Co-creative Service Design in Municipal Health Services: Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Design Education Perspective

  • Marikken HøisethEmail author


Increasing attention has been paid to healthcare design, as evident by emerging health programmes in design educations and collaborations between design agencies and public and/or private healthcare actors. Moreover, and especially in the health and care fields, service design as an approach to service innovation increases. Application of service design processes has promising potential for developing holistic and well-functioning solutions through a fundamental human-centred focus and extensive interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaboration and co-creation.

This chapter takes a design education perspective to health-related service design by presenting the characteristics of a new master course which aims to offer design students a dedicated space for addressing societal challenges, particularly connected to healthcare, and introducing service design methodology. First, the rationale behind the course is elucidated, and the course structure and theoretical pillars are described. Next, a student project is used as an exemplifying case to illustrate practical, methodological and theoretical applications. Finally, some reflections and lessons learned are presented.

Scrutinising the work of design students is valuable because, compared to business and consultancy projects, the academic environment often encourages and allows for a more idealistic approach that explores and critically reviews theories, methods and tools. As such, the chapter is expected to be relevant for practitioners and lecturers working with healthcare and health-related design.



Thank you to all the eager design students who participated in the ‘Design for Society’ course in autumn 2017; to the municipality and the selected health and welfare units who contributed with their dedicated effort, valuable time and positive attitudes; and to Professor Martina Maria Keitsch, who kindly provided me with a thorough course layout as a starting point.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Design, Faculty of Architecture and DesignNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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