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Dr Silvia Grimaldi

Reader in Service Design and Collaborative Futures
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).

In the past she was Course Leader of the MA Service Design ,Postdoctoral Research Fellow on Pharma Factory (H2020), and Co-Investigator leading the UAL side of Co-Design Your Place Erasmus+. She has a PhD in Design from UAL.

Silvia's expertise is in leading multi-stakeholder projects, involving communities, organisations, researchers, designers and students. Her approach is participatory, based on design-justice principles that value multiple voices, mindsets and experiences, and based on ethical exchange. Silvia has led many collaborations between academics, students and with public, private and third sector organisations to tackle societal challenges. She has collaborated extensively with the London Borough of Camden: delivering creative public consultations to, among others, co-design policies for good family services after Covid, tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, support emergency covid-19 response redesigning food delivery systems and the onboarding of new volunteers during the first pandemic outbreak in April 2020. For an example of this type of work please see the project Good Help for Camden Families after Covid

Currently she is co-designing a framework for Equality Diversity and Inclusion as well as Inclusive Design within the Digital and Product Design industries in the UK, based on principles of design justice, in collaboration with Elvie and including 35+ research participants from across this industry.

Outputs of these projects are on varying scales from the user centred to the systemic (organisational, ecological), and on varying scales of impact, from service transformation, to service design, and policy interventions; these are disseminated through academic means such as journal papers, book chapters, conferences, frameworks and toolkits, as well as for a non-academic audience through reports, exhibitions, workshops, videos, white papers, and non-academic publications.

Her academic research focuses on Design Justice, Service Design, Inclusion and Equality, Inclusive Design, Co-Design and Participatory Practices, Collaboration, the role of Narrative and Surprise in Experiences, Design Fiction and Speculative Design as tools for Public Engagement, and Service Design Pedagogy. 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.

As Course Leader for MA Service Design (2017 to 2021) Silvia has facilitated, set up and run many of the outstanding Knowledge Exchange activities that the course is known for and led the course team in these activities. The course has been featured nationally and internationally for its relevance in design for public service and policy.

As Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the EU Horizon 2020 Pharma Factory project (2019-2021), a collaboration involving five biotech SMEs and four academic institutions (2017-21) and led at LCC by Prof. Alison Prendiville, Silvia created user-centred design tools to engage stakeholders (industry, government, regulators, patient groups, clinicians and the public at large) 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.

In 2019-2021 Silvia was Co-Investigator and UAL lead for the Co-design Your Place, Erasmus+ funded project on Service Design in 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.

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.