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  • Business Design
Executive Course

Service Design Masterclasses

Edition 2023



Duration: February – March, 2023

Language of the Course: English

Also this year the Masterclasses Cycle of the Specializing Master in Service Design, of Politecnico di Milano managed by, is back: a unique opportunity to investigate and deepen issues related to service design thanks to prominent personalities and professionals of the sector.

All Masterclasses will be online and open to students and professionals who want to approach disciplines that are connected to the world of Service Design. The five meetings are scheduled between February and March 2023.




Meet Indy Johar | Executive Director at Dark Matter Labs
Tuesday, February 21, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM CET





Meet Elena Silvestrini | Steering Committee Member at Design Justice Network
Thursday, March 2, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM CET

Design Justice for More Just and Liberating Futures
As designers and researchers, how can we challenge, rather than reproduce, structural inequalities when “the communities” we serve are distant or absent in our day-to-day work? How can design be a tool for dreaming and building more just, liberating futures? How can we both practice and embody the justice we want to see? The Design Justice Network challenges the ways that design and designers can harm those who are marginalized by systems of power. It uses design to imagine and build the worlds we need to live in — worlds that are safer, more just, and more sustainable. The Design Justice community advances practices that center those who are normally excluded from and adversely impacted by design decisions in design processes. During this interactive session, we will explore the theory, the history and the practice of Design Justice; we will unpack and interact with its 10 principles and will propose elements of reflection relevant to all design oriented processes.





Meet Anab Jain | Co-founder & Director at Superflux
Thursday, March 16, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM CET

The polycrisis we are living through presents challenges that are complex and unprecedented. These novel challenges cannot be addressed with the siloed, rationalist mindset that the industrialised world has become accustomed to . Rather than continue to think in the reductive terms of ‘Problem’ and ‘Solution’ there needs to be a step between that does not seek to accomplish end goals but empower plural possibilities.

Design is often asked to steer toward a solution, but what of a design practice that foregrounds the larger ecological landscape of the problem space? This is the space Speculative Design and many other such adjacent practices have occupied for a long time under many different guises: Radical Design, Critical Design, Discursive Design, Design Fiction and more.

In this Masterclass I will introduce my understanding of Speculative Design as shaped through the lens of my own design practice Superflux. The Masterclass will give attendees a glimpse of the history and practice of Speculative Design, some of the theoretical and practical frameworks it builds upon, the questions it probes designers to ask, the transportative potential it invites and the potential impact it creates in all manner of spheres. Rather than a singular method or toolkit, this design practice asks instead for a poor pedagogy; for practices, which allow us to expose ourselves, and bring us out into the world.

Speculative Design is that which enables possibilities, and at a time when the world is in pressing need of alternatives, the practice of Speculative Design is becoming increasingly central to the shaping of our collective futures.

Key takeaways:

  • Why is it important to include critical thinking practices in the designer’s toolkit;
  • How nurturing critical foresight and awareness for new possibilities can become empowering;
  • To trust in imagination and attention as unlocking latent possibilities;
  • To expand your understanding of the wider contexts, ecologies and implications of your work;
  • How to develop one’s own practice to support plural responses and make transformative change.





Meet Peter Gall Krogh | Professor at Aarhus University
Thursday, March 30, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM CET

A widespread description of design is Herbert Simons: “Anyone who devices course of action to change existing situations into preferred ones is a designer.” Tricky word here is of course “preferred”; who is preferring what and for whom – this quickly becomes and ethical issue. Most will agree that design is connected to ethics. But it is less obvious how it is connected, and how we articulate such connection. Studies have shown that there is a considerable difference between how theories and philosophy see ethics, and how and under what conditions designers practice ethics.

The Masterclass will present and enable participants to reflect upon, declare, and discuss how ethics and design are connected. Secondly, the masterclass will provide insight into ethics not just in a Eurocentric perspective but also include perspectives outside western philosophy and design thinking.

Key takeaways:

  • Ethics are never solid, they are negotiated – how does this happen?
  • Ethics are connected to culture – some how does it differ? And what does “culture” imply?
  • How does ethics sit in a commercial context?
  • Are there tools, models and methods to nurture and materialize ethical concerns in design?
  • Further studies, in theory and in practice.





Meet Giulio Quaggiotto | Former Head of UNDP’s Strategic Innovation Unit
Friday, April 14, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM CET

As Madeleine Albright famously quipped, we are facing 21st challenges with 19th century institutions. Much of our institutional infrastructure was designed for an era of predictability and relative stability. The multiple crises we are facing today (inequality, climate, health) and their compound effects, however, don’t lend themselves to linear planning and the quantification of risk based on past behaviour. Rather, radical uncertainty and permanent crisis is the “new normal” we are increasingly likely to face. How do we equip our institutions to face this new reality? What does organisational design for uncertainty (rather than risk) look like? How do we prevent a sense of loss of agency for decision makers and citizens alike? Drawing from emerging practice from across the world, this masterclass will focus on the urgent task of reimagining our institutions so that they can constantly generate new options for action and be better equipped to face the polycrisis.

Key takeaways:

  • Why it is important to distinguish between risk and uncertainty;
  • How organisational design and culture needs to change to face uncertainty and an era of multiple crises;
  • How can we build organisational will for “irreversible” transformation;
  • What can we learn from emerging practice in the development and public sector globally.



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Masterclasses are open to everyone. There are no specific requirements.


To take part in the Masterclasses, you must fill in the online application form and pay the registration fee within:

  • 24 hours before the start of any Single Masterclass

Discover all the deadlines!


For external professionals – euro 95 + VAT – ENROLL NOW

For Polimi and students, alumni or teachers and for students of other universities – euro 50 + VAT – ENROLL NOW