Winner announcement


Winner announcement


Student design team Sage (OCAD University, Canada) wins Student Service Design Challenge 2022


Student design team Sage (OCAD University, Canada) wins Student Service Design Challenge 2022

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.”

Winners SSDC2022


GOLD winner:
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.”


“This outstanding concept not only solves a very pressing problem of helping seniors find the support they need and connecting them to the people who can offer that support, but it takes into account the cultural background of both the elders and the workers to build connections. The team has dived into and understood the elderly’s local ecosystem —their needs, their children, the care workers, and the local community centres— and has created a solution for a global challenge which can be scaled. It is a very human and warm approach to connecting people with the help of technology.”


Team Sage is a group of 5 undergraduate industrial design students from Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada. Embracing the mindset that local change can have broad impacts, the team came together with the goal of designing a service that could challenge established norms, promote equity, and foster well-being.

"The SSDC2022 was an amazing and enriching experience. We discovered that the range of methodologies, techniques, and tools in service design make it a highly adaptable process well suited to the unique requirements of any challenge. In the process, we learned that highlighting the voices of research participants can help tell emotionally impactful stories. Findings and design decisions come to life when they’re connected back to the experiences of real people."

Team Sage Team members - Alexander Burton, Mary Chauvin, Scott Do, Sade Huh and Daniel Cui


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

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.”


“The Jury was impressed by the way Noce integrates social, economic and ecological issues in a persuasive service design proposal. Socially, Noce places the voices and lived experience of fishers at centre of the story. Economically, an online fish-to-fork marketplace, owned and run by a cooperative, provides a feasible alternative to incumbent fish wholesalers. And ecologically, the expert, close-up knowledge of fishers is valued as a key asset in tackling the stressed condition of the Venice lagoon. Team In Bloom’s service successfully supports small-scale fishing in the Venice lagoon.”


Team In Bloom is a team of four master students in Communication Strategies and Techniques / UX Design at the University of Siena. They all share a passion for human-centred design and creativity. Their aim is to improve people’s lives by applying service design methods to tackle problems. In the team every member makes an effort to push and support each other beyond their knowledge and limits.

“Though challenging, this competition allowed us to learn more about the design process, get involved and immediately put into practice what we were learning. We really appreciate the international and inspiring context in which we have been immersed these past few months. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, interact with our users, and work as a team, supporting and helping each other from start to finish.”

Team In Bloom Team members - Leonardo Bindi, Anna Caponi, Lisa Lazzarotto and Giulia Teverini


BRONZE winner:
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.”


“Safa describes a clear design challenge and issue grounded on a deep understanding of the local urban reality of India and proposes a smart way forward going across the Sustainable Development Goals 7, 9, 11 and 13. The design team excels in creating a compelling narrative that links the experience journeys of the various stakeholders and a detailed business model anchored in an approach that creates shared value. The team describes in great detail how Safa-E can boost local entrepreneurship while addressing a growing environmental problem and how it can provide user benefits across all touch points.”


Team Safa is a group of five third year design students hailing from Delhi Technological University, India. They share a deep sense of curiosity and diverse backgrounds and got together for this challenge with a passion and interest to solve economic and environmental issues.

“Understanding and exploring a realistic concept and being able to complete it in the span of 5 months was exhilarating! An important key takeaway for us is to trust the process. It is essential to be patient, listen and think professionally rather than let emotions get in the way. You must be open-minded and keep all possibilities open until you find the right one.”

Team Safa Team members - Saatvik Agrawal, Yashashvi Singh Bisht, Gurkeerat Singh, Jahnavi Rajaram and Priyanshu Kumar

Honourable mentions

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


“The global energy crisis is becoming more and more urgent to tackle in the current environmental and geopolitical climate. By aiming to democratise access to alternative energies and to enable anyone - including non-owners - to take agency over their energy sourcing, ReEnergise is truly tackling a burning issue both from an environmental and social standpoint. They have demonstrated how to rethink a fundamental and infrastructure-heavy service with an inclusive lens.”

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


“Team Wasted deserves special recognition for using the principles of service design to orchestrate a complex and scalable value exchange between a diverse set of B2B ecosystem partners. Their Reco*wa platform concept and demo showcases how user-centred design, systems thinking and technology can help companies do well by doing good.” - 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


“ReTurn aims to tackle the sharp rise of e-commerce and its environmental and economical dark side: e-retail returns. The service concept explores a solution leveraging local retailers and distribution centres. By leveraging the last mile distribution system, which is usually considered an e-retail weakness, and turning it into a value creating opportunity, team (Re)Turn proved boldly imaginative. The jury was particularly impressed by the execution of the idea and its detailed and thought-through business model.”

Winner Spin-off Challenge


GOLD winner:
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.”


“Throughout the Service Design Challenge, team Nighty Night has shown a strong understanding of a human-centric approach to create values that enables people to pass on and acquire used beddings. Always keeping an open mindset to question the status quo, their own biases, and validating with people their proposition and feasibility, made them advance in their validation of their solution. Amongst all jury members, they managed to capture the emotional and professional approach to focusing on circulating beddings and the quality of sleep which exemplifies a system approach to looking into the problem of saving more of the wasted beddings in Glasgow and potentially the world.”


Team Nighty Night is a group of 4 master students in Design Innovation and Service Design at Glasgow School of Art. They are driven by learning to use the power of design to create a more sustainable and service-oriented society.

"Participating in SSDC2022 has been an exciting, enriching and fruitful journey. In the process, we learned multiple design methods and tools to prove and explore theories. We extended our vision from the students' perspective to broader perspectives which included people, experience, society, technology, the planet, and business. Thanks to the refined design framework and timeline, resources, and professional mentor guidance, our team has improved its design and team collaboration skills."

Team Nighty Night Team members - Shizhe Sun, Xuyan Sun, Jiapeng Li and Feier Liu

Honourable mentions

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


“Team Synergy looked at a problem from both vulnerable student situations in India and the waste that is generated which could be offered in a more circular way. Including many of the stakeholders throughout their journey and looking at the competitors to design a unique value proposition to reward behaviours to act more sustainable.”

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


“In the city of Hong Kong with a very strong economy and high levels of education, people still throw away fully functional furniture. The jury specially acknowledges team Kooly for having pinpointed a very accurate circular problem, presenting a platform solution for passing on with an emotional touch to it, as well as utilising the growing interest for upscaling workshops as part of the business model. We believe team Kooly is on to something that has a huge potential for increasing the circular mindset in Hong Kong through planet-positive actions.”

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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Initiated and organized by SERVICE DESIGN COLLEGE.

In collaboration with


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Until when can teams register?
Registration closes on January 26, 2024.
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.