Methods for Conceptualizing Product Service Networks (PSS 101) was about developing a framework of methods, techniques and tools that improves conceptualization and communication between all those involved in design and development, across industries.

Products are no longer just products, Services not only services. Take Océ; once they used to sell printers.. and now they ‘support document management across different departments.’ Exact, well known for its Financial and Administrative software, now produces business service systems for SMEs, enabling them to integrally support and manage their business, including relationship management.

This type of thinking requires new design and development structures, moving people out of their traditional compartments, meeting the needs of an often diverse and evolving group of end-users. Product Service Systems (PSS) are designed in highly dynamic network environments, mixing people and parties, models, interests and goals.

What questions were answered?
Teams from TU Delft, the Design Academy Eindhoven and Industry partners were working together to answer the questions:

What are the demands that networks of users impose on providers of PSS?
How can the provider cope with the organizational changes needed?
In which way can networks of Creative industries facilitate this process?

What have the teams achieved?
A Framework and Toolset that will help design-partners better understand the needs, values and ambitions of end-users in their networks. Together they have formulated a shared vision for a PSS proposition, leading to a documented, context-driven PSS concept.

Timeframe and communication:
PSS 101 startedin 2011 and finished in 2015. Throughout the project, we have communicate information and results via this website, Master Classes, and Workshops. We have organized an annual event for the creative industries, and integrated our findings into educational programmes.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Delft University of Technology and the Design Academy Eindhoven;
Creative and Industry partners: STBY, 4C-MG, Exact, Oce industries and Zuidzorg

Project leaders
Dr. Ingrid Mulder, Delft University of Technology
Prof. Dr. Pieter Jan Stappers, Delft University of Technology


  • Conceptualizing Product Service Networks Henze, L., Mulder, I., & Stappers, P.J The current article elaborates upon the diversity in these networks using a humancentred design approach. Based on various exploratory workshops reviewing and analysing existing cases a first framework for conceptualization and implementation of PSS has been constructed. Download
  • Demonstrating generation Y interactions through interactive prototyping. Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & van der Helm, A. In an interactive prototyping course three prototypes were built in which three interaction qualities are demonstrated. From these prototypes, guidelines for supporting Generation Y interactions in future office contexts, were subsequently deducted. Download
  • Generation Y interactions Liu, W. This project explores interaction design opportunities of IT supported tools in the context of office work. A series of (contextual) interviews was conducted with Generation Y office workers, aiming to identify their interaction qualities. Download
  • Generation Y Interactions: Making the office catch up. Download
  • Making the office catch up: comparing interaction qualities at home and at work Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & Taal Fokker, J. An interview toolkit was used to sensitize them to the subject of interaction qualities, experiences, and demands of future ways of working. This study resulted in a set of design guidelines, aiming to support Generation Y interactions in future office work. Download
  • Right Service & Service Right. How collaborating heterogeneous networks at the front end of service development benefit the process to get the service right. Henze, L., Mulder, I., Stappers, P.J. & Rezaei, B. In this paper it is argued that getting a service right at the end of such a development process will be easier when at the very beginning of the process already is started with a collaboration of these networks aiming at getting the right service. Download
  • Supporting generation Y interactions: Challenges for office work Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & Taal Fokker, J. With Generation Y entering the workforce, for the first time IT supported tools at home are more advanced than these tools at work. This project aims to understand and model this friction and its challenges through a sequence of literature review and interviews. Download
  • Making Research Tangible Rygh, K., Raijmakers, B., Arets D. Together with the partner company Canon Océ, Rygh has investigated what role the creative industries can play in determining new applications of Canon’s innovative 2.5D printing technology, and what new applications could be found in the field of architecture. As an outcome, Rygh created the Super-Maker, a workshop methodology bridging the innovation gap between new technology and client or end user operating it.  Download
  • Tangible Research as Inspiration for Business Innovation Rygh, K, Arets, D. How can designers contribute to the complex restructuring of business innovation?  Download
  • Defining Values Through Collaboration Rygh, K., Arets, D. & Raijmakers, B. Using a ‘thinking through making’ approach the CRISP PSS 101 project introduces tools that facilitate the alignment of expectations and address the importance of trust and meaning within networks producing Product Service Systems Download
  • Value Pursuit / A tool for structuring conversation and encouraging collaboration in stakeholder networks Rygh, K, How tangible tools can be designed to make complex networks more understandable to the stakeholders operating within them. Download
  • Value Pursuit: Creating Value Between Stakeholders In Policy Development Rygh, K, Raijmakers, B., Vos, M. de A workshop exploring the possible roles stakeholders could take on in regards to policy making and policy implementation. The results of the workshop has lead us to question two different approaches in policy making; negotiation and co-creation and this paper will discuss what implications this has for the design practice. Download
  • Understanding networked collaboration: fields and patches of interactions Henze, L., Mulder, I. & Stappers, P.J. The current work elaborates on the development of a framework for networked collaboration inspired by literature research of Actor Network Theory and Boundary Objects as well as insight gained in case studies and workshops Download
  • Networked collaboration canvas: How can service design facilitate networked collaboration? Henze, L., Mulder, I. In order to get a better grip on the networked nature of the new forms of interorganisational collaborations a Networked Collaboration Canvas has been built elaborating upon Actor-Network Theory (Latour, 2005) and Boundary Objects (Star & Griesemer, 1989) addressing the interactions between actors and objects involved in PSS development (Henze, Mulder, & Stappers, 2013).  Download
  • Interactive pong: exploring ways of user inputs through prototyping with sensors Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G., van der Helm, A., Aprile, W. & Keller, I. This study aimed to explore ways of user inputs through designing interactive game controllers with different type of sensor. From building four experiential prototypes on Pong, we learned to drive design by focusing on interaction qualities, which determine the use of sensors. We found that the interaction qualities together as a set offer a way to design aesthetics of behavior in interaction.  Download
  • YPhone: Applying generation Y interactions into an office context Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & Taal Fokker, J. A novel office phone, YPhone, is conceptually designed to present new ways of interacting in office work.  Download
  • Evaluating generation Y interaction qualities in an office work context This study presents evaluations conducted with a working prototype in practice. The goal of these evaluations was to both evaluate the prototype and to find out what effect a new tool can have on the office workers’ interaction behavior. Download
  • Exploring `Generation Y' interaction qualities at home and at work describes and analyzes two interview studies conducted with office workers to consider how they perceive, experience and compare interaction qualities. Download
  • Designing Generation Y Interaction by Eliciting Interaction Qualities Liu, W., Stappers, P. J., Pasman, G. & Taal Fokker, J. This paper describes the development of a novel office phone, YPhone, which demonstrates the application of a specific set of interaction qualities into the context of office work. Download
  • Interactive Pong: Learning and Practicing Interaction Design through Interactive Prototyping Qu,Y., Liu, W., van der Helm, A., Aprile, W. Download
  • Making the Office Catch Up Exploring Interaction Qualities at Home and at Work Liu, W., Stappers, P., Pasman, G., Taal-Fokker, J. Download
  • Prototyping Generation Y Interactions Liu, W., Pasman, G., Taal-Fokker, J. Download
  • The Sino-Italian Collaborative Design Platform Designing and Developing an Innovative Product Service System Liu,W. & Lou, Y. Download
  • Using Interaction Qualities as an Approach to Conduct Interaction Design Research Liu, W., Stappers, P., Pasman, G., Taal-Fokker, J., van der Helm, A., Keller, I. Download
  • Tools for proximity: helping designers to make sense in the boardroom Leurs, B. The thesis "Tools for Proximity" presents a toolkit that supports the interaction between strategic designers and senior decision makers; it aims to establish cognitive proximity (i.e. shared understanding, overlap in mental models) between these actors in networked innovation. Download
  • Researching interaction guidelines: Mapping playful quality to design interactive products Chen, Y. C. & Liu, W. Download


  • Tools for proximity

    The thesis "Tools for Proximity" presents a toolkit that supports the interaction between strategic designers and senior decision makers. It aims to establish cognitive proximity (i.e. shared understanding, overlap in mental models) between these actors in networked innovation. Results show how (embodied) metaphors help coordinate the alignment and shaping of mental models.
  • Yphone

    YPhone is a prototype of a tool for office workers to experience Generation Y interaction qualities in their work contexts. It is a device that can be placed on a work desk, employing a clean, neutral and inviting style of industrial design. It is built up from three structural components: 1) an earphone and a surface on which the user interacts directly, 2) a technical unit in the phone containing all the technical components and 3) a construction holding the interface and the components. YPhone is controlled by a (laptop) computer, which connects all the components and runs software for the user-phone interactions.
  • SuperMaker

    Together with the partner company Océ, A Canon company, the main research question was the role the creative industries can play in determining new applications of 2.5D printing. As an outcome, together with the research team, Karianne Rygh have developed ‘Super-Maker’, a workshop methodology to better connect a new technology to the client or end user operating it, as a means to also create a more participatory stakeholder network.
  • Value Pursuit

    The Value Pursuit tool is a game board that can be used in workshops to clarify how stakeholders in a specific PSS can be of value to one another, and which thereby helps identify shared goals within the project. On the Value Pursuit board, each participant must write down their contributory value and what challenges they face. Their potential value is then connected to other partners’ challenges. These connections are counted and represented by playing pieces on a second game board (resembling a radar) which visualises how much each partner gains and contributes to a network. For a network to thrive and trust to be maintained between network partners, these playing pieces should be aligned as much as possible – how much people gain from a network has to be balanced against their contributions.
  • Networked Collaboration Canvas: Boundary Mapping tool

    The Networked Collaboration Canvas is a tool that helps designers in (in workshops with their clients) to get a clear overview of all translations of the design(research) outcomes in a PSS development process. This helps design to anticipate (and facilitate) interactions with the design outcomes (e.g. user insights, concepts, prototypes) of all stakeholders from the very beginning to the end (when design is not involved any longer) of the development process.