Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years (1.8.2018-31.7.2020), which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After successfully completing this course, students should be able to

  • Recognise, explain and apply the key principles and concepts in service design practice and research 
  • Apply co-design and service co-creation and differentiate their roles in design process and outcomes
  • Outline networked systems and organizational structures for service design.
  • Create and justify service design proposals that are based on creative collaborative exploration, and reflective evaluation of and with project partners, contexts, methods and frameworks.

Credits: 10

Schedule: 07.09.2020 - 16.10.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Tuuli Mattelmäki

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Tuuli Mattelmäki

Contact information for the course (valid 10.08.2020-21.12.2112):

Teaching assistant doctoral student Annukka Svanda (annukka.svanda at

Associate professor Tuuli Mattelmäki (tuuli.mattelmaki at

Adjunct professor in service design Nuria Solsona (nuria.solsona at

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Designing for services course addresses application of design competence and engagement in the emerging topics of service design. The course typically has a real-world partner and briefs, and the topics typically address transformations in public organizations and the potentials of collaboration and networking. The focus is on holistic, human-centered and co-design approaches, as well as sense making of complexity and relationships. The topic is approached and tackled through academic criticality and creative service design practice.

    The course includes two integrated modes of knowing and making. The knowing mode focuses on the understanding of designing for service through a combination of lectures, literature, presentations and workshops. The design project from the second mode serves as a learning platform for addressing both conceptual and practice related topics. The students participate actively in lectures and workshops.

    The second mode, making, focuses on applying and adjusting concept and frameworks in practice with collaborative partners. This mode focuses on tools and methodologies applied in design for services. Students, divided into groups, aim to tackle given briefs collaboratively, and communicate their learning processes both in teams and individually. The students participate actively in team work assignment, complete individual literature assignments and learning

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course is produced in partnership with City of Espoo. The students are grouped in teams and each team will have a challenge that is provided by the City of Espoo partners, and that is tackled in collaboration with them. 

    The overarching keyword this year is internationalization: Espoo is becoming more and more international and multicultural. Designing for services 2020 addresses this change. How to address internationalization, how to identify potentials, learn together, and develop service concepts that support internationalization? Public sector as well as local private organizations are trying to adopt and develop solutions that fit the demands of multicultural and non-Finnish speaking residents and support the ones that want to move to Espoo. 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The evaluation addresses:

    In project work process and outcomes, the ability to co-design and justify service design proposals.

    Individual activity (Students must attend at least 80% of the face-to-face sessions including lectures, seminars, workshops and presentations, and display active participation.)

    In learning portfolio the ability to recognise, explain and apply the key principles and concepts in service design practice and research

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Due to the Covid situation, we will follow instructions provided by Aalto University on teaching, and the course will be organised in a hybrid mode. This means some adjustments on practices, without making compromises on the learning outcomes. 

    By the end of the course the students are expected to deliver

    *individual learning portfolio that  compiled from each weeks' learning diary by the end of the course. The learning diaries report and reflect on literature readings, lectures, workshops and show how the student makes connections to previous knowledge, project work and learning outcomes of the course. 

    *group work outcomes including mid term presentation, final presentation, project report and executive summary. Teamwork includes user studies, collaboration with stakeholders, desk research, co-design facilitation, design interventions, and solution design. 

    More detailed information about the assignments will be shared in the beginning of the course. 

    During the course we will also follow students' individual activity including participation and activeness in lectures and workshops, punctuality of assignments.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    270 hours (10 credits) requires full time work during the period.

    Contact hours 60 including lectures, workshops, presentations 54h, and teamwork tutoring sessions 6 hours.

    Individual and group work hours 210 h including

    Independent literature study 60 h

    Personal reflection 30 h

    Learning diary 10 h

    Project team work including contextual studies, team meetings, presentation preparations and reporting 110 h



Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Will be announced in the beginning of the course.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Literature and lecture handouts will be available in the course's Homebase in MyCourses

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    User Inspired Design course or equal knowledge.

    Equal knowledge refers to either a minimum of 10 ects of prior studies in human-centred design, co-design or corresponding topics.

Registration for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    min 15 to max 25 students through WebOodi

  • Applies in this implementation:


SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities


Further Information
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Max 25 students

    Priority to Collaborative and Industrial Design students who have this course accepted in their personal study plan (HOPS) up to 15 in the order of enrollment. 10 places open for other students, with the precedence of max 5 students from USchool minor and max 5 students from Information networks students in the order of enrollment.

  • Applies in this implementation:


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    The online /face to face teaching/workshop activities of the course will be organised on Monday afternoons, and Wednesday and Friday mornings. Group tutoring will take place depending of each tutor and the team and to be agreed separately. The agenda  is as follows (slight changes might appear):

    Week 1 Dive into the topic

    7 Sept 2020 13.15-17 Introduction 

    9 Sept 2020 9.15-12 Espoo: meeting the project owners, teams and groups

    11 Sept 2020 9.15-12 First team presentations on the brief, research plan, tutoring

    Week 2 Field research

    14 Sept 2020 13.15-17 Service design, participation & co-creation framework, Tuuli

    16 Sept 2020 9.15-12 Conducing fieldwork, Nuria

    18 Sept 2020 9.15-12 Tools and methods, insights, Nuria

    Week 3 Frame your action

    21 Sept 2020 13.15-17 Seminar on internationalization, Annukka et al

    23 Sept 2020 9.15-12 Intro to digital + tutorials, Nuria & Annukka

    25 Sept 2020 9.15-12 Mid-term presentation: Reframe of brief and initial findings – written feedback, reflection on teamwork and project

    Week 4 Insight and ideas
    28 Sept 2020 13.15-17 Collaborative models of services (Engagement, Implementation & Blueprints), Nuria
    31 Sept 2020 9.15-12 Concept presentation and customer journey frameworks, Nuria
    2 Oct 2020 9.15-12 Experience prototyping & User testing, Nuria

    Week 5 Synthetizing & design interventions
    5 Oct 2020 13.15-17 Literature workshop, tutoring, Tuuli, Nuria, Annukka 
    7 Oct 2020 9.15-12 Business perspective to service design TBD
    9 Oct 2020 9.15-12 Systems thinking & transition design, Idil Gaziulusoy

    Week 6 Finalising 
    12 Oct 2020 13.15-17 Rehearsals
    14 Oct 2020 9.15-12 Final presentations
    16 Oct 2020 9.15-12 Designing for services - wrap up, reflection, and dead line for deliverables.


Registration and further information