Building a community of interest & practice in Service Design.

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Date: Thursday 23rd July 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Remote event via Zoom, link upon registration

WorkSafe Victoria is on a journey to become more prevention-led, empathetic and intentional in its approach to innovation. Andrew Barrie (Innovation Lead) will discuss the hits, misses and things we have learnt while establishing a small, but impactful, design practice inside our state’s Health and Safety regulator.

Don’t forget to book your spot through Eventbrite.


Don Norman explains why he doesn’t believe empathy is enough and explores its practical and moral limitations.

From the archive and highly relevant today, Eric Meyers provides guidance and insight into designing for crisis.

Design for the new abnormal by avoiding the nostalgia trap and explore new strategies, abstract methods, portals and magic in Philip McKenzie’s great article.

Read about the power of embracing constraints and designing for complexity with great case studies and insights from Craig Walker’s Marty Brown.

This is Doing:

New online courses are now available covering the many areas of design, from digital journey mapping, pitching and HCD, to more business focused topics such as product management and how to lead conversations.

SDM members can use code Q5AT763EEMZ6 for a tidy 15% off.

CX Collective (NZ):

On July 28th New Zealand’s CX Collective is running an online course to explore gamifying the customer experience as part of their resilience series.

Look. It’s been a bit of a year. Blatant white supremacy is on the rise, and our international peers are stripping away womens’ rights unabashed. Job security has faltered in our sector, as has the sense that we’re making the necessary progress against climate change. At times like this, we’re told that self-care is important – eat more fruit, be sure to exercise, don’t look at Twitter so much.

People who practice design – whose day-to-day work is to contribute to the making of worlds that we all inhabit – often feel too closely involved to step away. But what does it mean to stay with the trouble and stay well while you do? We think that design as a practice cannot be separated from local design communities, and that community is the most important support we have. We are in this together, and we should talk about that.

So, we’re hosting a quiet get-together. Somewhere cosy to talk about how we’re doing, what’s troubling us, and what’s been going well. There won’t be much in the way of structure – no organised speakers, no facilitated discussions, no chairs in a circle. A few of us have been doing this every fortnight for over a year now, and we’d like to open the doors to you.

This is technically the June Design and Ethics event, even though it’s being held in July, and to be totally honest – we haven’t figured out where to meet yet. We’ll make sure it’s cosy though. At this stage, we’re making 15 ‘tickets’ available on Eventbrite to keep things manageable. We acknowledge that this immediately creates barriers to participation; please feel free to get in touch if you have concerns. If you register for a ticket and feel you will be unable to make it, please release the ticket to the waitlist.

This event is being organised on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. Sovereignty over these lands and waters was never ceded, and we acknowledge the resilience in the face of ongoing colonisation. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Aug 2019 Facilitating meaningful conversations

From interviews to workshops…having conversations to build understanding is part of the design process.

Designers are required to facilitate conversations in order to create buy-in, promote participation and ensure diverse voices are heard when crafting solutions. We will discuss the best way to facilitate meaningful conversations by sharing diverse experiences of doing so.


Steph Mellor Human-centred design: coach, consultant, speaker, facilitator.

Erin Tan Customer experience: service design, ethnographic research.

Jon Osborne Leadership by design: speaker, mentor, coach.

Panel moderator:

Georgina Lewis Service design: qualitative research, co-design.

June 2019 at ThinkPlace

Our most pressing social and environmental issues are serious business and complex to navigate. How might we use the power of ridiculous fun to enable new ways of thinking, explore the unexpected, and reflect on their everyday world with new eyes? 

In this month’s Service Design Melbourne – Third Thursday – hosted by ThinkPlace, we will explore how “fun” can be introduced to help participants embrace the messiness of design thinking and navigate the design squiggle by using joy and playfulness as a vehicle.

Join us in playing some of ThinkPlace’s favourite bespoke games, including Cards Against Neutrality, ThinkCards and Democracy 100. We’ll also reflect on gamification approaches and some recent projects where ThinkPlace have developed games to involve diverse stakeholder groups in the design process.

Service Design Network Melbourne Q&A at RMIT
28 July 2011

You can watch the video of the audience-led discussion on service design. 
The panelists are all knowledgeable people in the field with different backgrounds and perspectives:
• Cameron Tonkinwise (Associate Dean, Sustainability, Parsons The New School of Design, New York).
• Dianne Moy (Program Manager, The Watershed, Sydney and Co-founder of Service Design Melbourne).
• Michelle Gilmore (Co-founder and Director, Neoteny Service Design).
• Melis Senova (Co-founder and Director, Huddle design).
• Brad Krauskopf (co-Founder and Executive Director, Hub Melbourne).
• Michael Trudgeon (Deputy Director, Victorian Eco-innovation Lab and Design Director, Crowd Productions).
• Yoko Akama (RMIT) – host and facilitator.

One of the most popular questions we get asked at Service Design Melbourne is “How do I get into Service Design”. In March 2019 Third Thursday three people who have recently moved into service design will share their stories of how they got their first jobs in service design, and answer your questions. If you’re trying to get your first SD job, of if you’d like to know what practical tips you could do to help the next generation of service designers get started, you’ll enjoy this panel discussion.


• Kylie Blake, formerly working in change management, now working as a Journey Expert at ANZ

• Jas Bawa, trained in engineering, now working as a Designer at HCL with ANZ

• Siray Li, formerly a business analyst, now working as a Service Designer at RXP Services


• Mickey Rummery and Georgi Lewis

Hosted by RXP. After the panel discussion we’ll head to a local venue for drinks and catching up.

Design & Ethics #6 event aimed to create an opportunity to explore some of the practices and questions in an environment with a growing demand for ‘data’ to be used to lead our design work: what is data, how do we use, how are qualitative and quantitative data considered and how capable are we of collecting and interpreting data. This was prompted by concerns by the organisers about the rising claims around data in our design community and provide ways for us all to learn more from one another.

The evening was split into a mini-workshop followed by small group discussions. Participants came from varied backgrounds around data expertise, from being deeply immersed in using data to directly drive decisions around design work, to bemoaning the lack of data expertise in practice, to fear of quantitative data and love of qualitative data and the opposite.

We began working in large groups looking at sets of quantitative data from Victorian Transport Insights Hub, including “Travel by time of day in Victoria”, “PTV Customer Satisfaction” and “Walk access to frequent (< 10 mins) PT in the AM peak (7-9am).” Teams were asked to review the data in front of them and discuss what interesting insights or possible design directions could be indicated by the information, some of the gaps in information and what other methods could be considered to augment this information. Each group shared the insights of their discussion with the room. Here are some notes taken by the facilitators, curated by topic or issue:

Issues of communication

Issues of validity

Issues of categorisation

Drawn from readings circulated through Eventbrite, a discussion document was put together as a guide (see the last section) to seed smaller group discussions. We share some notes:

The event ended with a summary discussion on ethics:

For any ‘data’, either qualitative or quantitative, these questions are useful to ask:

The discussion guide was created from four sources:

What is Data-Driven Service Design? (Individual)

Data-Driven Design report (Industry)

Digital Methods for service design: Experimenting with data-driven frameworks (Academic)

Simultaneous Triangulation: Mixing User Research & Data Science Methods (Industry)

Please feel free to use this guide and these readings to create your own discussion groups about this topic!

This workshop is brought to you by the Innovation in Not-for-profit (INFP) meetup series, offered through the Design & Ethics series.
As designers and innovators working in the not-for-profit sector, we are routinely responsible for projects that have significant impact on the lives of people and communities. Our work is inescapably intertwined with power as we seek to influence change for individuals, groups and communities experiencing ‘disadvantage’. With the growing appeal of human-centred design and similar frameworks in not-for-profit organisations, there’s an increasing need to ensure that such power contributes positively to change and positively influences outcomes for those we serve.
So where do we start?
This interactive and self-reflective session creates a safe space for not-for- profit designers to challenge their own understandings of power and build awareness of their individual ability to influence those for our clients.
Participants will hear stories from guest speakers from across the social sector and reflect on their own experiences of power dynamics within not-for-profit organisations.
We promote the respectful, non-judgemental and open exploration of the topic of power imbalances in our work – please come prepared to play and share.

Suggested article: Social Design and Neocolonialism by Cinnamon L. Janzer and Lauren S. Weinstein

INFP3 Social Design and Neocolonialism

Design and Ethics is a series of events hosted by Service Design Melbourne to come together and build capacities around ethical issues.

In Design & Ethics #3 2019 event, we hosted friends from North America – Shana Agid (Parsons School of Design New York), Sean Donahue (Art Centre College of Design, Pasadena) and Myriam Doremy Diatta (Mind-Matter Studio, NY). This experienced panel of designers and scholars have rich practices in crossing borders in various ways. Hosted by Yoko Akama  at RMIT, this panel discussion invited the participants to speak through their practices to share how time and relationships matters and shapes the way they enact human-centred design.

This was recorded as a podcast for the series, HCD Chats over Sushi and Sake 2019. This podcast is a continuum of the series, HCD chats over Cheese and Wine in 2018 that involved candid discussions by a mix of academics and practitioners for the Masters of Design Futures (RMIT). This series navigates through some of the challenging and contested dimensions of human-centred design.

Links to resources by the participants:

• Breaking Up Assumptions I’ve Heard about How Emotions Work: Myriam Doremy Diatta think piece about 3 of the underlying beliefs people have shared over the years

• Making and Negotiating Value: Co-authored article by Shana Agid and Elizabeth Chen on design and collaboration with community led groups

Defining Practices by Sean Donahue Website

On Design Research, Ethics and Dilemmas of Engagement: proceedings from a conference

Design and Ethics is a series of events hosted by Service Design Melbourne to come together and build capacities around ethical issues. This event was kindly hosted by Yoko Akama (RMIT) and Kyreena Hay at Australian Super in March 2019.

This intimate gathering picks up on questions and discussions in the #designandethics channel regarding what kinds of care and consideration is needed when working with Indigenous peoples. This event is for, and was about, non-Indigenous people and the work needed to build capacities and prepare ways to design with Indigenous peoples with more care and consideration as we move towards Treaty. This slow, careful dialogue explored different but resonant concerns and challenges shared in candid and reflective ways.

The gathering was facilitated by non-Indigenous researchers and designers with a range of experiences of working with various Indigenous peoples. It welcomed all levels of experience to be a safe space, free of judgement, to enable participants to ask any questions, no matter ‘trivial’ it may seem.

We hope this gathering is only the middle of on-going conversations that we can all continue to have in our work and play as we continue living in Australia.

Here are some resources that may be of interest:

Closer to home:
• Koorie Heritage Trust run excellent programs on cultural education and professional development

• Take a tour at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre Melbourne Museum

• Bruce Pascoe’s compelling talk

First Australian series by SBS

Indigenous Australia for Dummies by Larissa Behrendt

Specific to design:
Australian Indigenous Design Charter

Social Design Toolkit

Designing with Indigenous Nations Studio

A Cheat sheet for Non(or Less-) Colonialist Speculative Design

• A design framework for self-determination by Design Managers Australia

• Kelly, M., & Kennedy, R. (2016). Recognizing Appropriate Representation of Indigenous Knowledge in Design Practice. Visible Language, 50(1), 153–173.

7 Things You Can Do To Make Your Art Less Racist – A comprehensive How-To-Guide by Sandrine Micossé-Aikins

A list of questions by Melisa A, “On semi-hiatus” Member of Nisga’a Nation. Wips Wisen Xbil’tkw.

Black Chicks Talking

On Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing:
• Wilson, S. (2008). Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Black Point, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing.

• Sheehan, N. W. (2011). Indigenous Knowledge and Respectful Design: An Evidence-Based Approach. Design Issues, 27(4), 68–80.

• G. Worby & L.-I. Rigney (2006). Sharing spaces : Indigenous and non-indigenous responses to story, country and rights, Perth: API Network.


Image by Signe Stjarnqvist, created for Designing with Indigenous Nations studio, RMIT University

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