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RCA Service Design Masterclass, Dentsu 2020

The Royal College of Art has been collaborating with international advertising company Dentsu, Tokyo for three consecutive years

For three consecutive years the Royal College of Art has been collaborating with the international advertising company, Dentsu, headquartered in Tokyo. In December 2020, the RCA ran a live online Service Design Masterclass for Dentsu, planned by the RCA’s Executive Education team. Led by Professor Clive Grinyer, Head of the RCA’s MA Service Design Programme, the masterclass took place over five half-days from London and Tokyo.

Through workshops and lectures, participants discussed relevant and innovative services, with an emphasis on the implications of Covid-19, and learned how to design services. The course utilised simultaneous translation in Japanese and English.

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The class began with keynote lectures and a panel discussion:

  • Professor Clive Grinyer addressed Service Design, incorporating case studies from the RCA.
  • Jun Kamei, from the RCA’s Innovation Design Engineering Programme, tackled Design-Led Start-ups and how to combine sustainability, understanding users, prototyping and functional aesthetics in creating products.
  • Yuichi Inobori, Managing Director of Infobahn, Branch Manager of Kyoto Branch and Design Strategist, discussed Speculative Design.

Teams worked on group challenges revolving around services in the post Covid-19 world. Identifying current issues, they sought solutions in new services, discussing:

  • public hygiene,
  • the workplace (and working from home),
  • Human Resource Management,
  • public transport,
  • education,
  • the preservation of culture.

The delivery team consisted of a range of voices, with five facilitators from the RCA alongside twenty Japanese facilitators (including designers from the Kyoto School of Art).

The class involved 52 delegates. Executives, designers and students came together from diverse backgrounds such as construction, IoT solutions, pharmaceutical and electronic companies, design universities, and local and national government.

Each day closed with an opportunity to present and feedback, as well as the space for networking. The response and feedback from Dentsu and the facilitators was excellent, with highlights on the efficiency of the online format, simultaneous translation, and valuable learning experience. There are plans to deliver new courses in 2021-22.

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