Student Service Design Challenge

Call For Entries

Applications due by June 22   |   Submissions due by July 27
Email Application


Our theme for the first SDN U.S. National Conference, "Design Within US," explores how the field of service design has evolved in the United States. Service designers are gaining recognition for the emotional value they create for consumers and the economic value they create for organizations.

The evolution of service design as a field of practice brings together multiple types of stakeholders: from academic institutions that teach the philosophies and methods, to government organizations that encourage the use of these methods to serve the public, to for-profit companies that see service design as a way of creating stronger and more meaningful connections with their customers.

Given this context, we see the work of students and educators as a significant element of the service design ecosystem, and we want to showcase this type of work during the first SDN U.S. National Conference through a student competition.


Qualifying Students Must:

Be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree in design during the Spring 2017 semester (Note: the competition is open to students from all countries in the Americas, from the Canadian Arctic to the Southern tip of Chile)

Showcase a service design project

To apply, students must submit any of the following:
- A written application with a maximum of 1,000 words,
- A PDF document, with a maximum of 10 slides and 1,000 words, or
- A video or animation of two minutes or less in length

Each Application Must Include

- Name of the project

- Name of applicant(s) (Note: applicants may be individuals or teams)

- Name of the school, program, and course(s) in which the project was developed

- Name of the instructor

- Description of the identified problem/opportunity and how it is addressed by your solution


June 22

Email completed applications no later than 11:59 p.m. (CST)

July 27

Digital materials to be showcased are due by
11:59 p.m. (CST)

August 9

Applicants set up their space after 4 p.m. (CST)

August 11

Winning project announced and showcased on stage

Judgement Criteria

Seamless Integration

The proposed service, research project, or investigation integrates several touch points (beyond digital) to deliver an experience that takes into account customer, business, and service provider needs and desires.

Design Strong Fundamentals

The team has taken into consideration the internal capabilities, structures, and revenue model required to execute the proposed solution successfully

Show the Making Process

Progression from loose intent to tangible; prototype, blueprint, and business outcome using different service design methods. We want to see your process development.


Projects that are selected will be showcased at the first SDN U.S. conference. Applicants are welcome to use their assigned space as they wish to showcase their projects. This includes but is not limited to showing video on screen, mounting posters, presenting prototypes, etc. Applicants must provide all the materials they need to showcase their projects, such as tables, foam core boards, computers, and screens.

The winning project will be given five minutes on stage during the second day of the conference. Therefore, participants must be ready to present their projects in front of a large audience.

Are you ready to submit your application?