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Service Design (MA)

Akshata Chitnis

Akshata comes from a unique trans-disciplinary design background with deep-rooted knowledge across behavioural psychology, product design, gamification, interaction design, emerging technologies and systems thinking. A keen ability to transition between roles of a researcher, thinker, facilitator and strategist to deliver solutions closer to people, community and organisations. Her strength lies in visualising, holistically evaluating and implementing creative solutions for complex multi-stakeholder ecosystems. Fuelled by her empathy, curiosity and agile collaboration she hopes to create positive social impact through her work.


Work Experience

  • Service Designer at The Big Issue group | Social Enterprise | Fixed Term Project Partner
  • Product Design Intern at Axis Bank Freecharge | Financial Tech Services | Internship
  • UX/ UI Design Intern at Swasth Foundation | Heath and Well-being Services | Internship

Extracurricular Experiences

  • Ethnographer at Harvard T.H Chan | Covid-19 Research
  • Strategist at Connecting Dreams Foundation | Rural Enterprise building
  • Student Volunteer at Makers Asylum | UN Sustainable Development Goal Quality Education

Awards & Publications

1) The Warrior in You | Healthy coping mechanism game design

2) The Golden Hour | Virtual reality emergency medical training

3) Corona Go | Covid-19 Awareness game design

  • D'Source Covid-19 Competition | Game design Award

4) Bullseye | Bullying awareness and education

  • Netplexo UNESCO Paris featured project

Degree Details

School of DesignService Design (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Stevens Building, Second and third floors

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I come from a trans-disciplinary design background with experience across various fields of design. I embarked on a journey to pursue my Master’s in Service design at the RCA with an intent of harmonising my varied skill sets to seamlessly integrate my design knowledge and drive meaningful impact in my professional endeavors.

Design for me is to facilitate the act of amplifying aspirations, within your team, organization, users and stakeholders to co-create a ladder of impact. It inspired me to build my professional experiences working on real-life challenges in the field of fin-tech, gamification, health and well-being, rural business and social enterprises.

My work at the Royal College of Art has empowered me to think, co-create, develop and validate a holistic service proposition by employing innovative research methodologies, conducting workshops, and feedback sessions.

As I continue to build my practice as a service designer, my unwavering commitment is to consistently deliver impactful services by imbibing the humility to create an environment that facilitates change and empowers users, practicing empathy to embed within the user's psychology, and a willingness to explore a range of possibilities across disciplines that yield positive outcomes for communities and organisations.

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Brief introduction

Interwoven is a project that explores isolation in old age with a cultural, behavioural and social innovation lens. The project takes a narrative driven approach to understand dimensions of isolation and means of connection. With an aim to explore the value of Intergenerational connection the project dives into the history of intergenerational interactions with a key focus on the drivers of change including changing family structures, globalisation and mobility, technological advances and innovations. 

The project studies the diminishing intergenerational connection with the rise of self-sufficiency enabled by innovations and the resultant stigmatisation of dependence on other people. The team successfully developed a framework model for considering a balanced relationship between self-sufficiency and connection to allow happy and purposeful ageing. 

Dimensions of Isolation
Dimensions of Isolation
Isolation to Connection
Isolation to Connection
Value of Intergenerational Interactions
Value of Intergenerational Interactions
Changing Nature of Intergenerational Interaction
Changing Nature of Intergenerational Interaction
Problem Statement
Problem Statement

Key Insights

  • Self-Sufficiency and Autonomy is important for an individual to pursue his life purpose, goals, hopes and stay true to his/her identity. 
  • Increased self-sufficiency enabled by innovations (products, services, etc) have reduced dependencies on other people and therefore reduced intergeneration interaction.
  • Thus, depending on innovations is considered safe while depending on other human being is considered weak.
  • A healthy balance between self-sufficiency and connection is the key to a healthy ageing and maintaining our sense of community.
  • Establishing positive Connections between generations require Understandability, Reciprocity, Value Addition (defined roles) and Power Balance (overcome stigma)

Interwoven Model
Interwoven Model
Directional Framework
Directional Framework

Next Steps & Direction

We plan to develop our model and explore its application at different levels by collaborating with stakeholder and partners. Here are so of the ways we are planning to build the project in the next phases

  • Exploring how the model can apply to situations or services where human touch has been replaced: grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants and cafes.  
  • Exploring how the model can apply to situations or services where there is a scope to introduce intergenerational interaction: travel, parks, library, high streets, etc.
  • Exploring how the model can help create new services or rethink existing services for this purpose: social clubs, friend-making, tourism, etc
  • A preventative/ speculative approach to build toolkits for policy makers, designers and people to plan for future of ageing.


24% of people above the age of 50 in England feel lonely and this number is expected to rise to about 2 million in the next decade.

11% of people above 65 have merely one social interaction a month

All of this has results in increased risks of heart problems, emotional pains, chronic illness and being admitted to hospitals or care homes.

But every 1 pound invested in tackling loneliness and isolation can save us 3 in healthcare costs.

Thus, we believe that we can bring value to society through this project.

Please feel free to reach out to us to talk more about our Work in Progress project or get involved with us!