Sustainable Service Design

Project Lead | Köln International School of DesignUniversity of the AegeanLancaster UniversityDelft University of Technology
Client | City Council Syros (Greece)
Responsible for | Actors Map, User Interviews, Service evidencing, Storyboarding, Service Role-play
Project type | Erasmus international programme


Sustainability is not a goal. The project’s aim was to develop ideas and rationale and to visualise ‘Sustainability’ as a way of being and acting in the world now – in terms of how we live and its implications.

Our teams vision is to ban water plastic bottle from the island Syros by 2020 and achieve a reduction of 50% until 2015. To achieve these goals we need to ensure trust and inform people about the quality of water and therefore create a self-sustaining system for potable water.

The water warriors is a fictitious non governmental organization that aims to support the transition to a plastic bottle free environment on Syros, Greece. We designed a service that should support our mission and enable the inhabitants and tourists coming to the island to actively taking part in the process. A water warrior kit is given to everyone entering and living on the island. It includes a recyclable water flask, an information sheet on the project and a map showing all water refill stations on the island. These means provide everyone with an alternative, easy and cheap access to fresh portable water without using plastic bottles.


Susan is a 26 years old British freelance photographer. Due to her profession Susan travels a lot and is always interested in new exciting experiences. She is now visiting her friend Maria on Syros. The island just recently started a project to ban plastic water bottles.


Before Susan was allowed to leave the ferry to enter Syros she had to undergo a plastic bottle control ensuring she does not bring any additional plastic bottles onto the island. While striped off her water bottle she was given the SYROS WELCOME KIT.


The kit is given to tourists and inhabitants and includes a foldable, indestructible but still easy compostable light weight water container made out of a new waterproof paper which was developed in a cooperation of really smart and clever design students from TU Delft and the Aegean University.

After arrival Susan spots immediately a poster advertising mysterious water points. Maria takes Susan to her place to relieve her of her luggage.

Since it´s still early afternoon they decide to do a little field trip ´cause Maria wants to show Susan the beautiful island.

In preparation for their trip they go to the supermarket to get some snacks and Susan hopes to be able to buy a new bottle of water like she´s used to. Surprisingly she can´t buy any bottled water in the supermarket.

Instead Maria reminds her of her new light weight container and shows her the water point in front of the shop where Susan can fill her water container for €0,20 per liter.



Equipped with everything they need they start the trip.


After two more refill stops and many hiked kilometers they find a taverna and settle for dinner with traditional delicious greek food and wine.


Susan is quiet happy to learn from Maria that since the plastic water bottle ban was released all restaurants on the island only serve spring water in glass pitchers.


Unfortunately Susan has to leave Syros the next day and Maria accompanies her to the port. There Susan has the choice of returning her complete SYROS KIT for reuse or, if she decides to keep it, to pay for it.



Susan leaves Syros with a good feeling and is looking forward to tell her friends about the first step about the plastic water bottle free island.