Inside Healthcare Design Labs
Exploring the practice of healthcare service design in the context of embedded service design labs
The complex characteristics of healthcare systems and wicked nature of problems that arise in such settings can challenge service design practice to develop new methods and ways of working. Recently, design labs have emerged in the area of healthcare as a way to support service design practices carried out in such settings. This thesis explores how service design labs may act as supportive spaces for practicing service design inside large healthcare service systems. To do so, four 10–12-week-long action research interventions that supported inquiry into real-life service design processes were carried out inside three large Norwegian hospitals.
This research explicates the compound approaches used by service design practitioners amid the complexities inevitably found in healthcare. It identifies and explicates the central healthcare service design conversation and facilitation practices. Further, it builds a theoretical frame for service design labs to act as supportive physical, social and imaginary spaces. Additionally, the research conceptualises service design labs as temporal and situated meta-designs inside complex service systems.