Sustainable Design









product-service systems or service design 'by-products'? a systems thinking approach

john darzentas, jenny darzentas

University of the Aegean

Keywords: Service Design, Product Service Systems, Systems Thinking, Design Thinking


Service Design has developed, in the last two decades, to be an autonomous multi/interdisciplinary paradigm of a complex domain affecting Design Thinking. Product-Service Systems (PSS) is a representative model of designing through services related to existing products. Terms such as ‘servitising’ are used to declare that, for instance, inventing and adding services based around existing products will increase the value of any related intervention. This paper posits that Service Design should follow a Systems Thinking approach, without the presupposition of related products, allowing for these products to emerge as ‘by- products’ of the process. It is also claimed that, in order to positively utilise the inherent complexity of Service Design, thinking tools such as Systems Thinking are required to capture the design space. This should be a primary concern in such a human centred complex domain as Service Design. Design methodologies and approaches can then be used to continue with the design process

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Cite this paper: Darzentas, J., Darzentas J. (2016) Product-Service Systems or Service Design 'By-Products'? A Systems Thinking Approach. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

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