“The Challenge went beyond our expectations, allowing us to collaborate with expert and generous tutors. The competition taught us how to think and act as real service designers, helping us develop a solid service solution in the end.”



University of Cambridge / MIT / TU Delft - United Kingdom

An interschool team consisting of four aspiring service designers connecting from four different time zones: China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands to work on the Challenge. What brings them together regardless of distance is their ultimate love for bananas and fish.


Team members - Lide Li (China), Huiwen Shi (China), Ziyuan Zhu (China) and Yu Huang (China)

“Team Banana Fish is an amazing group of hardworking, talented, and creative individuals that collectively brought the bests of themselves to the Challenge. Our mentoring sessions were mutually enlightening and thought-provoking. Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey. I can’t wait to see what you do next.”

Assessment coach, Fran Chacon - Senior Product Designer and Strategist at IBM Garage, New York, United States

Service concept

GroundUP - a service aiming to collect and repurpose coffee grounds from individual brewers in San Francisco and use them as a substitute for trees to make furniture and logs. The service includes a home collection kit and an online supporting platform with a continuous reward system.


Other teams


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

logo SDDlogo IBM

Connect with us


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.