Monday, 6 October 2008


Case Tranfer, by Rosan Chow on SDN Symposium 2008, is proposed as an improved verson of Case study method especially to be used in design context.

Chow uses 'Transferability' to describe 'the quality of knowledge generation and application in design projection'. Here I hear the eho of a old friend from design management - knowledge transfer. To me, the Case Transfer tempts to answer the question of 'how design knowledge can be transfered from one project/artefact to another?', presuming that artefacts are the resource of knowledge and that knowledge is transferable. Interestingly, Chow's research focus lands in the same area as mine - service design. Chow studies cases of design systematically to articulate aspects/methods/tools that makes service design knowledge transferable. While my study looks at how service management knowledge can be tranfered to service design practices in the context of organisational dynamics.

Service Design has gain a lot of attention currently in the design research - replacing Experience Design and becoming the new buzz word. One of the reason I can think of is that as a new descipline where no established theories or authorities yet exists, therefore, new concepts are more likely to be recognised and accepted. Arguement is encouraged and confusion is tolerated. The inter-discipline nature of new service researches allows more and more creative thinkers from all backgrounds to contribute to the knowledge pool of SSME (Service Science, Management and Engineering), a new discipline pioneered by IBM and Carnegie Mellon University.

So, what role does transferability play in inter-discipline cooperation in service design? According to the principles of complementarity, there is no use to have an excellent design that cannot be transfered to the agents of change in the organsiation. As dynamic social system, service design solution only works when it can be easily adopted by the relevant agents of change. By agents, I mean fuction groups, or even individuals that relates to all organisation activities - sometime we call them stakeholders. The transferability definitely is one of the key criteria when it comes to evaluate the service design solution and, of course, designer's capability. As designers, it is crucial that they are able to identify the agents of change, then create design solutions that influence the behaviour even mental states of certain agents. To achieve such influence, a clear awareness that sees both macro and micro levels of organisational changes becomes the key characteristic of service designer or design manager. Here, the knowledge of management and the knowledge of design meets and sparks !

By the way, a book called SSME is just published. Nice book: easy reading and lots lots of interesting concepts and case studies... if you can't find it in the library, it is because I have it... but everyone is welcomed to borrow it from me ;-)
blog comments powered by Disqus