Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Service Design

Vinishree Verma (She/Her)

Multi-disciplinary, yet a generalist.

Having over a decade of design experience with diverse range of skills across Research, Innovation, Service Design, UX Design, Industrial design & Architecture. This trans-disciplinary pool of knowledge and experience enables me to utilize research methodologies, collaboration, co-design skills and agile thinking to effectively translate insights into user centric design solutions for products, spaces and services.

I would define myself as an inquisitive and enthusiastic designer who enjoys the process of research and problem solving. My ‘super powers’ are communication, facilitation, story-telling and prototyping. I enjoy working hands on with materials, and always on the lookout for creative ways of self-expression.

I am interested in working on projects having a long-term positive impact on people and planet, through meaningful innovation combining empathy, collective collaboration and future thinking, with a keen interest in circular economy, net zero strategy and sustainability projects.

As a design practitioner, I have always contemplated my positionality and my role as a single entity in contributing to this expansive realm of climate action and sustainability. This motivated me to explore the subject of environmental responsibility in this design-led project.

Design Blog
Step Zero for Net Zero
Journey of Care
Product as a Service
Visionary Hub
Activity Clock

Collaborative Work
Journey of Care

Net Zero and 'Me'

Step Zero for Net Zero

Investigation into environmental responsibility directed me to few key drivers of change, and one of them being the significance of businesses in climate action. Through this project, I explored the role of design in supporting SMEs and local businesses in their net zero journey.

STEP Zero for Net Zero, is an early intervention workshop for SMEs facing ambiguity and lack of guidance. The workshop embodies in itself, the idea of net zero transition from a state of uncertainty to positivity. It is rooted within my proposal which urges the environmental sector to reimagine the net zero narrative and reframe its status quo.

SMEs and net zero

SME’s are the backbone of the UK economy as they account for the majority of the private sector. To meet UK’s target of net zero by 2050, SME’s play a pivotal role in achieving it. The workforce within these businesses are the NET ZERO enablers, they are the key drivers of change. The UK government and policy makers are aiding the SMEs with finance, upskilling resources and knowledge to support them in their net zero journey.

Net zero Narrative

Term net zero is overwhelming, yet it is ubiquitous in the present times. What is net zero? As my audience today, how much do you understand these terminologies? Scientifically, it means balancing the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity with the amount removed from the atmosphere This direct and indirect carbon emission can be removed either by reducing, offsetting or capturing carbon.

Reimagine the Net Zero Narrative

The existing framework emphasizes carbon assessment through measuring the carbon footprint. Quantifying the GHGs produced during a baseline year in the past and extrapolating it for the coming decades. It acts as a benchmark against which areas of intervention are established and targeted for carbon reduction. The other side of the coin is indicative of the social & ethical forces impacting the emergent behaviors, it is centered on the needs of people and planet, envisioning an inclusive and fair society which takes on the environmental responsibility for building a regenerative and circular economy for preferable long term vision. Let’s together reimagine the NET ZERO narrative that upholds the values of Economic viability, environmental responsibility and social equity.

Connecting with people

Ethnographic inquiry led me connect with people who are business owners, Carbon managers, user researchers, designers and experts working in the environmental sector. Attending events, Interviews, co-design workshops and feedback sessions helped me to map the net zero status quo. Their strong voices and opinions all directed towards the need for design-led systemic change for reframing the policies, mobilizing transformative innovation, building a climate positive mindset.

net zero status quo

The emerging insights nudged me to question and critique the quantitative methodology of measuring the environmental cost and benefit. It urged me to reframe the net zero status quo which can be scaled across different sectors, and is always focused towards a reducing mindset. My proposal elevates value driven practices and eco-centric ethos, engages with time bound move through strategic transformations, and a place based response grounded within the social construct.

Step Zero for Net Zero workshop

These ideas are catalyzed into a tangible proposal through a structured workshop for the businesses facing uncertainty and lack of guidance about net zero transition. It equips and empowers the business with a decision - making canvas for a climate positive mindset. It aims to influence the wider societal ecosystems beyond the business for a preferable long term future.

Net Zero Canvas

The workshop facilitates the business to embed the three layers of value, place and time alongside the quantitative data sets of carbon assessment. The outcome is an emerging net zero canvas formalizing the value creation opportunities, back casting the transformative innovations and defining the workforce ethos. The team together outlines a hierarchy for the tasks for maximizing environmental and social impact of their business. It will help them in prioritizing decisions for instance, what has more environmental impact in their businesses’ context, their food waste or the packaging? The SMEs own a decision - making canvas and a blueprint of next steps tailored to their needs. It has been co-designed by them and steers their team towards a climate positive mindset through collaboration, ethical evaluation and including every voice within their team.


Transcending from uncertainty to positivity, Step Zero for Net Zero Workshop will empower the SME’s to take the leap towards net zero, amplifying the impact across the wider societal ecosystem. Reinforcing climate action with a design-led systemic change for reframing the policies, mobilizing transformative innovation, and building a climate positive mindset.

Design Approach

I aligned my research approach to the Systemic Design Framework proposed by the Design Council within their publication - Beyond Net Zero. The project gave me the opportunity to build many connections and a space to develop relationships with like-minded people. The more I learned about this subject, more I realized how important it was to talk about it, and tell the stories far and wide.

Journey of Care

How might we provide the roadmap of rehabilitation for key stakeholders with effective engagement at each touch point?

The brief given by NHS Scotland seeks to bridge the gap between the expectations and experience of rehabilitation, set within the context of a Neurological Rehabilitation center. The patients with Neurological conditions due to brain or spinal cord injury are living at the center for supervised rehabilitation and care.

Our target stakeholders are the inpatients, carer or family, therapists, nurses or the rehabilitation center staff.

Journey of Care is a service design proposition which has evolved from communication and engagement values. This design intent transpired from the evidences arising from the ethnographic research involving

  • critical evaluation of online resources & case studies, and
  • interviewing different stakeholders within NHS and people with this medical condition & their family.

The proposal addresses the key unmet needs of our target stakeholders:

  • lack of awareness and orientation in regards to neurological rehabilitation
  • lack of engagement and unpreparedness at the patient’s end
  • the problem faced by carers regarding accessibility and communication during the journey of rehabilitation.

Journey of care is a two part service proposal with a digital portal and a physical kit to cater to the varied abilities and needs of the patients.


Journey of Care, NHS Scotland

The proposed service aims to provide a clear roadmap and encourage effective communication at every touchpoint between the key stakeholders to create more engaging rehabilitation journey.

Journey of Care - Service Proposal

Underlying Features: 1. Considering before, during and after rehabilitation journey addresses the people’s expectation of the next stages, providing access to the full spectrum of the roadmap of neurological rehabilitation. It indicates different touchpoints with notes and contact information of different stakeholders. 2. Our design took into consideration two key aspects of communication that is content design and visual representation. The evidences of our research repeatedly pointed towards enhancing positivity and motivation through language and visuals (colors, shapes, textures). 3. Another integrated feature of the online portal uses latest digital technology of IoB (Internet of Behaviour) which helps in enhancing the interaction of the portal by mapping the user behavior patterns. 4. Personalization is the key feature that empowers the staff to identify patient’s needs and deliver to them the content, experience, and functionality that matches their individual requirements and abilities.

Service Delivery - Service Blueprint

Enhancing In-patient experience through the service proposition requires the rehabilitation center to channelize its resources, have cross-departmental co-ordination, and address all touchpoints throughout the span of service delivery and their association with the patients. The service blueprint for ‘Journey of Care’ at NHS depicts the use of the physical evidences (email/phone communication, online portal, hello kit, and emotion diary), across the touchpoints covering before, during and after rehabilitation.

Impact & Viability

Product as a Service

How might we create a preferable future narrative for services having custodianship of products that benefits the businesses, people & planet?

Geared towards creating a speculative narrative for Product as a Service (PaaS) as a preferable business model for a circular economy, I took the speculative design direction.

Extrapolating the strategy of Product as a Service on the scale of TIME might lend us a future roadmap of a circular reality. Under the lens of preferable future for PaaS, we can filter what we want to see happening and what we don’t want. Speculative design is an incredibly useful design tool for social dreaming while addressing bigger issues in the world.

I planned an online Participatory Design Workshop considering speculative design tools as engagement exercises and chose to include the voices of industry experts in – Technology, Design & Business. This workshop was designed for speculating the future scenarios where businesses will have the custodianship of products. The aim was to co-speculate the transition of the economy from a linear-product based model to more circular-service-based. In particular we looked at how a Product as a Service (PaaS) business model will look 30 years from now, discovering together while rethinking the ownership model for a more circular economy.

In order to compose imaginable future scenarios, envisioning the ‘Product’ as ‘Services to be used/performance’ is the first step. Considering Hygiene products will be transitioned as a service in the next few years, the participants delved further into enquiring its production, consumption and impact in the next 30 years. This exercise revealed some thoughtful insights such as an aspiration of a preferable future with zero waste production, strong directives & regulations, and scope for innovation in bio-design. This timeline also indicated the not-so preferred directions which needs to be considered as the challenges for example water crisis impacting hygiene, another pandemic related to hygiene, impact on animals leading to their extinction, as well as the uncontrolled filling up of landfills.

A complex scenario comes with multifold consequences. Future Wheel is a great tool for widening the perspective and extending the ability to map and recognize these repercussions. The participants were asked to study this future wheel for PaaS which I had extrapolated and further pin point the unintended consequences which they could speculate in the future.

By this time the participants had a heightened sense of understanding about speculating ‘Hygiene products as a Service’ and the repercussions of it for people, businesses and environment. The next engagement tools enabled the participants to speculate a future narrative with an ‘I’ statement.

Desire for a better, kinder and greener future motivated the participants to define the roadmap for ‘Product as a Service’, engraving some key expectations into its framework, elaborating these aspirations for a preferable future for ‘hygiene’ as a service.



Product as a Service

Product as a Service (PaaS) is a circular economy strategy that enables the producers to sell the use or performance of the product as a service, thus providing a stronger incentive as owners of the product to prevent loss by minimizing waste. Reverse logistics, Life Cycle assessment (LCA) and digital revolution play the key roles in mobilizing the circularity of materials and resources in the system where the producers retain the ownership of the product.

Value based scales

While evaluating the business model of ‘Product as a Service’, I came across many questions which I could map against the three major scales of value that this transition might raise. Since the PaaS business model is still at its nascent state, it is essential to speculate its impact on the economy, society and the environment in the long term. While brainstorming the consequences of PaaS for this project, the question raised here helped me to hypothesize the context more holistically.

Reimagining Future Scenarios

The first engagement tool made the participant to reimagine the products around them as a service and collectively vote for the one that they think is relevant in the next 30 years. The participants mutually agreed on the fact that hygiene products are lacking in innovation, are a major source of waste which goes into landfills, and lack a sense of responsibility from both the user and manufacturer’s end.

Factoring Time

This engagement tool was a timeline which questioned how they foresee the ‘Hygiene’ as a service in the near future. The participants were asked to reimagine the future of their selected service, mapping them against the following two questions: What you want to see? What you don’t want to see?

Future Wheel of Unintended Consequences

Discovery and mapping the consequences of the phenomenon of ‘Product as Service’ as the main driver of the economy. I have used the Future Wheel mapping strategy to demonstrate various orders of consequences and the relation between them. This wheel helped me to see the emerging intended and unintended consequences in a future scenario when Paas is implemented across different industries and businesses. Mapping the consequences in the order of magnitude is highly instrumental in speculating and widening the perspective around PaaS.

Preferable Future Statement

The speculated narrative presented towards the end of the project illustrates the future roadmap for ‘Product as a Service’ with few proposals for businesses to implement while ensuring a favorable impact on the economy, society and environment. A key indicator of progression towards a circular economy.

Visionary Hub

A design-led socio-ecological transition for a sustainable sanitary future.

Award: GSA Sustainability Degree Show Prize 2021 – Highly Commended

We are a team of four concerned citizens who believe in the power of design for envisioning a sustainable sanitary future – Alessandra Pizzuti, Federica Bruschi, Vinishree Solanki and Mihika Mehra.

The local authorities, schools, colleges and public places provide free and easy access to sanitary pads, tampons and reusable pads to whoever needs them. A revolutionary step in itself, it sparked the idea of our team living in Scotland to take the next leap. When Scotland was announced as the first country to address period poverty by making the period products free, the citizens wholeheartedly welcomed this progressive legislation. Therefore, we aim to bring together experts and the citizens of Scotland to start a conversation about sanitary products and provide a platform for encouraging social innovation.

We wanted to extend this access forward to not only period products but to the whole sanitary products domain comprising of baby diapers, adult diapers and period products. A Visionary Hub for collaboration, co-creation and raising awareness while engaging the communities, organisations and government to envision a sustainable sanitary future through innovation and knowledge sharing.

However, we believed that accessibility is only solving a part of the problem, and the major questions it raised was “How might we initiate a sustainable sanitary revolution in Scottish homes and public places to minimize the environmental impact?” and “How is the production and consumption of sanitary products affecting the planet, people and the economies around the world?” Addressing these key concerns to future changemakers, we propose to set up a social innovation hub in Dundee, Scotland. This would be center for experimentation of material, incubation of ideas, workshop space for co designing, a database of scientific and indigenous knowledge, and providing a stage for collaboration.

Impact: Visionary Hub aims for interventions that lead to environmental and social impact, always thinking about the planet and its ecosystem as well as the people and their needs in the social framework. The hub will incubate ideas on bio-degradable solutions for diapers and sanitary pads, accelerating innovation through co-designing with various stakeholders and experts. The goal is to minimise waste generated through sanitary products and develop sustainable waste disposal system.

Raising awareness towards ecofriendly solutions for diapers and pads is crucial as well, and the Hub aims to do that through collaborations with schools, colleges, care homes, gynecologists, pediatricians, healthcare systems and local authorities. Events and workshops will target to educate and spread awareness about reusable and bio-degradable products. The Hub strongly believes in social impact by creating an environment to encourage conversations among communities. It calls for eradicating the taboos existing in society by redefining the preconceived notions within society and highlighting the physical needs of the people.

Creativity & Design: Scotland’s rich biodiversity and natural habitat is already a home to many ecofriendly organizations aiming at preserving the natural resources. Our Visionary Hub takes inspiration from the surrounding Scottish landscape while co-existing with the nature. It aims to create a green architectural space utilising the locally available material and resources. The Hub maintains a digital platform and social media for sharing information about events, a platform for holding virtual talks and dialogues. Another medium of communication for creating awareness is through radio and media, which the Hub extensively uses for its campaigns.

Feasibility: A feasible plan that lays down the process of creating the first of Scotland’s Visionary Hub involves:
– Initial funding through approaching industries supporting social innovation or crowd funding
– Renting co-working spaces
– Collaborating with similar initiatives and enthusiasts
– Developing the website and social media
– Approaching UKRI (UK Research & Innovation – for major funding, buying
land in Scotland and building the Hub
– Setup the incubation hub for startups
– Co-creation workshops, events to raise awareness
– Promoting and supporting sustainable companies/ manufacturers
– Exhibiting and sharing the stories and work of individuals
– Increasing access to sustainable products

Scalability: Making Scotland a social innovation leader paving the way for global scalability. The concept is adaptable to different contexts easily as the emphasis is placed on indigenous products and beliefs existing in society. The systems in each country and the situation regarding the availability of sanitary products are different. Scotland is one of the few countries to offer sanitary products for free making it easier to shift focus on purchasing more eco-friendly products. However, in locations where this isn’t possible, and the main problem is the availability of sanitary products, there the primary focus of the hub would be more on education at a grassroots level and then improving access to eco-friendly sanitary products.

Identifying the problem

Coming from different parts of the globe, we were proud to associate with Scotland which is the first country to address period poverty. We believe that it is a great starting point, as the problem at hand is complex and interconnected within the social framework. Considering the entire range of sanitary products and not only period products, the problems include - waste disposal, - the taboo that persists within the society, - the lack of conversation and awareness around it, - and its accessibility and affordability.


Our project proposes a sustainable sanitary revolution in Scotland to reduce the environmental impact of sanitary products. We propose to initiate it through - co-creation with local communities and users like new parents, men and women using adult diapers, and young adults. - We will also be building awareness through campaigns and events. - Collaboration with experts and creating a network of people working in sustainable sanitary products to promote knowledge sharing. - Our hub also provides opportunities for innovation within the sanitary products framework.

Ecosystem Map

The visionary hub is a platform that connects the various touchpoints and stakeholders within the sanitary sector through its website, workshops, awareness events, talks and innovation labs. The platforms establishes a network that comprises of the manufacturers, retailers, policymakers and the consumers.

Design Approach

The visionary hub strives to create micro to macro level impact scaling human centric design to a planet centric approach.

Service Strategy

The service involves collaboration, co-creation and raising awareness while engaging the communities, organisations and government through innovation and knowledge sharing.

Activity Clock

Considering ‘Future Proof’ and ‘Multi-Generational’ solutions, HOW MIGHT WE IMPROVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE AT HOME?

Activity Clock, is a virtual support system for work-life-balance. The design address all the three key requirements of discipline, connect and reflect.

Activity Clock

Evidences & Insights


Problem - Process - Proposal


Viability & Impact

Journey of Care

The brief given by NHS Scotland seeks to bridge the gap between the expectations and experience of rehabilitation, set within the context of the Douglas Neurological Rehabilitation Centre of Ayrshire & Arran. Goal: Engage with – Communicate to – Provide for – clients.

Journey of Care is a service design that has communication, ownership and engagement as values. 

The proposal addresses the unmet needs of the research and stakeholders (patient, carer, staff):

  • lack of awareness and orientation in concerns to neurological rehabilitation;
  • lack of engagement and unpreparedness for patient and carer;
  • carers lack accessibility and communication during the entire journey.


Two-part Service

HelloKit & Emotional Board

The DGRC staff will hand the kit to the patient. It contains his portal credentials, which he needs to know, a weekly goal setting tool (short period goals are more achievable) and a roadmap of stages of his rehabilitation. It creates ownership and the empty sections with the question mark will create engagement through the process; those are for customised tools that the staff will add.

The Emotional Board aims to empower the patients by giving them a medium of expression through a physical board instead of the portal; a photo of it can be upload by the staff. Patients’ neurological conditions are many and different, and our statement is to give radical inclusion over the ability and digital literacy. A more comprehensive range of interaction in the service was required.

Digital Platform

The portal is a role-based platform to monitor, store and create information about rehabilitation. Role actions:

  • Staff can create and edit patient information, use it as a clinical record, handle queries from the carer and manage referrals.
  • The patient can monitor his journey and express himself through an emotional diary section. He can find different ways such as mood composition with colours and sounds, a sketch board, the digital version of the room board, or the possibility to upload files.
  • The carer can monitor the patient’s journey in the emotional diary and add queries on staff updates.
  • The portal points to facilitate communication between actors, manage expectations, ease the referral process, be accessible everywhere, and give a place for patient emotions.


Impact & Viability

Using the system-wide innovation to map our service, we summarised values created across the system. Considering the person’s needs, our proposed service goes out of the centre. It connects various stakeholders, is inclusive and accessible, covering multiple stages of a customised rehabilitation journey and brings awareness while sharing relevant information. It gives clarity and is sustainable as the kit is made of biodegradable material.

patient roadmap

Hello Kit

Hello Kit - Inside

Emotional Board


SERVICE Strategy


IMPACT & Viability