Design Legacies: Why Service Designers Cannot Embed Design in the Organizations

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Much talk about service design has focused on how to bring design practices, design thinking and design methods into an organization in order to transform or change the way it is going about business. There is only one thing that researchers and practitioners have overlooked: Design principles, methods and practices are already deeply embedded in organizations. That is, in fact, the real problem: Organizations are full of design legacies, however flawed and poorly suited. If service designers want to effect real change in real organizations, they have to be able to articulate these organizational design practices. This paper explains the concept of design legacies and describes three elements of organizational design legacies: organizational purpose, organizational design approaches and organizational design practices. Using a matrix developed around designing for, with and by, the paper explains how we can make sense of existing organizational design practices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventServDes2014 - Lancaster University – ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Apr 201411 Apr 2014


LocationLancaster University – ImaginationLancaster
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • organizational design
  • practices
  • organizational change
  • service design
  • public organizations
  • design legacies

Artistic research

  • No

Cite this

Junginger, S. (2014). Design Legacies: Why Service Designers Cannot Embed Design in the Organizations. Paper presented at ServDes2014, Lancaster, United Kingdom.