Space & Service Design
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Design for Change
One year specialisation in the design of spatial and service design.
Space & Service Design is an emerging design discipline which aims at improving the experience of the users of (semi-) public spaces and services.
Research-led design and user-centred methodologies lead to the design of relevant services and service contexts (spaces, objects, furniture and communication tools) for society-oriented design challenges.
During this international programme (60 ECTS) you will have the opportunity to participate in real-life design projects and co-design workshops for real clients, mainly non-profit and social enterprises. These projects will be supported by a sound set of practice-based subjects, lectures and tutorials in English.
Postgraduates in Space and Service Design develop, in an international class setting, their knowledge of user-centred experiences, research for design, service contexts and methodologies. The major goal is to create sustainable added value for clients and users of (semi-) public spaces and services.
The Postgraduate in Space and Service Design stimulates designers to be socially aware and proactive change agents in their design community.
This programme is developed in collaboration with the department Interior, Design & Architecture
Content & approach
- First Semester
- Second Semester
- Targeted students
- Personal coaching
- Go International
- Fall 2020 Semester (Covid-19)
The first semester will provide you with knowledge and skills in environment & service design, research for design and service design methodologies and tools. This information will support you to develop creative design ideas and to deliver relevant solutions.
You collaborate in international, multidisciplinary design teams in challenging real-life design projects, taking up different designer roles and interacting with clients and users. You will apply and share your previous design knowledge.
You prepare your professional experience and conduct the research for your final design brief.
You can extend your programme with electives such as design communication, languages and intercultural communication, depending on your previous knowledge and skills and personal interest.
The second semester offers you the opportunity to excel in an individual real-life project and an (international) internship or client project.
In the individual major project you will demonstrate your research skills and your ability to define the tangible and intangible context and needs. You create relevant user-centred space & service design solutions which you effectively communicate using adequate media.
You have a design degree (BA or MA in interior design or interior architecture, architecture, product or industrial design, furniture design, graphic design, interaction design, … design, …) but ...
- you are convinced that designers are not only responsible for the shape of spaces and objects but also for the experiences and well-being of all users in order to achieve true change.
- you share the idea that the future-proof designer has a role to play in tackling contemporary social, cultural and economic challenges through evidence-based and human-centred design.
- you want to learn even more how to apply designers’ skills, methods and user-centred approaches to improve spaces, objects, communication and services so they become more effective and closer to day-to-day lives.
- you want to exchange knowledge and skills and collaborate in a cross-disciplinary way in challenging design projects in specific and real contexts such as Design for Learning, Design for Health, Design for Ageing, Design for Sustainable Development, Design for Hospitality, Design for Nature Preservation and much more.
- you are looking for a specialization course which can empower and complement your current design competences.
Throughout the design process, student teams are coached by a team of design professionals, teachers and researchers. They collaborate with stakeholders, users and experts from the project field through research, participatory design, co-creation or feed-back sessions.
Furthermore, students are supported by ID&A services such as Whats’on (the Design Learning Centre and Fab-Lab) and the ID&A Workshop Facilities (wood/metal/plastic workshop).
Fostering global awareness and international and intercultural collaboration is vital for a society-oriented design course. Besides welcoming Belgian students we also strive for attracting international students with their specific design knowledge and cultural background in order to create an international class-setting.
Student learning is facilitated through a range of workshops, seminars, lectures and tutorials of both national and international professionals and experts. You will be able to connect with other service design schools and networks.
In the second semester, students can make the transition to the professional design field through an internship or a service project. During the past decade the ID&A unit collaborated with various professional, national and international design firms looking for talented interns.
Fall 2020 Semester (Covid-19)
Already living in Belgium?
We would love to welcome you on campus in September. We will follow the guidelines provided by the Belgian government. For the latest updates, consult www.thomasmore.be/corona.
Coming from abroad?
- If, due to COVID-19, students are forced to arrive after the start of the academic year in Belgium, they will have the option to take their first semester courses remotely.
- We can offer the following solutions (only) for those students: for practical design subjects, students will be able to participate in online teamwork with those students who are already in Belgium. For theoretical subjects, students will be able to view the lectures through online streaming.
- The January exams will take place in Belgium, so students must be in Belgium by January at the latest.
Structure & certification
- One year programme
- Postgraduate Certification
One year programme
- Required courses
- Space & Service Design (12 credits)
- Design & Research (possible exemption for MA's or ID&A students) (3 credits)
- ID&A elective courses
- Design communication (6 credits)
- Autocad (3 credits)
- Thomas More elective international courses (depending on course schedules)
- Intercultural communication (3 credits)
- Language: survival Dutch, Chinese, French, German, Spanish (3 credits)
Semester 1 + 2
- Space & Service Design Seminars (6 credits)
- The future-proof designer (3 credits)
- Required courses
- Professional experience (12 credits)
- Final project Space & Service Design (24 credits)
Take a look in the programme guide for more details.
- Required courses
Postgraduate programmes aim to build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in a bachelor's or a master's degree programme. A postgraduate largely focuses on developing your professional skills in a way that can be immediately useful in a work environment, while simultaneously helping you develop your professional network. A postgraduate programme is a specialisation for students who already have a degree in design or architecture (bachelor's and master's).
Why do a postgraduate? A postgraduate from Thomas More will give your CV and portfolio added value on the labour market, transforming you into a future-proof designer!
Why choose Space & Service Design
Partners in education
Our approach is demand-driven and aims at responding to real-life design problems. Consequently every year is different and offers new opportunities for collaboration. Current and previous clients include: City of Mechelen and Leuven, Social House of Mechelen, House of Entrepreneurs Mechelen, Natuurpunt, Regional Landscape Riverland, Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos, Flanders DC, Samenlevingsopbouw (Community Development), Ekisande vzw, several public services and NGOs. In order to offer students authentic learning experiences, we collaborate and share knowledge with service design organisations and design and architecture agencies. Our partners in education offer internships, site visits, guest lectures and workshops.
Photo: Space & Service Safari in Leuven, for the Space & Service Design of the MaakLeerPlek for SOM (Together We make Education)
Space & Service Design change makers
We aim at offering research-driven solutions: spaces, objects, communication and services which effectively can change people’s day-to-day life. A future-proof designer can play a significant role in tackling contemporary social, cultural and economic challenges through evidence-based and human-centred design. For the Mama Sabina Health Care Centre in Bwera Uganda, students converted the existing school building into inviting spaces and the necessary services and experiences. Supported by Ekisande, Medics Without Vacation, the nursery department and Aquafin, feasible and desirable solutions were designed. The project is planned to be executed.
Picture: Design Mama Sabina health Care Centre: Pauline Verbeke (Belgium), Emma Verhas (Belgium) and Ying Liu (China). Real-life design project for Ekisande vzw.
Space & service design project leads to realization
The collaboration with the students and teachers of Space & Service Design led to a fascinating design process, with a lot of educational exchanges between different actors, paying attention to the needs of socially vulnerable families and with a beautiful final result: the Playbike! - Stéphanie Vandenbossche - Social Worker - Society Building Antwerp Province vzw
picture: Isabel Rottiers | design Playbike: Elena Tytgat (Belgium), Lore Blockx (Belgium), Thomas Fendt (Germany)
- Hello China!
Keep going! Once you get your postgraduate in Space & Service Design, why not continue your studies with a master's degree in Service & Experience Design?
Enrol in an exclusive short-track master's programme in English at our partner university in China.
Facilities and student support
Janao DenysSpace & Service Design student graduated in 2019, currently employed by Quest Impact Design Studio, Ghent
I would say Space & Service Design is a course for anyone who wants to have a real impact, work with real clients and generally just grow as a person and a designer. It is an intense learning experience that gives you resilience and new insights in the way the world works. The projects are unique, interesting and the outcomes have an impact on real people in the real world, not just on paper.