28 student teams from prestigious design schools and universities have worked for over 5 months using their creativity and skills to create more people-centric and planet-positive services. The Jury selected team Sage from OCAD University as the 1st prize winner of this year's edition. Team Nighty Night from Glasgow School of Art wins the 1st prize in this year's special Spin-off Challenge.
Unlike previous years, the 3rd edition of the Student Service Design Challenge has encompassed two related competitions. On top of the main Challenge, a Spin-off Challenge was organised. Both competitions focused on designing services to disrupt the current ownership economy. Student teams were challenged to design a service concept that could shift the current take, make and waste system by empowering people and building community resilience.
From an initial 90 teams, 28 qualified as finalists and worked on developing full-fledged service solutions using a structured approach. A number of them were selected for the main Challenge, aiming to win a design-in-residence at Philips. Others were selected for this year’s unique Spin-off Challenge, which focused on servicing college students in kick starting their lives away from home. They competed to win an internship at IKEA.
The teams represented 25 universities and schools around the world, reflecting the next generation of designers’ widespread and incontestable commitment to using their creativity and skills to create more people-centric and planet-positive services. This year’s submitted solutions dealt with a variety of issues: elder care, mobility, living habits, renewable energy, fashion, e-waste, food, childcare, fishing, funerary services and more.
It was difficult for the jury members to select the winners based on the challenge's comprehensive criteria: people centric, society oriented, circular & sustainable, technology enabled, business viable and user experience & empowerment.
After assessing all final submissions, the jury awarded team Sage the 1st prize, team In Bloom from the University of Siena the 2nd prize, and team Safa from Delhi Technological University the 3rd prize. Team Nighty Night was awarded the 1st prize of the Spin-off Challenge. The jury also awarded honourable mentions to 5 teams whose service concepts scored highly in a particular criterion.
The Jury: “This year’s brief inspired students to address burning social and environmental issues while achieving a profound understanding of their local contexts. Accordingly, their service concepts were grounded in an ecosystem of stakeholders that envisioned a commendable value-sharing approach promoting local empowerment and social entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the solutions have been articulated in detailed prototypes that deliver appealing user experiences in the digital and/or physical space.”
design-in-residence at Philips
+ EUR 3,000 for the University
Around the block - connecting senior citizens for better care
The Jury selected the service concept ‘Around the block’ from team Sage (OCAD University, Canada) as the Gold winner. They are winning a design-in-residence at Philips. Around the block is a digital service that connects multicultural seniors with Personal Support Workers and group activities in their area matching for specific linguistic and cultural needs. By encouraging culturally connected care and community engagement, the service supports seniors’ ability to thrive while ageing in place.
Team Sage: “The pandemic has highlighted many systemic issues with how we care and support seniors in Canada. Despite a majority of older adults wishing to age in place rather than in a care facility, home based care is drastically underfunded. The resulting limitations are felt most by multicultural seniors. Our challenge was to equip multicultural seniors with the tools needed to age in place while maintaining their cultural identity and fostering community connection.”
monetary prize of EUR 2,500
+ EUR 2,000 for the University
monetary prize of EUR 2,500
+ EUR 2,000 for the University
Noce - promoting artisanal and sustainable fishing
The Jury awarded the Silver prize to team In Bloom (University of Siena, Italy) for their service solution Noce. Noce is a platform run by a Venice lagoon fisherman's cooperative that provides a phygital service composed of a fishing hub and an online marketplace that connects providers and consumers directly.
Team In Bloom: “We wanted to design a service built on a socio-economic network to share responsibilities for the future of the lagoon ecosystem through collaborative consumption. Currently, the needs of the lagoon fishermen are ignored and are invisible to other players in the fish market value chain. We hope to underline the value and quality of the food these fishermen provide to the local community and put their artisanal work in the spotlight.”
monetary prize of EUR 1,500
+ EUR 1,000 for the University
Safa-E - sustainably integrating e-rickshaws and the metro system
The Jury awarded the Bronze prize to team Safa (Delhi Technological University, India) for their service solution Safa-E, a service that aims to collaborate with the Delhi Metro and the e-rickshaw sector to create a seamless ecosystem that includes battery swapping, provide e-rickshaw drivers with a better way to manage their finances, and increase the adoption of e-rickshaws.
Team Safa: “Safa-E aims to combine the pre-existing metro system and the e-rickshaw system, and as a result, one shall grow off the roots of the other. Incorporation with the metro system will help build trust in the e-rickshaw sector, drawing more customers and socially promoting rickshaw drivers.”
The following concepts stood out exceptionally in at least one of the main Challenge criteria and deserved special mention and recognition from the Jury.
CERF - providing affordable, community-generated energy
The Jury awarded an honourable mention to team ReEnergise (Royal College of Art, UK) as they scored high on the criterion ‘user empowerment’ for their truly community-driven energy-generating service concept.
Team ReEnergise: “Over 5 million UK households are currently in and will go deeper into fuel poverty, highlighting a grim reality about the UK's cost of living. CERF (Community Energy Renewable Forest) provides UK fuel-poverty renters and low-income households with an affordable, community-generated energy alternative in the form of a renewable battery and a solar forest integrated around the local community. It aims to counteract the continuing increase in energy prices by providing UK residents with energy independence.”
Team members - Allison Bajet, Dayna Booth, Monica Henderson, Emma Nadol and Tomoyo Tsurumi
reco*wa - making conscious decisions about food waste
The Jury awarded an honourable mention to team Wasted (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) as they scored high on the criterion ‘technology enabled’ for a service concept that orchestrates a complex and scalable value exchange.
Team Wasted: “Many organisations, services, and restaurants share a common goal of food sustainability and recovery. However, each narrowly focuses on its own business and, due to a lack of sharing infrastructure, misses out on opportunities to join forces, optimise resources, and leverage each others' capabilities. Reco*wa is a matchmaking service that connects producers of waste in the local ecosystem to prevent food from ending in landfills.”
Team members - Anne Milan, Ashlon Frank, Astha Vagadia, Elisa Arango, Monica Louis and Raghvi Kabra
Re.co - reducing carbon emissions in e-retail
The Jury awarded an honourable mention to team (Re)Turn (University of the Arts London, UK) as they scored high on the criterion ‘business viable’ for a service concept that leverages the last mile distribution system.
Team (Re)Turn: “Online retailers face a return rate of over 20%, costing UK retailers a whopping £20 bn per year. This financial pressure results in few items going back on sale, as it's cheaper and easier for retailers to send them to an incinerator or landfill. Re.Co is a service that reduces the carbon emissions caused by reverse logistics by building a local collaborative network between e-retailers, consumers and local businesses.”
Team members - Yini Zheng, Phannachet Boonyamanee, Maitreyee Kshirsagar, Namita Manohar and Heng Yu
Winner Spin-off Challenge
internship at IKEA (Ingka Group)
Nighty Night - preventing bedding from being landfilled
The Jury selected the service concept ‘Nighty Night’ from team Nighty Night (Glasgow School of Art, UK), as the winning concept of the Spin-off Challenge. The team wins an IKEA-internship for their winning service solution. Nighty Night provides a clean and selectable second-hand bedding buy-and-return service for international students and an annual subscription plan for student accommodation.
Team Nighty Night: “There are many international students who go to school in the green city of Glasgow. Most of the international students only stay in the city for 1 to 3 years, and beddings which are meant to be used for many years, often end up in landfills and incinerated. At the time students discard their bedding, there is much value left in the items that has not been utilised.”
The following concepts stood out exceptionally in at least one of the Spin-off Challenge criteria and deserved special mention and recognition from the Jury.
renteco - making college essentials accessible and sustainable
The Jury awarded an 'honourable mention’ to team Synergy (University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, India) as they scored high on the criterion ‘user empowerment’ for their reward-based service concept.
Team Synergy: “We aimed to reduce ownership of essential college items to make them more accessible to poverty-stricken Indian students and lessen the effects of financial inequality in education to promote student well-being. Renteco is a service that focuses on making college essentials accessible & decreasing pollution by renting only used items and sustainably disposing of them at the end of their lifecycles.”
Team members - Kousik Dutta, Aditya Rajput, Lakshya Agarwal and Ishaan Gupta
Furn.up - encouraging young people in Hong Kong to upcycle
The Jury awarded an honourable mention to team Kooly (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China) as they scored high on the criterion ‘society oriented’ for their inclusive and sustainable service concept.
Team Kooly: “The Hong Kong housing market strongly prefers short rentals, and this high mobility means getting rid of unwanted furniture along the process. We wanted to tackle the unique issue of furniture waste in Hong Kong in a sustainable yet meaningful way. Furn.up is a collaborative platform that gives unwanted old furniture the life it deserves by connecting furniture owners with those who need it or are interested in communal upcycling, promoting the sustainable consumption of furniture and raising awareness about the benefits of eco-friendliness.”
Team members - Christy Au-Yeung, Hyunjin Kang, Justus Bremer, Mengyan Liu, Xinrui Wang and Zhengtao Ma
Prizes and recognition
The five students of team Sage earn a 10-week design-in-residence position at Philips Experience Design, being able to further prototype and optimise their concept. During those weeks they will be mentored and supported by a Philips expert team. The four students of team Nighty Night earn an internship at IKEA/Ingka Group, being able to further prototype and optimise their concept. During those weeks they will be mentored and supported by a (local) IKEA expert team.
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 even more importantly, this Challenge ends with an exhibition during the Dutch Design Week 2022 (DDW22): an insightful showcase of a selection of service design solutions from the top 28 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.
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