Design for Service

We are surrounded by an ever-increasing number of services, and we participate ourselves in many of them in order to create value. The multidisciplinary research at LiU investigates how the design of services affects our experiences and changes our behaviour.

Services can be of various types: sometimes we are expected to be just users, which is the case for services within, for example, cleaning or gardening; sometimes we are expected to use self-service, such as self-administered dialysis within the healthcare system; and sometimes we are to be active participants in producing the service, examples of which are the sharing economy such as Uber (taxi services) and Airbnb (accommodation). In all cases, design is crucial in ensuring that the service provides added value for the user and is experienced as an improvement – something that simplifies everyday life, that the user is prepared to use, contribute to, and even pay for.

New services are appearing in essentially all industries and all areas of our lives. It is, therefore, vital to focus on the user’s perspective. This means, in turn, that the conditions required for efficient collaboration between many different parties must be present when a new service is to be developed and introduced.

Research at LiU in this field leads the world. Another factor that is studied is the ability of stakeholders to use and nurture the possibilities within design, and how the conditions required to use design to drive change differ between different sectors of society, including the voluntary sector.

Research centred on the design of services is carried out both from a starting point of the cognitive sciences and from technical, economic and organisational perspectives. Several research groups contribute to the development of knowledge.

Some major research projects are also investigating how the design of services for industry can contribute to a more resource-efficient and sustainable society, based on a circular economy.


AI generated picture of a city in aquarelle style

Centre for Business Model Innovation

The centre for business model innovation (CBMI) takes a starting point in the role of businesses in society, and the way in which business models are changed and renewed over time in order to adapt to societal and business changes.

Many forklifts.

Remanufacturing – key enabler to future business

The overall purpose for the project is to support manufacturers to become more resilient, circular and sustainable through remanufacturing and contribute to a more efficient use of resources.

data center

Megabytes vs Megawatts: Understanding Infrastructural Frictions between Data Centers and Energy Grids for Sustainable Digitalization

Megabytes vs Megawatts is a research project that studies ongoing infrastructure developments and societal imaginaries to make data centers more environmentally sustainable.


Research and education

Professor Mattias Lindahl is contributing to a global ISO standard

There are hundreds of definitions of circular economy in the world, which leads to confusion. A new ISO standard with a definition widely accepted and disseminated will remedy the situation.

9.5 million for research on service innovations

LiU have received 9.5 million SEK from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. The research grant will be used to examine how companies can utilise digital technology and data to create new and useful services

Digital threads built on AI in a new research project

Linköping University, Volvo Construction Equipment, Bosch Thermoteknik, Mälardalen University, and Addiva are joining forces to advance resource efficiency and promote a circular economy in the Swedish manufacturing industry.