It seems like such a short time ago, but in fact, it’s seven months (at time of writing) since Context Studio came into being at the end of 2018. We embarked on 2019 with a mission to encourage the adoption of service design and user centred design for the betterment of Irish business and public services, and it’s been a busy time. 

Based on research in 2018 (some of which we’ve spoken about), our plan has been to grow awareness organically here in Ireland through engagement, training and education, while collaborating extensively in the international market on interesting projects. So far, it’s been going pretty well! We’ve decided to share some notes below on what’s been going on. 

What’s next?

The good news is that we’ve had a great response from organisations right here at home, and over the next two quarters we hope to increase that engagement while continuing with some fantastic projects overseas. It’s our sincere hope (and we’re getting there!) that towards the end of 2019 we will be able to tell you about our first successful local projects.

Over the summer, we’ll be in Copenhagen, Porto, and San José, which leaves a little bit of time here at home to visit lots of Irish companies to talk about Service Design, how it might help add value, and what kind of behaviours and mindsets companies need to embrace to get the best from these ways of working. You can book a lunch and learn session, a team meeting, or just a chat… we’d be delighted to meet you. 

Get in touch if you’re interested to learn more – we’re on a mission for the rest of the summer! 

Product Discovery Coaching

Read about the three months we spent at Cookpad in Bristol, working with product teams to embed new behaviours and practices for rapid product discovery, prototyping, iteration and validation. This was an incredible project where we and the teams at Cookpad used the best of Design Thinking, Service Design, Rapid Prototyping and Agile Development to create a way of working on their product discovery that could better serve the growth of the 100m+ user recipe sharing platform. 

Collaboration 

While we’re starting out, we always knew we’d need a little help from our friends. We’re very lucky to be at the heart of a vibrant network of design practitioners at home and abroad. So far this year alone we have collaborated with CIID (Copenhagen), Wonderfull Lab (Moscow), Greyspace Studio (London), Dyne (Amsterdam), Mayvn (Dublin), and TinkTank (Singapore), to bring training, workshops, events and talks to the community. 

Wrapping up with our workshop participants in Moscow in July. “Visualising Disruption” was a futures thinking workshop delivered at DT Camp Moscow in collaboration with Greyspace Studio.  

Education & Training

It’s our core belief that a good service design project needs a healthy training and pedagogical approach so that the teams involved do more than just deliver, they learn a new way of working. Since January we’ve delivered training workshops in Copenhagen and Singapore, and we’ll soon bring workshops to Copenhagen and Costa Rica as part of CIID Summer School (spaces still available!). 

We’re also completely aware that there’s an incredibly strong talent base here in Ireland, and it’s our privilege to work with NCAD assisting with the fantastic MA Interaction Design (IxD) course, the students of which are right now busy completing a diverse range of ambitious final projects. 

Chatting with Susan Butler (BNP Paribas), Tim MacArthur (Verizon Connect) and Alex Milton (Head of the School of Design, NCAD) at the Service Design MA launch in June.

Finally, we were pinching ourselves earlier this year when we got to present at talk at the launch of the brand new NCAD MA Service Design Course which is accepting applicants right now. This is the strongest evidence yet for the wave of recognition that Service Design is getting in Ireland. We’re totally delighted, and incredibly excited to see the first cohort commence in the Autumn. 

We hope you’re enjoying the summer, wherever you are, and looking forward to updating with more news soon. Maybe see you at a Summer School in the coming month?