WHY SPACE MATTERS: A Service Experience Conference Workshop

You can design a great service, but if your service is tied to a physical place, and the design of that space hasn’t figured into your blueprint, the whole thing can fall apart. Space and your physical environment can sometimes be taken for granted. Through the eyes of an architect’s mindset, I have developed a workshop that explores how the planning, testing and design of a physical environment and the elements that fill it can make or break a service experience. The workshop explores why space matters and how to pin point how it can fail us, and how we can learn to design better settings to support dynamic experiences.

This workshop was presented at the 2014 Service Experience Conference in San Fransisco, CA. This event is produced by Adaptive Path and brings together designers and business leaders to address the practice and execution of service design.

Service Experience Workshop


Set the Stage. Understand that space is not a static container; rather it can be considered a platform for dynamic experiences. Be exposed to the architectural mindset and learn about best practice in planning and design. Consider how the design of spaces can empower a more mobile, personal and participatory experience. 

Shift Scales. Shift thinking from the small scale: on screen interactions to big scale: interior design and the scale of the body interacting with things and moving through space.

 Undo typical. Use the service design mindset to question normal and typical spatial configurations. Identify and define physical obstacles and enablers, bright spots and debbie downers and improve build scenarios that move from one-dimensional to multi- dimensional experiences with layers of space, furniture, services, roles and dialogue design.


  • Through making, testing and acting, get conference attendees to better understand how space, and the design of it, relates to the overall service experience.
  • Build capability within the attendees to think about a service experience as equal parts, people place and things, and how it can tie into their own practice or expertise.
  • Develop hands on tools and methods to bring back to your workplace for internal work shopping or client facing engagements.