In 2006 the Faculty of Design, Swinburne University, started planning the creation of a suite of ‘core’ subjects that all undergraduate students from Communication Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design and Multimedia would undertake during their 3 years of study. I was given the opportunity to create, and lead, a 3rd year studio called Design Systems and Services that was conceived as a way to formally introduce students to systems/design thinking, user-centred design approaches and service design methodologies.
Students are challenged to envision new futures that address the primary context of sustainability. The studio also participates directly with the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (VEIL) in terms of establish particular themes to ground the projects within particular social contexts, physical terrains and to deal with topics that are challenging to Australian society.
The studio is interdisciplinary and team based which in itself creates interesting dynamics. Many of the concepts and methodologies employed are new to the students and observing their engagement in these experiential process is very revealing. This paper presents findings from the studio that will provide insights to the pedagogy of systems and service design drawing evidence from project developments and outcomes, including critical reflections completed by the students.