it was not until the intervention (in the early 1980s) of visionary academics such as Bell, Barrass and Gershuny and Miles that service innovation was taken seriously.

With services activity accounting for more than 80 per cent of economic activity and employment, it now seems ridiculous that innovation in this sector should be ignored. The past three decades have witnessed strenuous efforts to engage with the nature and implications of innovation in the service domain and much robust theory has resulted.

However, many questions remain unanswered and the evolution and expansion of services activities implies the emergence of new and important fields of investigation. These fields include (but are not limited to):p>

  • Social Media and New Consumer Journeys
  • Service Design
  • Value Creation in Creative Services.

Key supervisors in relation to these areas of study include:

Product Design and Innovation

Product design research has a long history, and several internationally ranked journals are dedicated to the subject. The ways, techniques, methodologies and approaches of designers have long been of interest to researchers, as has the 'culture' of design, and the factors that shape practice in various settings and locations. Developments in technologies and techniques, and shifts in consumption patterns and preferences are key areas of research interest, as are questions relating to developments in design practice and the role of the designer in innovation of various forms (product, process, organisational, marketing and conceptual). This is a broad area, but research issues of particular interest include:

  • User Interaction and Interface Design (UIE)
  • Aesthetics and Lifestyle
  • Materials and Manufacturing: Opportunities and Implications for Design
  • Designer-Makers and Design Entrepreneurship
  • Materialisation of Design.

Key supervisors in relation to these areas of study include: