Product-Service System Design (PSSD) is a two-year programme that aims at training a professional designer capable of conceiving innovative solutions, by integrating multiple products, services, spaces and communication artefacts into a consistent meaning and function.

The design approach is interdisciplinary and provides participants with actionable knowledge in different design fields (from product to service, from space to interaction), an extended design toolkit, basics of project management, supply chain management, sustainability, anthropology and ethnography, communications and media.

Therefore a PSSD designer is an expert in:

  • problem finding, framing and setting;
  • managing a complex project through different techniques, from ethnographic research to competitive analysis;
  • designing interactions and user-experiences;
  • promoting participation, self entrepreneurship and pro-activity in the society;
  • engaging stakeholders in articulated and multi-actor co-design processes.

PSSD students have the possibility to apply for the double degree programme at Tongji University (Shanghai) – PoliTong program – or for the internal double degree with Management Engineering at Politecnico di Milano – PSSD & ME.

The need of product-service system design approach

The world is no more just tangible!

The perception of the value provided by both private organizations and public entities depends more and more on “how” and “why” intangible assets are combined and blended with the tangible ones.

“Product-Service Systems” are blends of products, of communication strategies, of services and of spaces, with a focus on people (users, suppliers, employees, stakeholders) that result from the integration of multiple design components. They aim at satisfying the user need, as well as creating public and social value, and new value constellations for profit and non-profit organizations.

Product-service system design is:

  • An approach to design which always consider people, stakeholders, places and processes as integral parts of a solution;
  • A design process based on research, analysis, creativity and testing, through co-designing and prototyping;
  • An idea of innovation which is based on the integration of tangible and intangible assets, sustainability and new meanings;
  • An interdisciplinary field, where concepts, patterns and rules of thumb pertaining to innovation management, entrepreneurship, design methodology and design tools match;
  • A new dimension of the designer job, in which multidisciplinary collaboration, on-field experimentation, interdisciplinary competences, team-work and personal leadership are developed.

 PSSD “Credo”

(the 10+1 PSSD commandments)

We believe that:

  1. design culture needs more integration with social issues and with the fields of innovation, management and entrepreneurship;
  2. design to solve problem differs from design driven by opportunities;
  3. innovation means changing the engagement rules of users and stakeholders;
  4. designing Product-Service Systems means also designing relations between parties;
  5. a creative solution depends on the creative ways to perceive and set an opportunity;
  6. technology is not a value per se;
  7. innovation lies in the interstices of business and social eco-system;
  8. every kind of entrepreneurship needs Product-Service System design approach;
  9. design tools are nothing without a design culture;
  10. educating designers needs more that design education.

(experiencing PSSD is more than attending a design course…)