A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SERVICE DESIGN PROGRAMS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Service Design as a design discipline has gained increasingly attention during the last years. It has also been noted from the economics, engineering and the computer science perspective. Furthermore, service design as a business has grown considerable as an economic activity. Through, conferences, new journals, and magazines about service design, the topic can be easily found. Albeit it is not fully defined, it has becoming an interesting area to explore. At the same time, service design activities have emerged into higher education. Undergraduate or graduate programs have been created to offer a service design education, which is oriented to prepare future professionals with new competences. This includes skills to be capable to guide innovation by fostering the co-creation of value with users and to design the best experiences with customers alongside with generating a good return on their investment. Several universities around the world have included a service design program as part of their education portfolio. If we take it for granted that service design faces challenges in moving forward as a discipline, we need to consider the contextual, social or technological perspective to understand it. The purpose of the paper is to explore how well the service design is embedded in the higher education. Over 10 curriculum designs have been explored to provide an international comparative study. Service design programs are investigated to provide an overview of the current state of the service design education. The higher education focus is reflected, because we consider that those educated in service design are in future important actors to foster innovation in both private and public organizations.