Place-Based Service Design Through Placemaking and Performance


  • Ella Björn
  • Satu Miettinen
  • Mira Alhonsuo



placemaking, performance, stakeholder engagement, place-based service design


This paper reflects on the approaches of place-based service design, placemaking and performance. From these perspectives, we discuss whether new designs, such as placemaking through performance, can deliver new approaches to place-based service design and facilitate the feeling of togetherness. We consider whether affordances in the natural environment can be used for co-creating design as well as the impact they can have on individuals and communities. This paper proposes placemaking as a place-specific approach to service design that can enable the use of reflexivity, knowledge-sharing and pluriversal epistemology towards non-humans, including plants and encompassing environments. In addition, we discuss how placemaking approaches can help identify place-related values, such as nature and culture, as well as their impact on service design. Our empirical material consists of two artistic and place-based case studies that included performative placemaking experiments in Finnish Lapland. In the artistic processes examined in this paper, placemaking provides channels for storytelling and stakeholder engagement to create a personal understanding of a place.