Official rules


2022 student service design challenge


2022 student service design challenge

1. The Challenge

1.1 Description
The Challenge (‘Challenge’) is an international competition between students, grouped in so called design teams (‘Design Team’). It is organised with the aim to encourage and inspire the next generation of human-centered designers, and to challenge creative minds to envision service design concepts that matter, and are based on an actual, tangible, existing challenge they can relate to. The Challenge theme is ‘Design backwards to move forward’. The Case - explained in the brief - is based on that.

1.2 The Case
Each Challenge edition starts with a Case; an occurring situation and prevalent issue based on unsustainable economic models in need of improvement and of human- and planet-centred product-service solutions; a combination of successful interventions. Participants of the Challenge are able to relate to the problem, which also exist in their own living environments, their immediate neighbourhoods. They are encouraged to use radical empathy, co-create in a creative and collaborative multidisciplinary way, and design for and in local context.

1.3 Rounds
The Challenge has five rounds (‘Round’). Every Design Team that has been approved by the Organiser can participate in the first round. After this first Round, only max. 20 Design Teams will remain and continue in the Challenge.

1.3.1 Round 1 - Research proposal
After approval of the Design Teams, the teams will receive the design brief. Each team will receive the design brief on the same day and at the same time: Monday December 28 2020, 9:00:00 AM CET. They will have until Friday January 29 2021, 11:59:59 PM CET to submit their proposal(s). Selection process
Each proposal will be assessed by a team of experts (‘Coaching Team’) that also will be coaching the groups during the Challenge process. Only the best 20 proposals - this is a maximum number - will be selected to join the next Rounds of the Challenge. Design Teams will be informed about whether they have passed Round 1 on February 15 2021, 9:00:00 CET. Design Teams that have passed the preliminaries will receive information about the following Rounds. Design process
Based on design processes like the Double Diamond, Design Thinking and Co-create Framework, the Design Teams need to walk through three steps: Empathise & Discover, Frame & Define, and Ideate & Develop. At the end of Round 2 and 3 the Coaching Team will check if all criteria have been met and all activities have been completed. The Coaching Team will give general advise on the following Round. This will take place via a video conference call, complemented with digital documentation.

1.3.2 Round 2 - Discover phase
Design Teams will be asked to relook at the challenge in a fresh, profound way and in the light of the students’ local context. They will do research. In this Round students are stimulated to do true fieldwork in their own environment (city, country): going where people live to empathise and learn.

1.3.3 Round 3 - Define phase
Design Teams will be asked to unpack and synthesise their empathy findings into compelling needs and insights. They will make sense of all the possibilities identified in the previous Round to improve their first proposal. This Round is critical to the design process because it explicitly states the problem in relation to its local context and ecosystem. During this Round, the Design Teams are invited to join an online special workshop to support them in this and the upcoming Round.

1.3.4 Round 4 - Develop phase
In this Round the idea generation process takes place. This Round marks a period of development where service solutions are conceived. This process of trial-and-error helps the Design Teams to improve and refine their ideas into a concrete concept. This Round ends with the final Submission, a full-fledged (product-)service solution that complies with all of the criteria of the six assessment areas.

1.3.5 Round 5 - Jury voting and winner announcement
The Jury voting will take place from May 31 2021 to June 11 2021. A total of up to 20 Submissions will go through a round of judging, after which the winners will be selected. Winners will be officially announced at the Barcelona Design Week 2021, but will be informed confidentially on Friday June 11 2021, 9:00:00 PM CET.

1.4 Submissions
Each Round ends with a unique Round’s Submission, that needs to be handed in and uploaded. The criteria for each Round’s Submission will be provided on time. Next to a video of max. 5 minutes, in which the team’s work to meet all criteria is shown, other materials that have been used during the Round can be uploaded as well. Once a Submission has been handed in and uploaded it cannot be deleted, cancelled, or modified. Incomplete Submission, including but not limited to those Submissions that do not meet the requirements herein, will not be eligible for assessment. Design Teams that haven’t handed in and uploaded their Submission on time, will be withdrawn from the Challenge.

1.4.1 Assessment Areas
Submissions must comply with, and will be assessed on six areas. Each area has one or more experts - members of the Jury and/or the Coaching Team - who will judge Submissions based on the area criteria. The Assessment Areas are the following:

  • People centric - Your idea is based on people’s contexts, their needs and habits. The solution you design works for people, and has a positive influence on their behaviour.
  • Experience based - Your idea provides an impactful, rewarding and lasting user experience 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 data-driven and future-ready for the ever-changing digital landscape, moving beyond the obvious, existing technology.
  • Circular and sustainable - Your idea supports sustainable innovation by 'closing the loop' thinking, and favouring ethical behaviour as well as empowering users.
  • Business viable - The idea is based on a service-centred business model, able to launch as a viable and scalable service business and value proposition.

1.5 Coaching Team
After Round 1, each of the max. 20 Design Teams will be guided by the Coaching Team. The Coaching Team consists of the Main Coach and Coach Team members. The Main Coach will virtually meet each team every two weeks, looking at the work that has been done, giving advice about methodologies to be used, and upcoming work that needs to be done.

At the end of Round 2 and 3 each team will have a so called ‘Assessment Call’. The Coaching Team will check if all criteria have been met and all activities have been completed. The experts of the Coaching Team will provide feedback on the work done and will give general advise on how to proceed and improve the project in the following Rounds. This will take place via a video conference call, complemented with digital documentation. The Round’s Submissions will be judged purely on their merits and quality.

1.6 Awards and prizes
This competition primarily aims to highlight the best design ideas. The Challenge will have Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. The Silver and Bronze winning teams will receive a small monetary prize. They will be mentioned on the Website, and their Submissions (such as videos and other materials) will be exhibited at the Dutch Design Week 2022 with a clear mention of the design solution and each team member’s name. The University of each winning team will receive a monetary prize as well. If students from a winning team are studying at more than one University, it is up to the universities to divide the prize over the Universities.

1.6.1 The Gold winning team
The Gold winning team will be able to continue working on its winning solution with the design experts from Philips Experience Design. A maximum number of seven students, all active members of the Design Team, will be offered a so called ‘Design-in-residence’ for a period of ten weeks. The exact period will be planned in consultation with the winners and Philips Experience Design and take place between June 10 and October 31 2022. This period results in a special exhibition at the Dutch Design Week 2022 (physical or virtual; depending on the COVID-19 pandemic situation at the time). The winning team will also appear on various publications, will get press attendance, and attendance at other design events, such as the Barcelona Design Week.

1.6.2 Design-in-residence
The Design-in-residence period is offered to the Gold winning team. The team members are able to further work on their concept and prototype it. They are mentored and supported by an expert team of Philips Experience Design. The Design-in residence will take place in a hybrid way; remotely, complemented with a series of workshop sessions at one of the Philips Experience Design studios. The timing and duration of the physical workshops are to be agreed upon (depending on the local and global COVID-19 pandemic situation at the time). Travel expenses will be covered, including shared/student housing rent for the team members for the period of the series.

1.7 Jury
The Organiser shall ensure that the judges will be academics or professionals with design, circular economy and related acumen, and that the final Submissions will be judged purely on their merits and quality. Philips Experience Design and the Challenge Partners are represented in the Jury. The Jury votes to select the final Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. The judges’ decisions are final and binding, and no further correspondence or discussion will be entered into.

1.8 Period
The Challenge takes place from November 15 2021, 9:00:00 AM CET to May 28 2021, 11:59:59 PM CET. No final submissions will be accepted after May 20, 2022.The entire period of the Challenge consists of 5 rounds, plus the design-in-residence for the winners.
Round 1, Proposal: November 15, 2021 - January 21, 2022
Round 2, Discover: February 11 - March 11, 2022
Round 3, Define: March 14 - April 1, 2022
Round 4, Develop: April 4 - May 20, 2022
Round 5, Jury Voting and winner announcement: May 23 - June 10, 2022
Design-in-residence, 10 weeks between June 10 and October 31, 2022

2. The organisation

2.1 Initiators
This competition - that celebrates excellence in service design - is called the Student Service Design Challenge. It is initiated by Philips Experience Design (‘Organiser’) and Service Design College (‘Challenge Management Team’). Together they form the ‘Initiators’.

2.2 Organiser
The Challenge is co-initiated and organised by Philips Electronics Nederland B.V. acting through Philips Experience Design, with registered offices at Boschdijk 525, 5621 JG, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (‘Organiser’).

2.3 Challenge Management Team
The Challenge is co-initiated, managed and executed by Yabber, owner of the Service Design College label, with an office at Catharijnesingel 102, 3511 GV, Utrecht, the Netherlands (‘Challenge Management Team’).

2.4 Partners
The Initiators of the Challenge will work together with Partners who are sponsors of the Challenge. They can be profit and non-profit organisations, but they are all related with at least one Assessment Area [see 1.4.1]. Each of them contributes to the Challenge with knowledge and time. Together with the Initiators they form a group of organisations to establish and run this unique and international design competition amongst students.

3. The participants

3.1 Students
The Challenge is for students only. They must be at least 18 years of age and enrolled as a Bachelor’s or Master’s student during the entire period of the Challenge.

3.1.2 Design Team
The students can join the Challenge as a group (‘Design Team’). Only Design Teams with 4 to 7 members can participate. Those members are preferably studying at the same University or Academy but can be students from different Universities or Academies. The team leader of each group is preferably studying the following undergraduate / bachelor or graduate programme: service design, experience design, design innovation, product design, social design, strategic design or similar at an accredited University or Academy. The Design Team needs to be a multidisciplinary team. Each Design Team must designate one member as the team contact and each Design Team must list all of the team members’ information that is requested. Only the Students listed as team members will be eligible to receive a prize. A student can only participate in one Design Team.

3.2 Universities
Students from all accredited Universities and Academies are allowed to join the Challenge. The Challenge is not a competition between Universities but between student teams. A list of top-tier Universities will be contacted to promote the Challenge amongst their students, but it is up to the students to register and form Design Teams. The Challenge isn’t part of an Academic Year Program. It has its own pace. Start- and end dates are chosen to offer as many students as possible the ability to join.

3.2.1 Coordinator
The Challenge Management Team will communicate with a contact person (‘Coordinator’) at each University and Academy where the Design Teams are studying. These Coordinators will be approached by the Challenge Management Team on a regular basis about the students’ progress, possible obstacles, supervision/guidance, etc., and they will have contact with their Design Team(s).

3.3 Registration
To enter the Challenge, a representative of each Design Team first needs to register and upload proof that (s)he is a student. Once registered, the student needs to complete an online form, in which also the team name and its members are filled in to finalise the registration.

3.4 Reimbursements
No payment is necessary to enter or win. Any costs made to join and participate in the Challenge are not covered.

3.5 Official Rules
By entering the Challenge each student agrees to be bound by these Official Rules, which can be found on the Website. The student unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules, the registration form, and the decisions of the Jury, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

3.6 Property
Once a group enters the Challenge all its materials used and/or made to deliver the outcomes of each Round, including the results of each Round, become the property of the Initiators and Partners of the Challenge.

3.6.1 Intellectual property rights
All intellectual property rights of the Submissions shall at all times remain (as between the parties) the property of the Design Team(s). Nothing in the Official Rules or a student’s participation in the Challenge shall operate to assign or license any intellectual property rights in the Submissions to the Organiser, the Challenge Management Team and Partners. The Organiser and Challenge Management Team are not responsible for obtaining, protecting, or verifying any intellectual property rights relating to the Submission material. It is the responsibility of the Design Teams to use its own materials and designs, and clearly highlight references.

3.6.2 Idea ownership
By uploading a Submission, the Design Team confirms, collectively, that it is the owner of the idea.

3.7 Personal data
By registering, the student expressly authorises the Challenge Management Team and Organiser to use personal data collected during the registration process for the purposes of administering the Challenge. The Challenge Management Team shall collect, store, use, handle and process students’ personal data in accordance with its privacy policy (available on the Website) and all applicable laws and regulations. Students shall be entitled at any time to access or amend their personal data held by the Challenge Management Team by the means of an e-mail or letter addressed to the Challenge Management Team. The Challenge Management Team and Organiser will not pass on the Student’s personal data to other parties without the Student’s prior written consent.

3.8 Promotion
Students agree to take part, on the Organiser’s reasonable written request, in any publicity or promotional activity surrounding the Challenge and future events and awards, locally or globally. The Organiser shall meet the costs of students’ transport and accommodation and will reimburse (subject to the provision of reasonable evidence) all reasonable expenses incurred by students as a result of participating in such activities.

4. Marketing and communication

4.1 Daily communication
The communication with Main Partner, Partners, Universities and Students will mainly take place via email, video conferencing and phone.

4.2 Website
The Challenge will make use of its own Website. On this Website all necessary information is provided. Students can find (a link to) the registration form, the Official Rules, and how and where to upload their Submissions.

4.3 Events

4.3.1 Barcelona Design Week 2022
Winners will be officially announced at the Barcelona Design Week 2022. The team leader of each winning team (Gold, Silver and Bronze) will be asked to come on stage during the BDW Summit and receive the award. Travel and stay costs for the team leaders will be covered.

4.3.2 Dutch Design Week 2022
The submission and prototype of the Gold winning Design Team will be exhibited during the Dutch Design Week (DDW) 2022. The submissions of the Silver and Bronze winning Design Teams and a selection of the entries of the other finalists will also be presented. The Challenge Management Team will take care of the overall management of this exhibition and will work together with Organiser and the Dutch Design Foundation, the organising team of the DDW 2022.

5. In general

Organiser reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend the Challenge should causes beyond its control interfere with the administration of or proper participation in the Challenge.

Organiser assumes no responsibility for postal, technical or natural conditions that prevent the reception and/or judging of a Submission.

These Official Rules shall in all respects be governed by Dutch law. The parties irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dutch courts in respect of all disputes (whether contractual or non-contractual) arising out of or in connection with these rules and conditions or the Challenge.

Organiser reserves the right to amend these Official Rules at any time without notice by publishing updated Official Rules at the Website.

The Challenge and its Official Rules may not be reproduced, reprinted or published elsewhere in any format without the written permission of Organiser.



Initiated and powered by Philips Experience Design
and co-organized with SERVICE DESIGN COLLEGE, in
collaboration with IBM, IKEA and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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Until when can teams register?
Teams can register until January 14, 2022. They will have until Friday January 21, 2022 (11:59:59 PM CET) to submit their research proposal(s). We expect that the preparation for a proposal will take at least a few weeks.
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. There is no transfer of intellectual property rights to any third party as a condition of participating in the challenge. Please read our Official rules before submitting.