Service Design Tour The Netherlands, 21-22 September 2017


Service Design Tour: The Netherlands is an opportunity for 16 postgraduate students to connect with design organisations based in Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The purpose of the tour is to 'see behind the website' and learn about challenges faced by designers working on service design projects.

On Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd September 2017, a exclusive group of postgraduate design students will visit seven design and technology organisations in the cities of Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Each organisation has its own specialisms and the tour intends to provide access to a variety of different design workspaces. Each visit will typically last for one hour and will include a behind-the-scenes presentation from each organisation, as well as the opportunity for students to ask questions to professionals working within the field of service design.


Thursday 21 September (AM)


31Volts is a Service Design agency based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Their field of expertise is design driven innovation which they apply to new service development and service innovation. Their mission is design services that are meaningful for users and profitable for organisations.


Rabobank is a Dutch banking and financial services company. It is a bank by and for customers, a cooperative bank, a socially-responsible bank. A team of experienced service and UX designers ("customer journey specialists") represent the internal UX department at Rabobank.


Thursday 21 September (PM)


Livework have pioneered service design since 2001. They are an independent, international, strategic design consultancy focused on customers and services, using design, collaboration and research to guide all their projects.

A / BZ

Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken (Department of Extraordinary Affairs) helps organisations in transforming visions and ideas into tangible products, services and experiences. Their development process focuses on 'doing' rather than 'talking', from research to design.


Friday 22 September (All day)


STBY is based in London and Amsterdam. Since 2003 they have been one of the leading pioneers in the fields of design research and service design.


Koos is an international service design agency that works with businesses to improve customer experience, design new services and help implement methodologies to make organisations more adaptive to change.


Edenspiekermann is a global design agency operating at the intersection of digital, branding and content. Working upon a deep-rooted foundation of research, strategy and stakeholder involvement, they design meaningful digital brand experiences.

SPecial event: Boat Trip

Celebrate the end of the tour and socialise with fellow tour participants by taking a trip on the canals of Amsterdam.

Plus... Special tour events

As well as the main tour schedule, there will be extra social events planned for each evening. The extra events will allow students the opportunity to strengthen connections with each other. The list of planned special events includes:

  • Welcome drinks in Utrecht on Wednesday evening.
  • Group meal in Utrecht on Thursday evening at Pannenkoekenhuis de Muntkelder.
  • Boat trip and beers in Amsterdam on Friday evening to celebrate the end of the tour.

Join the tour

This will be the first 'inclusive' Service Design Tour event. We are offering 16 postgraduate design students the chance to purchase a ticket for the event that covers the cost of group travel and accommodation for the duration of the tour event.

If you would like to sign up for the tour, visit Eventbrite where you can purchase a ticket. Once you have purchased your ticket, we will add you to a Facebook group where we can share more information about the companies, as well as coordinate your arrival in The Netherlands.

Ticket Cost breakdown

Accommodation (2 nights) at Stay Okay Utrecht = 75 EUR per person

Group travel between Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam = 14 EUR per person

Group day pass for travel within Amsterdam = 7.50 EUR per person

Group boat ride in Amsterdam (with beers + snacks) = 7.50 EUR per person

"Thank you" gifts for all the companies = 6 EUR per person

Event handling costs (e.g. Eventbrite fees) = 10 EUR per person

Meet the tour guides

Meet Roos and Kevin, your tour guides for Service Design Tour: The Netherlands. They are both based in Copenhagen and have experience from participating in and planning previous tour events.

Roos comes from the Netherlands, where she has a formidable network of design contacts. She is in her final year of study on the MSc Service Systems Design programme at Aalborg University, Copenhagen. Roos is a great ball of energy - always enthusiastic about meeting new people.

Kevin comes from the UK and has a growing European-wide design network. He has recently graduated from the MSc Service Systems Design programme at Aalborg University, Copenhagen. Kevin loves to plan events and bring people together.

Your tour guides are volunteers who are happy to assist you with any questions. You can reach them either through Facebook Messenger or by sending an email:


When should I arrive? All tour participants are expected to make their own plans to arrive in Utrecht on Wednesday 20th September. (The first appointment will be in Utrecht at 09:30 on Thursday 21st September.)

Where will I stay? As part of the ticket price, the tour group will spend two nights at Stay Okay Utrecht, a cool trendy hostel in the centre of Utrecht. This will be our base for the tour.

What about food plans? At the start of each tour day there will be a group breakfast taking place at a location near to the first appointment. We will pick up a quick lunch (around 1pm each day) as we continue travelling between appointments. In the evening on the Thursday 21st September, there will be a shared group meal at Pannenkoekenhuis de Muntkelder in Utrecht. (Note: Food costs are not included in the ticket price - you will need to pay for what you order and drink.)

Why is there a ticket price? Most of the previous tour events have been self-organised, with each person responsible for taking care of their own travel and accommodation. However, from our experience, this sometimes leads to late arrivals in the schedule and less time for socialising with other participants. To address this issue, we have created a more structure tour event, with all participants staying in the same place and travelling at the same time.

Am I allowed to find my own accommodation? As the tour schedule only lasts for 48 hours, we want to maximise opportunities for interaction and discussion between participants. For that reason we encouraging and expect all participants to agree on staying at the same hostel.

I really want to join but I am a poor student... Depending on your university department, you may find that there is a chance to request sponsorship for your study trip to The Netherlands. Previous students have successfully applied for such funding.

How do I get to Utrecht? It takes 34 minutes to travel by train from Amsterdam Schiphol. Trains run every 15 minutes and a one-way ticket costs 8.70 EUR. As you arrive, one of the tour guides will greet you at Utrecht Centraal station.


Service Design Tour provides current and recent postgraduate students with opportunities to connect with design companies around Europe. The initiative aims to enhance the understanding of service design between the academic world and professional practices. Each tour offers opportunities for students to learn how service design exists and is applied in real-world situations, and offers companies an opportunity to increase their profile among the young professional service design community.

Learn more and keep up-to-date with Service Design Tour via the official website or by following the initiative on Facebook / LinkedIn.


Created with images by misign - "flag the flag holland" • niekverlaan - "utrecht center central" • romanboed - "Sunset Rotterdam" • Edward Dalmulder - "Amsterdam Canal"

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