Who says that nothing important arrives by mail anymore?
Recently, I received a hefty package in my mailbox (842 pages / 3.2 pounds). Inside, was a copy of The Handbook of Service Innovation, a new book of scholarly articles on emerging concepts, theories, and service applications to which I contributed a chapter. The book was released in the Spring; however, until I received the hardcopy in the mail, the publication never seemed real. With the weight of the book in my hands, so was the weight on my conscience that I had forgotten to post anything about the publication.
My chapter, the Architecture of Service Innovation, outlines 5 service models using Architectural building types as examples. By cross pollinating ideas from one discipline to another, one can better understand abstract service concepts through our known experiences engaging physical forms. The 5 models are detailed to provide a process to analyze, structure and design services.
Below is the abstract for the chapter:
Innovation is about introducing something new. It occurs when we see the possibilities and opportunities others are missing. Sometimes, in order to see and understand our world better, we have to remove ourselves from a direct relationship with the subject we are observing and instead rely upon abstractions for needed distance, a new perspective and objectivity. For this study, an ARCHITECTURAL lens is applied to the field of Service Design to provide a new perspective on the subject and create the needed conditions for innovation. First, products and services are defined and architecture is positioned as a hybrid field with qualities of both. Next, architectural lessons from the Greeks and Romans are related to service design to provide criteria for approaching and assessing services. Finally, five architectural typologies are analyzed and used as service design models. These typologies offer insights and considerations not found in current service design methodologies, ideally providing the newness needed to foster innovation.
The 5 service models are:
- The Primacy of Effect and Experience: this model is based upon the Baroque period and prioritizes user experience. As a model for service, the Baroque period introduces concepts of theatricality, fantasy and illusion over reality. It also emphasizes the integration of all of the components into a unified concept and coordinated whole. Building: Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, Rome, Francesco Borromini (1642-1660).
- The Fetish of structure/process/systems: this model is based upon high technology architecture and an emphasis on systems and the aesthetics of performance. As a service model, the mechanics of the service are exposed not in their true form but in an idealized form. This is a hyper-aestheticized version of systems as spectacle. Building: Pompidou Center, Paris, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano (1972-1976).
- The Primacy of Power and Sequence: this model explores the interconnected spatial sequence of rooms arranged enfilade. As a service model it explores, power,control and belonging. Building: Palace of Versailles.
- Dynamic Experience: this model is the antithesis of the prescribed sequence, axial organization and power structure of an enfilade and represents a modernist interpretation of space. A dynamic spatial experience removes strictly defined boundaries in favor of blurred boundaries, intersections, choice, and multiple entry and exit points. Building: Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, Mies van der Rohe (1928-1929).
- Structure and Skin: this model focuses on the separation between structure and skin. From a service perspective, this model separates the components of the service that are fixed from those that are flexible, allowing for modular components that can be changed with minimal disruption. Building: steel framed skyscrapers.
Like my own need to have the book in my hands to fully appreciate its publication, the purpose of using buildings as models for services is to make intangible concepts and experiences more real.
If you are interested in learning more about these models and how to apply them, the chapter is available for purchase through Springer's site. The book is available through Amazon and other online retailers. My goal was to provide ideas that can be applied by professionals to rethink services and how they are designed and experienced. It would be great to hear from you about how these models help you understand services better and examples you think fit each of the models.
In upcoming posts, I will highlight summaries of each of the models and their applications.
I hope you find them useful in your work.