Designing social services for people.... anyone else?


I am currently a senior at RISD and need some help. After going through RISD education and exploring different types of design, I have found an interest that is not so common. I have become interested in creating social service programs for people. Instead of creating single products that people would interact with, I would rather look at the “Big Picture” of design. When looking at most programs and services for the every day consumer, I feel there is a missing spark that makes these services great. By using a design mind to create these social services, I believe that we designers could bring innovation to the business world and change people’s lives for the better. Does anyone else have this types of design interest? Or have any opinions about creating social services?

Paul G.

HI Paul,

My interpretation of “social services” (at least in the United States) associates services of an emergent nature with “government” … not “the business world”; e.g. Temporary Family Assistance, Foster Care programs, People with Disabilities, Preventive Services to Families, Food Stamps, etc.

Would you please expand your concept of “social services”.

And welcome to C77.


My concept of social services is different from the “government” standpoint. I am more interested in a business aspect of design when thinking about social service design. When trying to explain my idea of social service design I think of creating a product or service and creating a atmosphere around that one point. One example would be creating a restaurant but designing the experience the user goes through that makes that experience unique. And able to use this mind set I believe that as a designer we can look at every day services such as eating, playing music or simply relaxing and create a powerful experience for the user that would significantly change their perception on how things are run. I hope this allows you to get understand my concept a little bit more.