2018 Product Service System Design

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Engineering Sciences and Design
Saijo Miki  Shirabe Masashi  Kaneko Daisuke  Ejiri Keiko 
Course component(s)
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Course description and aims

For problems that go beyond the boundaries of the conventional social system, problems in maintaining the quality of life for the elderly, and problems such as wide-spread evacuation during a large disaster, it is not even possible to approach them without integrating interdisciplinary knowledge. The course touches on product prototypes that may lead to a solution, but have not arrived on the market yet. Students examine how to use them and what kind of services to explore, as well as what kind of business and social system is necessary to implement the services. The final output of the course is proposing a feasible service with a product together with group members. The problems and projects explored in this course are decided yearly based on discussions of instructors.

Student learning outcomes

For compounded problems such as maintaining the quality of life for the elderly, and wide-scale evacuations during a disaster, solutions by engineering devices are crafted, at which time it is necessary to consider the interrelationship between social systems, human skills, and device performance. In this course a new topic is created each year, and students learn through lectures and exercises the process of making an engineering device prototype into a service that solves some social problems. Students thereby acquire the skills to judge problems from multiple perspectives and the skills to simplify and solve complex problems, becoming professionals who can lead innovation.


wicked problems, mutual relationship among the social system, human capability, and the device performance, bird’s-eye-view, innovation

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

It is introduced in the beginning of the course, the prototype (the product which has not yet appeared in a market) used in a service system depending on a theme of the year, and students discuss what kind of service is possible, or the challenges to realize service using the prototype while receiving the reporting from experts and potential users. At the latter part of the course students are allocated in a group and consider about what kind of service design is needed in order to the prototype acquires a market. At the end of the course students give a presentation of a service design including improved prototype to realize a service.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Each instructor specifies her/his course schedule depending of a theme of the year. Each instructor sets a task during the class.


Non required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Communication Design Miki Saijo Kuroshio Shuppan

Assessment criteria and methods

Tasks in classes: 30 %
Group work and presentation during class and home-work: 30%
Final report: 40%

Related courses

  • ESD.E401 : Participatory Design in Energy Business
  • ESD.F403 : UX / Interaction Design
  • ESD.F404 : Affective Engineering / Emotional Design

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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