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Prototyping services for policy-learning

Type of project

About the project

“Prototyping services for policy-learning”, the PhD project of Manuela Aguirre, attempts to bridge Systems Oriented Design (SOD) and Service Design (SD) fields within the context of the public sector.


Numerous innovation labs are emerging within the public sector all over the world, many of them with service design as a central capacity. These represent safe spaces to think differently, apply creative tools and prototype new services that enable better outcomes for citizens. Public servants who deliver services to citizens often don´t have the means to improve these services, since they are the result of policies implemented through a linear process. By embracing the complexity that this relationship entails, systems design can help to reconnect service implementation and policy-making.

The capacity to design within complex systems has to be embedded in every scale of the policy-service domains. Can strengthening the capacity to prototype new service offerings within service delivery agencies support the learning processes of policy-makers?  Through experimental and consultative approaches, research-by-design is applied to understand the connections between design, policy-making and public services and support the development of SOD and SD fields.

Supervisors: Prof. Birger Sevaldson & Prof. Andrew Morrison


*Image by Manuela Aguirre of The Fifth Space case study, with permission of InWithForwardBACIPosAbilities & Simon Fraser Society for Community Inclusion.