Service design for public goods: designing for/with citizens and/with policy makers

What is the connection between designing services and urban and regional development? What are the competencies that the service designer can make available to policy makers and citizens?

Territorial transformation involves a process that brings together various actors: policy makers, associations, public institutions, businesses, and citizens. The change goes through the adoption of new technologies, new processes, new skills to make the places where we live "smarter", connected, sustainable, more focused on citizens' needs. In this context, service design can help to innovate the public sector, considered as a complex system of services offered to citizens, as well as to contribute to design and prototype new public policies. The emerging need to renew relations between citizens and the government goes hand in hand with redesigning public services in their organizational dimension, through public spaces, in the new dialogue between civil service and citizens, and between institutions themselves. The relationship between service design and policies has been investigated by the Department of Design of Politecnico di Milano through research activities like the Design for Europe platform and the Design Policy Lab.

In the Specializing Masters in Service Design, organized by, students are asked to address public service issues, exploring topics such as health and, on another level, imagining the contribution service design can make to creating new policies through participatory processes and co-design activities. The fifth edition of the Masters will start on October 10, 2017.

More information available at