2024 student service design challenge - design a service that turns the tide for

2024 student service design challenge - design a service that turns the tide for good

2024 student service design challenge - design a service that turns the tide for good

2024 student service design challenge - design a service that turns the tide for good

2024 student service design challenge - design a service that turns the tide for good



About this challenge

The Student Service Design Challenge is a global design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of designers. It's open to current students, and is supported by a group of trailblazing organisations, as part of their mission to involve young designers in finding people-centred and future-oriented services for people and the planet.

With this challenge, younger generations – over 50% of the people in the world are younger than 27 – take part in designing better products and services. That is why we invite design students to explore non-inclusive business models and outdated design processes, and think about what they would do to improve them.

Their unbiased, playful and uninhibited approach may lead to new, disruptive ideas, increasing the chance to deliver on the promise of value-based services: providing the right service to the people who need it, at the right time, in a convenient, affordable, easy and accessible way. We encourage the next generation of designers to use their creative power to shape corporate behaviour and pressure them to take a more globally conscious set of values seriously. By taking an inclusive approach to service design, we can develop exciting new service experiences that contribute value to people, the planet, and the public.


Why participate?

  • Work on design with impact
  • Dive into a real-life user case
  • Use your curiosity and empathy for real people
  • Work in a multidisciplinary team
  • Learn new design methodologies and skills
  • Get supervised and coached by professionals and experts in the field
  • Get the chance to win a traineeship or design incubation prize
  • Showcase your work at international exhibitions


How it works

Prior to the end of 2023, we will publish on our website and share with registered student teams via email a series of design briefs that task them with addressing pressing and future-oriented challenges tied to this year’s theme.

The briefs are curated and provided by the Challenge partners; organisations committed to contributing towards a better world now and in the future. Each team will be coached and mentored, join live and recorded classes/lectures, participate in insightful Q&A sessions and much more. This Challenge can be likened to an intensive master's program, complementing students' academic curriculum and requiring their weekly commitment throughout the competition.

In the last round of the competition, shortlisted teams will have the opportunity to pitch their service concept and show their business potential to the Challenge jury. This online event is a unique opportunity for the teams to practise their skills and convince the jury to select them as the winners of the fifth edition of the Student Service Design Challenge.


This year’s theme

Some background information
In the rapidly evolving landscape of modern services, there is a pressing need to reassess their impact on individual and collective wellbeing. While many services are designed with good intentions, it is becoming increasingly evident that some inadvertently contribute to harm rather than fostering positive outcomes. It is crucial to acknowledge and address these issues, as they have far-reaching consequences on the mental, emotional, and even physical health of individuals.

Think about smart home systems and services and how to transform them into holistic solutions that encourage healthy behaviour, improve people’s wellbeing and uplift the human spirit. Or focus on the professional sphere, and how to reshape employee-related services to foster genuine work-life balance instead of causing more stress and burnouts. And in the critical domain of medicines and pharmaceutical services, our creativity can revolutionise the accessibility and understanding of healthcare. In that regard, we also should think about the use of ingredients and materials in relation to return, repair, recycling and any other ‘end-of-life’ services.

These are just a few examples of how to rethink service design and turn the tide. We invite students to transform vital services into pillars of holistic wellbeing where emerging technology and design converge to enhance lives and contribute to a healthier planet and happier society. Leveraging emerging technologies - such as AI - for good in design presents a transformative opportunity to bring about numerous positive outcomes that can profoundly benefit our natural habitats, society and humankind.

The Student Service Design Challenge 2024 calls on design students worldwide to embrace an extraordinary opportunity. In a world where cutting-edge technologies drive innovation, we challenge you to take the lead in shaping a future that thrives on positive change and design services that place wellbeing at the core. We invite you to join this year's Challenge, select one of the design briefs, and let your creativity spark transformative change and have a tangible impact on the world.


What are we looking for?

The challenge aims to push the boundaries of service design by encouraging a transdisciplinary approach to solving a prevalent global issue in a local context. We’re looking for ideas that will work now and in the future. Human-centred solutions that can start small and locally, but can be scaled up as well. Improving and enhancing people’s experiences.

A successful solution must work for individual users as well as larger groups and communities, and be ready to scale and be adjusted for others as well. Your submission will be evaluated according to the following criteria, that you can also find in the official rules of this challenge.


People centric

Your idea is based on real people’s contexts, their needs and habits. The solution you design works for real people, and has a positive influence on their behaviour.

Experience based

Your idea provides an impactful, rewarding and lasting user experience, both physical and online, by offering an engaging solution that creates an emotional and sensory connection with the users.

Society oriented

Your idea sees into the inclusive conception of design in which overlooked users, groups or communities, are taken into account to create positive change in society.

Technology enabled

Your idea is future-ready for the everchanging digital landscape, takes into account the responsible, secure and unbiased use of data, and uses technology wisely and for the good.

Circular and sustainable

Your idea aims to tackle a global challenge like climate change, access to care, gender equality, waste or pollution. It is regenerative for our world, and supports sustainable and planet-positive innovation by conscious consumption thinking, and favouring ethical behaviour as well as empowering users.

Business viable

Your idea is based on a service-centred business model, able to launch as a viable service business and value proposition, as well as adjustable or scalable.


Enter competition 2024

The Student Service Design Challenge aims to support human-centred design students with the start of their careers. If you and your team members are studying at an official university, academy or college, and you would like to use your creativity to contribute to the upcoming challenge, we invite you to already register your team. Don't worry; the entry process is fairly simple.

To register, fill in the form below. Only one registration per team is needed. Each team must consist of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 members, and you will all need an email address issued by your university, academy or college. After this first step, we will request complete information of all team members and you will receive additional information about the challenge, this year’s briefs and how to register.

(Must be issued by your current educational institution)
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Initiated and organized by SERVICE DESIGN COLLEGE.

In collaboration with


logo Philipslogo IKEAlogo Laerdal
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Connect with us


Until when can teams register?
Registration closes on the deadline of the research proposal. Dates can be found in the design briefs. The briefs will be published on the website before the end of 2023.
Can I enter the challenge alone?
You cannot participate as an individual student. You need to be part of a team of 4 to 7 members.
Is there any limitation on the number of members in a team?
Yes. The team needs to have at the least 4 team members and no more than 7 team members. All team members have to be students.
I am not a Service Design student. Can I enter the challenge?
Yes, you can. You need to be part of a multidisciplinary team, preferably with at least one design student.
Is there an age limit for entering the challenge?
No, there are no age restrictions, as long as you meet the criteria about student status.
Can a team submit more than one research proposal?
Yes a team can submit more than one research proposal, but you should submit each proposal separately.
What happens to our ideas, materials, etc.?
As a participant in the challenge you will retain intellectual property ownership of all your challenge submission ideas. Please read more about this in our Official rules before submitting.