The Service Design course proposed to explore service design innovation opportunities for users of Copenhagen Airport. The project gave the possibility to look at the ‘users’ not only as travelers but as each individual or group of people that pass through the doors of the airport. This could be anyone from employees to taxi drivers, people greeting families to emergency service workers.

The students were asked to think about the ecosystem that surrounds the airport both in terms of the people, interlinked services and the infrastructure needed to support the complexity of such a place. Relatively speaking it can be said that Copenhagen Airport already provides a very efficient service. Therefore the course was a rare opportunity to rethink the role of the airport and the experience it facilities.

Throughout the service design course, CIID faculty wanted the students to build their own knowledge around service design, discover it for themselves and develop new thinking around the topic. It was aimed to not narrow their opinions by overloading them with past definitions, examples and interpretations of service design. At the beginning of the course faculty provided ‘just enough’ of an introduction to service design and systemic innovation so the students were aware of important considerations when designing a service, such as a zoom-out zoom-in approach.

This initial knowledge immersion was done through a concise, provocative and visually strong presentation. After this, all new knowledge provided was through ‘hands-on’ exercises. Open discussions were often facilitated for the students to reflect on their learning and how their thinking around service design was developing. The initial introductory exercises for the students focused on being aware of the complexity of intertwining services that infiltrate our lives and looking at how to map these across variables such as the level of innovation (incremental v’s radical) and the extent of user participation involved in the service (passive v’s active).

Throughout these exercises the students were introduced to various visualisation techniques common to service design such as user journeys, scenarios, blueprints and stakeholder maps. These were all crucial tools they would go on to use throughout their projects while developing and communicating their ideas.