Winner announcement


Winner announcement


Student design team ‘I <3 women’ (University of the Arts London) wins Student Service Design Challenge 2020


Student design team ‘I <3 women’ (University of the Arts London) wins Student Service Design Challenge 2020

Student design teams from recognised European design academies and universities have invested 5 months in design research, ideation and development. The Jury unanimously selected the service design concept from team 'I <3 women', a multicultural master students' team from University of the Arts London, as the winner of this year's edition. Their WomenToHeart service helps women to identify and communicate heart symptoms via metaphors.

The Student Service Design Challenge celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of designers. This year more than 35 student design teams from over 15 academies and universities entered the competition, including: Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Design Academy Eindhoven, University of Lisbon, Glasgow School of Arts, IE University Madrid, Köln International School of Design, TU Delft, ELISAVA, University of Siena, Umeå Institute of Design, Yrgo - City of Gothenburg Education, and Polytechnic University of Milan. They were challenged on "How can we improve the heart health of people in Europe that are ‘invisible’, neglected, underserved, forgotten or overlooked?"

With service solutions focussing on a variety of users such as overweight children, Turkish migrants, isolated elderly people, stroke victims, night shift workers and flight attendants, it was a challenge for the Jury to find the winning concept based on 5 criteria: people centric, society oriented, circular & sustainable, technology enabled, and business viable.

Jury Chair, Simona Maschi, co-founder and director of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID): “Being a pioneer in service design, I can confidently say that the young designers we have met through this brilliant competition have all the tools, the skills, the ethical values, and the determination needed to create value-adding services for individuals and society at large. In general, I think the submissions show a very felt effort to solve critical health challenges of today and I was very impressed by the variety of the approaches, topics and storytelling. I acknowledge the value of this challenge to celebrate the great thinking, the passion and the willingness to create impact by young service designers around the world. It has been a true honour to lead the jury work, which leaves me with an optimistic view on our opportunity and responsibility as designers to act on the most pressing challenges of our society.” 



GOLD winner:
+ EUR 3,000 for the University

WomenToHeart - a service helping women to identify and communicate via metaphors

The Jury unanimously selected WomenToHeart from team ‘I <3 women’ (University of Arts London) as the winning service solution. WomenToHeart is an online service to help women identify and communicate their symptoms via metaphors, rather than using the traditional pain scale. The empowering approach helps women understand their early warning signs and slow on-set symptoms in order to seek help sooner.

Team ‘I <3 women’: “Heart disease is the #1 killer of women worldwide. But women are unaware they can be at risk of a heart attack and what the symptoms could look like. And when looking for help, women face an additional challenge: in our research we discovered that they struggle to communicate their symptoms effectively. In the meantime, healthcare professionals have trouble recognizing symptoms because women can experience non-chest related symptoms, which are harder to diagnose and to communicate. It was clear that we needed to close this gap.”

Service blueprintBusiness Model CanvasPrototype

Well defined and researched problem as heart disease symptoms in women are not sufficiently highlighted or understood. Women’s health, and heart health in particular, is under-estimated in the world and the notion of empowering them to understand and communicate their symptoms and act accordingly is an area that needs to be focused on. The team excelled in many different aspects and brought it to a coherent story. The combination of a relevant area with a large underserved population, good user research showing deep empathy, a great concept and great storytelling merits the first place in this design competition. Furthermore, if you consider the reach of such a solution, it has the potential for high impact on the number of people it can help.

“I know how tough it is not only to get the message across but also to get the women aboard, to talk about this, and to think about it.” - Lucien Engelen, CEO Transform.Health / Edge Fellow Deloitte Center for the Edge

“Ticks all the boxes from a highly relevant underserved population to a great concept and great storytelling.” - Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips

“The team shaped a strong solution in the context of preventive care where digital technology enables effective inclusion and peer-to-peer support in contemporary society.” - Simona Maschi, co-founder and director of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID)

“The project addresses a relevant problem and with wide interest although often underestimated. I also like the depth of execution and description of the project. Excellent.” - Roberto Verganti, Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics

“Well researched with input from many subject matter experts leading to a great ‘aha’ moment and problem to solve. The story of the problem and solution are well told and the tools and guidance provided in the product are a pleasure to use.” - Rosie Martin, Design Principal at IBM

“The idea of not only thinking about physical health prevention but also embedding the element of a community to connect and promote best practices makes it outstanding.” - Anna Queralt, engagement manager of the circular design programme at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Team I Heart Women
Team 'I heart women' is an international student design team of five aspiring service designers, hailing from different industry backgrounds and countries. They are all enrolled in the MA in Service Design at University of the Arts London. Having to work through different time zones, the team learned to trust each other in order to complete delegated tasks in a timely and effective manner. They are passionate individuals who are interested in making the world a better place through design and are grateful to have had this opportunity to take on the unique challenge of bettering women’s heart health.

“As afraid we were that our project would hit a standstill, our team made the most of our situation and used creative ways to reach out to stakeholders. Often, it is simply about going outside one’s comfort zone and giving it a try, you never know what you will get.”


Angela Tam (Canada)

Laura Duarte (Colombia)

Katerina Shikhotova (Russia)

Ruchika Karnani (India)

Maria Jesus Domeyko (Chile)


SILVER winner:
monetary prize of EUR 2,500
+ EUR 2,000 for the University


SILVER winner:
monetary prize of EUR 2,500
+ EUR 2,000 for the University

RO+ - a service to ease Roma people’s sickness journey

The jury awarded the Silver prize to team ‘No Pressure’ (Aalto University in Finland) for: RO+ - a service to ease Roma people’s sickness journey. The service concept creates a hassle-free journey for Roma people. On the platform Roma, healthcare providers and social service workers can access information in one place and coordinate with each other on referrals, appointments and the status of temporary ID. The service can solve Roma’s problems, including language barriers, by simplifying the processes.

Team ‘No Pressure’: “We explored the healthcare experience from Roma in Finland. Roma people who lack proper education and have a low level of literacy, a basic digital literacy and with or without a temporary ID, have a hard time getting adequate access to healthcare. We searched for a solution to help the Roma community get better access to healthcare while generating trust in the system and leading healthier lifestyles.”

Service blueprintBusiness Model CanvasPrototype

The team successfully identified an underserved user group in line with the brief and demonstrated a detailed understanding and communication of their experiences and pain points. The storytelling is well done, how the app works and its relevance is well articulated, and the technical solution is properly thought through. The integration of systems relates to many current health and human services problems and could be scalable across multiple use cases. Even though they focused on a specific community, when discussing access to care and social determinants of health, the solution can be relevant to any under-resourced community with limited access and could be leveraged in multiple areas.

“Great research and understanding of the Roma community and their experiences in accessing care in Finland. The solution showed how technology can bring siloed systems and organisations together, removing barriers and empowering people to care for their health.” - Rosie Martin, Design Principal at IBM

"Very good and well thought solution for an important group with special challenges.” - Lucien Engelen, CEO Transform.Health / Edge Fellow Deloitte Center for the Edge

“I believe the potential of this solution lays in adapting the service to different socio-technical contexts and marginalised groups.” - Anna Queralt, engagement manager of the circular design programme at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“We would love to see the prototype being further developed and implemented in real life.” - Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips

“A project that demonstrates how digital technologies can empower the most vulnerable communities. I hope that this work will inspire more designers and organizations around the world to start designing scalable healthcare solutions starting from those at greater risk of exclusion.” - Simona Maschi, co-founder and director of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID)

“The project has the merit to address a highly neglected community in healthcare, with a mobility that challenges the current healthcare system.” - Roberto Verganti, Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics

Team No Pressure
Team 'No Pressure' is made up of five design students from Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, with different backgrounds: humanitarian design activism, systemic thinking, empathic design among others. The students are currently enrolled in the Master in Collaborative and Industrial Design at Aalto University, and one of them is pursuing the Master in Creative Sustainability. They describe themselves as empathic design students who aim to create social change by having a meaningful impact on people in vulnerable situations.

“Although the starting point can seem small, only targeting a specific group of people, in the end the result may cover a far bigger user group and have a chance to make real change.”


Jooeun Park (South Korea)

Shreya Sood (India)

Bohan Sun (China)

Qianfei Gu (China)

Zhengshuang Han (China)


BRONZE winner:
monetary prize of EUR 1,500
+ EUR 1,000 for the University

Heartsease - a service that improves the communication between elderly patients and medical staff

The Jury awarded Bronze to team ‘London Arts 1’ (Universty of Arts London) for: Heartsease. This service improves the communication between elderly patients and medical staff through informing patients about the medical process and providing a personalised plan-making experience. A cardiac passport and related stickers on examinations and treatments are part of the service concept.

Team ‘London Arts 1’: “Elderly cardiac patients living alone need ways to be better informed. So we want to improve the medical experience of those patients, empower them to better communicate with medical experts and support them to live a positive life.”

Service blueprintBusiness Model CanvasPrototype

The area of improving communication between elderly patients and medical experts is well recognised. The team created a great service concept based on solid research and quality insights. The idea of combining clinical data with data on the patients' personal situation enables personalised care and makes this concept stand out. Having a physical passport to help reconstruct the communication experience and record treatment and medications is a simple but powerful concept. It not only focuses on medical treatments but also the person's life, hobbies and social connections, bringing together a full picture of the patient to create a holistic treatment and care plan going forward. This area of whole-person care needs more focus, especially with our elderly population.

“Great concept showing the future of truly personalised care.” - Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips

“Very interesting perspectives, blending digital and materiality, especially considering this target group.” - Roberto Verganti, Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics

The combination of digital and ‘old fashioned’ stickers is brilliant. We need to blend online and offline more.” - Lucien Engelen, CEO Transform.Health / Edge Fellow Deloitte Center for the Edge

“Apparently a simple idea but very well-developed. Found powerful the bridging between the need of adapting digital tools and services for groups that are not so familiar with them with enhancing the gathering of information.” - Anna Queralt, engagement manager of the circular design programme at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“I love the simplicity and accessibility of this solution, and can see how needed something like this would be to alleviate stressful encounters with medical practitioners - from being able to list out current medications in an emergency situation, to understanding the patients’ social situation for future care planning. This concept is clever and scalable, a physical record/passport of a person’s integrated care." - Rosie Martin, Design Principal at IBM

“A personalised healthcare solution that adopts a holistic approach while creating a meaningful and very thoughtful combination of digital and physical touchpoints of the service.” - Simona Maschi, co-founder and director of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID)

Team London Arts 1
The members of student design team London Arts 1 are enrolled in the MA in Service Design at University of the Arts London. They are passionate about applying service design methods to tackle problems and support people. Complementary design skills, mutual trust and spirit of challenge make them form a good team. They are dedicated to the happiness and resilience of elderly people. They all come from China, which made the challenge an insightful journey for them by diving into the local, British situation of elderly people. They are interested in how service design can empower highly specialised fields such as medicine, and this heart health-related project can prompt them to explore more in this area.

“The pace of the challenge was just right. We had the proper time to research, analyse, design and debate. We also got precious support from the coaches helping us move forward and conquer many obstacles.”


Xiaolin Huang (China)

Xinyi Dai (China)

Qingrui Zhang (China)

Wenhan Ding (China)

Prizes and recognition

The 5 students of the winning team earn a 10-week design-in-residence position at Philips Experience Design where they will be able to further prototype and optimise their concept. During those weeks they will be mentored and supported by a Philips expert team. They will also receive additional training by the IBM Design team and participation in a summer workshop at CIID.
The silver and bronze winners receive respectively a monetary prize of EUR 2,500 (+ EUR 2,000 for the University) and of EUR 1,500 (+ EUR 1,000 for the University).

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation will also like to reward the projects that embedded circular and sustainable principles in their solutions. These teams will receive an individual consultation/feedback session with them and the opportunity to participate in upcoming EMF events.
And even more importantly, this Challenge ends with a unique virtual exhibition during the Dutch Design Week 2020: an insightful showcase of a selection of service design solutions from the top20 submissions.

Proprietary rights - The Student Service Design Challenge is not liable for any copyright or trademark infringement on the part of the entrants and is not responsible for obtaining, protecting, or verifying any intellectual property rights relating to the submission material. It is the responsibility of the student design teams to use their own materials and designs, and clearly highlight references. They have been advised and required to obtain third party consents where required by law or by best ethical practices. If you discover that in the submitted materials and designs copyrighted items have been unintentionally used, we ask you to contact us by email. We will ask the concerning student team to delete those items.


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 13, 2023. They will have until Friday January 20, 2023 (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.