Creative Camp: Seminar/Lectures/Workshop
Designing an Agenda, or, How to Avoid Solving Problems
That Aren’t

Research focus:
Service and information design in the fields of health care and sustainable transport

A one-day seminar (lectures, presentations, case studies, and discussions on selected topics) – April 10th 2013:
Anna Meroni, Reima Rönnholm, Emma Barrett

Short biographies:

Anna Meroni
Assistant professor, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

The architect and designer Anna Meroni, who holds a PhD in design, is the coordinator of the POLIMI-DESIS Lab (; DESIS stands for “Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) at the Department of Design, and an assistant professor in the School of Design, at the Politecnico di Milano. She specializes in service and strategic design for sustainability with a specific emphasis on design activism for social innovation and place development. In her research projects she develops the concepts of creative communities and community-centred design, particularly in relation to food systems and collaborative housing.
At the Politecnico di Milano, Professor Meroni is a member of the scientific board and faculty for the master’s programme in product service system design, a co-director of the international master’s programme in strategic design, and the director of the master’s programme in social and collaborative housing; she also serves on the board for the doctoral programme in design. She has also been a visiting professor of service and strategic design at a number of other schools, including Tongji University (Shanghai), Università Scienze Gastronomiche (Pollenzo, Italy), Consorzio MIP (Politecnico di Milano), Universidad de Valparaiso (Chile), Escola de Design Unisinos (Porto Alegre, Brazil), and Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla, Colombia). In 2010, she was a visiting scholar at Parsons The New School for Design in New York and at ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University, in the United Kingdom.

Reima Rönnholm
Service designer, Palmu (Finland)

Reima is an all-around service design professional from Finland. He enjoys human-centred innovation, authentic products made to last, travelling and meeting new people, engaging stories, deep conversations, and good coffee. His master’s degree is in media studies, but he ended up working as a designer for services and experiences. While still not quite sure how such intangibles can actually be designed, he finds the work fascinating. He views working on multidisciplinary design projects as learning by doing, with each day bringing new ideas of what works and why. For him, service design is about involving people, experimenting, and finding the right problems to solve. His design aspiration is to work with others in creating environments and settings where people discover new possible futures and are motivated to change their behaviour.
Rönnholm has a long history of working as a lead designer in development projects for various industries. He has specialized in design research on customer value, designing experiences through channels and touchpoints, and helping organizations design and launch new service concepts. Recently, for example, his projects have involved reinventing retail, travel, transportation, and public services.
He is one of the founders of the service design agency Palmu. The agency helps clients develop their service business, design new service concepts, and create more value with fewer resources. Palmu employs fifty service design specialists and has offices in Helsinki and Copenhagen.

Emma Barrett
Programme manager, Social Innovation Lab for Kent (UK)

Emma Barrett has been the programme manager of the Social Innovation Lab for Kent (SILK; since 2010. The lab, which was set up in 2007 as a collaboration between the company Engine Service Design and the Kent County Council, is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. SILK provides a creative framework and methodology that allows a wide range of people to work together on some of the county’s toughest challenges. Its portfolio of successful strategy, service design, and community development projects demonstrates a human-centred and participatory way of working.
In her earlier years, Barrett worked as an intern at the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Her degree in law and French enabled her to study and work in Montpellier, France, followed by a teaching role at the British Council on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Back in the UK, she coordinated a diverse programme of community action projects for a youth charity and earned a diploma in informal and community education.
Barrett started working for Kent County Council as part of the council’s advanced development programme. While working at SILK, Emma completed her MSc degree in applied social and community research at the University of Brighton in 2011 with a dissertation on the potential of community food enterprises. Barrett is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA; In the UK, she has been actively involved in local and national discussions about social innovation, the role of participatory design in the public sector, and creating conditions for change. SILK’s work and, in particular, their methodology tool kit have received attention around the world.