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Royal College of Art announces Service Design collaboration with EY Seren

The Royal College of Art (RCA) today announces a two-year collaboration between the School of Design’s MA Service Design programme and EY Seren (part of EY Design and Engineering). The collaboration is an investment in the future of design and service design talent.

The RCA’s Service Design MA programme is an internationally renowned pioneer in the development of service design, transforming customer and citizen experiences. The course examines the complex cultural, technological and systemic issues facing businesses and governments to create new services for now and the future.

EY Seren help organisations re-imagine how they grow by bringing together human insight, design thinking and experience delivery. They solve problems for customers, citizens, employees and society. The collaboration will contribute to how enterprise level transformation design is taught and prepare students for what it’s really like to design in large, complex organisations.

EY Seren will bring their expertise and knowledge to collaborate on Service Design Challenge Labs and Xploratory Labs which will propose solutions to complex social and industry challenges affecting people and businesses today. The outputs of the Challenge Labs will be showcased at RCA’s annual Work in Progress (WiP) show and a self-directed final project will be showcased at RCA’s annual graduate show. The first Challenge Lab asks ‘how can we shift the mind-set and behaviours of people to drive better financial decisions that ensure life-long financial safety and stability?’. The Xploratory Labs will take place as Design Hacks and Sprints throughout the year and will produce an annual “State of the Art” report on service design innovation and emerging practice. EY Seren will also deliver design lectures, contribute to seminars, provide expert tutoring and review portfolios.

Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor, RCA, said: 
'The RCA's Service Design researchers and students continue to develop innovative concepts for new products and services that have a positive real world impact. By collaborating with EY Seren, our students will gain invaluable experience and insight from global leaders in human-centred service design.’

Clive Grinyer, Head of Service Design, RCA, said:
‘This is an exciting time for service design and we are delighted to be launching this collaboration with EY Seren who have recruited many of our top graduates in recent years. The collaboration allows us to explore current issues that are important to EY Seren and their clients and they bring their wealth of experience and knowledge of the reality of service design delivery to the students. RCA Service Design has a history of working closely with organisations and this collaboration takes the course to a new level of reach and impact in shaping our responses to the challenges of business, the environment and society.’

Peter Neufeld, Partner, Head of Digital Customer Experience EMEIA, EY Seren said:
‘I am very proud of the history of collaboration between the RCA and EY Seren. The formalisation of our relationship into a two year mission to bring human-centred design into the heart of transformation has never been more important. As incumbent brands shift to more digital, and virtual, models of service delivery, Design, and Service Design, have a critical role to play, especially in the regulated sectors that impact our personal health, education, financial wellbeing, and sustainability. We share a vision for attracting talent passionate about changing the future for the better and we enjoy welcoming new recruits who studied on the programme into the EY and EY Seren family. Through this collaboration, RCA students and EY Seren teams, along with our clients, will get access to truly unique RCA experiences, demonstrating our shared commitment to high performing talent, transformation in regulated sectors, and advanced capability development across the market. Together we are truly building a better working world by putting human needs and insights at the centre of transformation.’ 

Richard Sedley, Chief Design Officer, EY Seren and Partner, EY, said:
‘I am extremely proud to be working with the RCA Service Design Course. We look forward to collaborating and providing both students and our staff with the opportunity to learn from each other while tackling some of the toughest, but most meaningful, service design projects anywhere in the world.’