From product to service

One of the cornerstones of sustainable thinking is a shift from consumption of products towards the use of services. A move in this direction means that we meet people’s needs by selling knowledge rather than physical products. Already, the service sector employs more people in Sweden than the manufacturing sector and it also has a higher turnover.

Another way of looking at service design is to give up the ownership of things and instead design systems and products that encourage sharing or renting. By applying service design in this way we can make the usage more efficient and meet our needs with fewer resources.

The development of service design also means that producers are more responsible for the entire life cycle and disposal. The development of service design also means that it will be more advantageous to have products that are easy to repair and recover.

An example of a service design that already exists is a car pool where users rent a service to get from one place to another. The best-case-scenario service design is completely disconnected from a product. The music website Spotify is an example of how a digital service can perform the same function as a physical product (such as CDs). What else in society can we “Spotify”?