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Dr Silvia Grimaldi

Course Leader: MA Service Design
London College of Communication
Researcher Research
Silvia  Grimaldi


Dr Silvia Grimaldi is Reader in Service Design and Collaborative Futures, and Co-Lead and Co-Founder of the Service Futures Lab at London College of Communication (LCC), University of the Arts London (UAL). She has a PhD in Design from UAL.

Her research focuses on service design, and service design pedagogy, narrative and experience, design fiction and service design as tools for public engagement, and surprise in product experiences.

As Course Leader for MA Service Design (2017-2022) Silvia has facilitated and contributed to set up and run the many outstanding Knowledge Exchange activities that the course is known for and lead the course team in these activities. In addition, she has led the course team through a revalidation which expanded the scope of the course looking at scales from human to ecosystem, timeframes from the present to design futures, and methodologies from traditional service design to speculative design approaches. The course has been featured nationally and internationally for its relevance in design for public service and policy. MA Service Design has a long history of collaboration with government, public, private and third sector organisations to tackle societal challenges.

As Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2019-2022) on the EU Horizon 2020 Pharma Factory project, a collaboration involving five biotech SMEs and four academic institutions (2017-21) and led at LCC by Prof. Alison Prendiville. Applying a user-centred approach to engage stakeholders (industry, government, regulators, patient groups, clinicians and the public at large) the research aims to better understand the opportunities for plant molecular pharmaceuticals, particularly high value products such as enzyme replacement therapies and diagnostics. The final output of the research was a series of in-person and digital exhibitions.

Silvia has been Co-Investigator and UAL lead for the Co-design Your Place, Erasmus+ funded project (2019-2022) on Service Design in Placemaking and regeneration with partners The Stable Foundation (Poland) and Station Student and Innovation House (Denmark). This resulted in a conference and a published handbook for involving youth in regeneration projects.

In 2017-18 she was research coordinator for the Design School at LCC, working across the school to foster a research culture, provide research mentorship to academics, and work with both the School Management Team and the Research Office to develop a strategy for research within the Design School.

Her research work has been published in international journals and as part of edited books and she is peer reviewer for international journals and conferences.

Research keywords: service design, product design, non-digital interactions, narrative, design narratives, design innovation, design fiction, narrative theory applied to design, emotions, surprise, co-design, speculative design, design thinking, social design, design methods, interaction design, research through design.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

Research Outputs



Conference, Symposium or Workshop item


Current research students

  • Alvaro Bravo Cole, Exploring Creativity In The Context Of Rough Sleeping And Social Design (Lead supervisor)
  • Putri Delina Evans, Decentralising Service design: Co-developing rapid diagnostic assays for antimicrobial resistance in India (Joint supervisor)
  • Marida Maiorino, Community engagement for placemaking actions as a strategic resource to generate social resilience. (Joint supervisor)


3D design and product design
Architecture, spatial and interior design
Business & management, and science
Communication and graphic design
Creative Computing