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A methodological framework for crafting situated services
Journal of Service Management  (IF11.768),  Pub Date : 2021-09-15, DOI: 10.1108/josm-05-2020-0188
Francesco Mazzarella, Andrew May, Val Mitchell

Purpose

This paper discusses how service design can be used to activate a transition of textile artisan communities towards a sustainable future.

Design/methodology/approach

Two participatory case studies were undertaken with textile artisans in the UK and South Africa. These led to the development of an original methodological framework for “crafting situated services” – services designed to be meaningful to the local communities within which they are embedded. An evaluation study assessed the originality of the framework, its relevance for tackling real-world problems, its extensibility and the rigour of the research process.

Findings

The framework brings together a variety of roles, methods and tools that designers can adopt in order to enter communities, make sense of sustainable futures, facilitate the co-design of situated services and activate legacies within communities. Building on emerging anthropological approaches, the framework makes a bridge between service management and service design for social innovation, advancing the field towards design for social entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

Arguing against the idea of the designer “parachuting” into communities to create services regardless of the local context, the concept of “situated services” is proposed in this paper, alongside a process for “crafting” meaningful social innovations. This requires the service designer to adopt a more situated and embedded approach to designing with communities in order to align with their needs and aspirations, interweave places, time, people and practices within the process, and co-design contextually better services.