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Conversations in Healthcare Service Design

Format: Plenaries & Panels, RSD9, Topic: Health & Well-being

Opens plenary video

Johnathan Romm | Palak Dudani | Shivani Prakash

The characteristics and use of conversations in ecosystemic service design

To stimulate innovation in systems of healthcare, designers need to become conversational experts.

Jonathan Romm, Palak Dudani, and Shivani Prakash bring forward new knowledge and offer guides for practicing healthcare service designers on how to make use of conversations as a design material when working inside healthcare design labs. Increased awareness and use of conversations as a material may help service designers to increase their propositional power during systemic service design interventions and there is a need for better tools to capture, link and share the essence of conversations.

Romm, Dudani, and Prakash examine the impact of conversations in public healthcare service design and define what constitutes design conversations and the role they play in design processes for complex adaptive systems (CAS).

Public healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, are recognized as CAS, and CAS are explained as living organisms that include a variety of dynamically linked independent subsystems with a capacity to learn and respond to circumstances (Begun, Zimmerman, & Dooley, 2003). Innovation inside CAS is often characterized as emergent – meaning that higher-order novelty is achieved through interactions and relationships between lower-order system parts or agents (Lichtenstein, 2014). Systemic service design is increasingly used as an approach to support the developments of more sustainable healthcare offerings (Barbero & Pallaro, 2017; Jones, 2013; Vink, 2019). The team provides a summary of preliminary findings and contributions and suggests future steps.


Jonathan Romm is a senior design lecturer and researcher at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). He is also engaged as a senior designer and consultant at the Norwegian design agency Halogen. Romm was trained as an industrial designer at the Danish Design School with a specialization in design management and interaction design. He has previously held the position as Institute Leader of the Institute of Design and Vice-Rector at AHO in Norway. Jonathan has worked on various international and local design projects with companies such as Samsung, Telenor, Oslo Sporveier and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. He is an experienced project manager and an enthusiastic coach and process facilitator. He has headed several innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration and research projects with academic institutions, public organizations and commercial companies. Over the past years, he has made contributions to both academic and popular publications related to several innovative and inter-disciplinary design collaborations and research projects. He is currently engaged in design for service ecosystems research with a particular interest in the practice of working inside healthcare design labs.

Palak Dudani is a systems oriented designer and researcher with an interest in culture, social systems and future of urban life. She’s a recipient of two international fellowships and has previously worked with humanitarian aid organisations and start-ups on projects within healthcare, employability and education. She’s a strong advocate for systemic approach to design and believes that designers hold crucial roles and responsibilities within our transitioning societies. At present, she’s part of the FUEL4Design Erasmus+ project at Institute of Design, AHO.

Shivani Prakash is a service designer and researcher at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Her interests lie in challenging the design practice to embrace a culturally humble lens, exploring how service design practices can respond to complex and diverse perspectives, and bringing design academia and practice closer. She is currently working on a project exploring new approaches for service design to deal with the complexity of healthcare and working with multiple logics when supporting systemic transitions.




Citation Data

Author(s): Jonathan Romm, Palak Dudani, and Shivani Prakash: To stimulate innovation in systems of healthcare, designers need to become conversational experts.
Title: Conversations in Healthcare Service Design
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
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Symposium Dates:
First published: 8 October 2020
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