Today I attended Emergence, a conference put together by Carnegie Mellon School of Design graduate students. The focus on the inaugural event is service design, which the students identified as an emerging field in design. This conference is the first international service design conference.

I didn?「どィび「t really know much about service design before the conference. But after listening to a handful of talks given by leaders in the industry from around the world, it?「どィび「s much more clear.

Imagine services that provide what you want and make your life better. That decrease the amount of time you spend in the emergency room. Or eliminate the emergency room in lieu of a private waiting room. That help you make good decisions about the products you need. That don’t overwhelm you.

Sounds good doesn’t it? That’s what these people do: redesign hospital services, retail store experiences, customer service experiences.

And with 80 percent of US GDP related to service, there’s a huge market that seems to have very few players.

The two companies that really stood out for me today were live|work and Engine, though they’re both based in the United Kingdom.

Speaking of which, I was impressed to see such an international crowd, including speakers and attendees from the UK, South Korea, and Australia.

I took a bunch of notes, which I will post later, so I won?「どィび「t get into the details of what was covered. But I will say that listening to the speakers today has given me yet another appreciation of what design can do to improve peoples?「どィび「 lives, and has continued my education of design as something much broader and applicable than I had previously imagined.

The more I think about my role in design, the more enticed I am with the idea that, through design, I can make the world a better place. And I was inspired that the folks involved in service design have this vision to improve our lives.