2–5 February 2021


Short Paper

The paradox of delivering professional design services: The plurality of value


Presenting Author(s): Linus Tan
04 February 2021

Please be aware that multiple presentations will take place during this session commencing at 10:30AM AEDT and share the same zoom link. Check how presentations are clustered in the program spreadsheet when adding the calendar.

Do professional design services offer a service or design a product? A traditional definition rooted in the service economy might point to the former, but the theory of Service-Dominant Logic from marketing might suggest the latter. While this may appear purely as a semantic difference, it has severe implications on 1) how designers articulate the value of their services, and 2) how clients perceive the value of a designer's service. This paper provides four industry examples to show how professional design services may change how they deliver a service to address the evolving expectations of a design service. It ends by offering two ways service designers can help professional design services innovate how they render services to their clients.

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Linus Tan
Linus Tan
Swinburne University of Technology

Linus is doctoral candidate at Swinburne University of Technology, School of Design. His research is on how architects use tacit knowledge (experience and expertise) to improve their business practices.

His approach to solving complex and ambiguous problems is informed by his architectural training, while his execution of solutions is guided by his working experience in coordinating operations for the military, fabrication and design industry.

He applies this unique set of knowledge by helping individuals navigate unknown scenarios to identify business opportunities and does so by running workshops in design thinking, practice management and creative entrepreneurship.