No matter what you study, you will finally get to work in practice. An internship gives you a look into the future world of work. It is a suitable way to explore the professional field, to put theory into practice and to gain insight into your own qualities and shortcomings. At the end of an internship, you know more about your own capacities, wishes and ambitions.

The students of Space & Service Design have been given the opportunity to do an internship in the second semester in different agencies of their choice. Are you curious about their stories and experiences then this article is a must to read!


A while ago we started with Space & Service Design on a new design challenge on ‘mindful tourism experiences’ for museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent for people with mental disabilities. The focus on accessibility in public spaces immediately drew my attention, which is why I wanted to do an internship on ‘universal design’. This brought me to Sien Depoortere, a clinical psychologist and the person behind Tourism for Aiutism.

Tourism for Autism aims for a world in which people with autism can participate fully. They offer support to make the tourism sector accessible, structured, understandable, low-stimulus and therefore pleasant for people with autism.

During my internship, I created some visual tailor-made step-by-step guides for different tourist activities. These guides explain to the visitor what the activity is all about. The action is described from start to finish. In this way, the visitor knows what to expect from the experience. This is a form of pre-service that offers extra predictability to the visitors.

People love to go on holiday, but for some visitors it can be very overwhelming and stressful. In order to make this stay more pleasant, together with Sien we developed ‘een snoezelkoffer’. In this suitcase you can find tools for self-regulation, tactile input, tools to focus attention and support for body awareness. Also a small booklet that forms the common thread of the product is included. Of course, ‘snoezelkoffer’ can be used or ordered by anyone.

The whole experience with Tourism for Autism was very interesting and one I will never forget. Thank you Sien for constant support, feedback, patience and enthusiasm over the past months.


I began this internship with a huge desire to learn. Eight weeks later, I can definitely say it has been achieved.

The learning process involves getting out of the comfort zone. The first days I was faced with tasks I had never done before. Although it took me a while to adapt to them I was given full confidence from the beginning. Moreover, nowadays I can say that I know how to prepare a design sprint, adapt tools to the needs of my future clients and apply a methodology to achieve innovative solutions.

Thanks to the performed work of Carley and Saar, former students of the course, space and service design is very present in the company. Increasingly, The Argonauts are working from a user-centred point of view and a holistic approach. In the vast majority of the projects I have been working on, service design was involved in one way or another and it has allowed me to expand my professional knowledge in this area of expertise.

The internship with The Argonauts has been my first experience in a design agency and has helped me to get to know myself professionally. The company always gave me honest and transparent feedback, and this allowed me to discover my strengths and weaknesses. For the following work experience, I will be able to develop my virtues and improve my flaws, polishing details until I become the designer I aspire to be.

I would definitely recommend any future student to do the internship at The Argonauts.


My internship was one of kind! I had the opportunity to work as a Service Designer at “Radar”, a supportive platform that offers young artists advice, project guidance and space to stimulate their growth, founded and backed by the city of Mechelen.

“Radar” is not a design agency nor a service design office, and this at first made me a bit sceptical about my choice since I will not have an expert service designer as mentor to guide me during my internship. Nonetheless, this statement quickly changed, and I felt responsible of the way my internship will go, I get to decide what projects I should elaborate on, and try finding challenges and problems this organisation faces in order to solve them as a service designer. I was the owner of my decisions as if I am designing project(s) for a client! A real experience of the professional future field I look forward to.

During my 3 month a Radar I conducted several projects and designs, some were implemented and others where just proposals. From working on a project to improve the wayfinding and navigation inside the building and spaces, proposals for improving their online presence, an organisational system for improving a given space, to proposals for strengthening the communication between the users of “Radar”, all while using the SSD tools, testing and prototyping procedures for the projects, scoring board for best project to elaborate, and conducting workshops and interviews with the users of ‘RADAR”. I can say I accomplished a lot of useful stuff and looking back at it, I would have never worked and developed that much experience if I had my internship done at a normal design agency. Not to forget all the people I got to meet and built connection with, my network grew as much as my experience!I have never stopped going back to “Radar” every once in a while just for a quick chat with my supervisor Koen and the many friends I made.


During my internship at iO digitals, I had the opportunity to learn about the concepts of physical wayfinding. It was a topic that the strategy team didn’t yet have much knowledge about, ass it is a company that mainly focuses on digital strategy. For some time, it has been getting more frequently requested by the client to also think about physical touch-points to support the digital ones.

I focused mainly on how we can optimise our approach internally when it comes to physical wayfinding projects. This is where I found out that there was no unique approach used yet. This resulted in optimizing the strategy team’s approach across the board and not just wayfinding projects per se.

I summarised all the information in an essay and a list of 10 commandments to communicate my research in an accessible way.


I really enjoyed my internship at Absintt. Orlando and the team welcomed me to their beautiful office in Antwerp and made me part of the team right away. I had the opportunity to work on multiple interesting projects and assist the team in the early stages of development. During my internship I was responsible for researching new opportunities and developing concepts to pitch to the client.

At Absintt I was able to further develop my design skills and discover my passions. I always had an interest in innovation and at Absintt I was able to do this for real projects. Market research, function mapping and concept visualization were all tasks I loved to do. During these six weeks I learned a lot about pitching projects to clients. Every client expects a different type of pitch. Some are more focused on the technical aspects but others are more interested in the marketing and value proposition of the concepts we present. This is something you won’t learn in school but is extremely valuable to be a successful designer.

During this internship I felt like I really had my role in the team. I was able to pitch my research findings and brainstorm together with the designers to make the best possible product for our clients. I am also very thankful for all the tips and tricks that I received from the entire team. This is what set my internship at Absintt apart from all the other experiences I had.


In my application for the course Space & Service Design I wrote that I was fascinated about going to Africa to share knowledge about design and do my part on improving as much as I can. Just a few months later I travelled to Windhoek, Namibia to pursue this goal and to start my internship at Penduka Development Trust.

My internship at Penduka was mainly about transferring knowledge. Penduka is an organisation that stands up for the rights of women in less developed areas. In the first weeks I mainly focused on building a playground that was inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals. These are goals designed to improve the world by 2030. The reason the playground is based on this is because it is important that children learn about it from an early age. That way, the goals are more self-evident as they get older.

When the construction of the playground came to an end, I started thinking about how we could apply the SDGs even more at Penduka. Because I noticed that they were already unconsciously working on sustainability, I started linking all locations and I developed a treasure hunt in which children are asked questions about all Goals. Children learn more when they are playing so this is the perfect combination. A few examples of the treasure hunt locations are the vegetable garden, the solar oven, the production spaces and the playground itself.

I think the most important thing I learned from this experience is to not take everything for granted. We should appreciate our living conditions more in first world countries and not complain about the little things.


Due to the diverse spectrum of design areas and approaches to solve design challenges, an internship at Achilles Design gave me a good overview of the field and the first taste of designer work. I was able to try myself in a variety of new directions and understand what are my strengths and weaknesses as well as it helped me to realise what kind of tasks I would like to do in the future. During the internship period the biggest challenge for me was the speed of work and now if I evaluate my work I would say that I could do better. It happened also because of the lack of experience and because I needed some time to adapt my skills in order to be able to deliver who was expected.Internship at Achilles Design also helped me to see different types of alternative ways of tackling one problem.Despite all the challenges I faced within a few months at the internship, now when I look back, I think that Achilles Design was the best option for me. It was a priceless experience of working in a design agency and feeling as a part of high class professionals of their kind.


With my background in architecture and urban planning I was looking forward to start my internship at Endeavour. An office specialised in socio-spatial research and governmental process facilitation. During the 24 days of my internship I got a closer look at Endeavour’s operations, their portfolio of projects and expertise. I enjoyed my tasks and the supportive environment that was created by my colleagues. From day one I was given responsibilities as I conducted interviews and visited a case study building in Ghent. I was involved in four projects, of which two where more theoretical studies while the other two projects had a focus on practical service design methods such as the use of co-creative brainstorm tools. The first project I was involved in was about the impact of the Covid-pandemic on the use of space in Flanders. Most of the tools and methods I used during these studies were interviews and literature studies. As part of a second project I supported the preparation of a physical workshop for the municipality of Beverlo. I enjoyed the contact I had with clients/governments and the support of my colleagues.


It seems like it was just yesterday when I was introduced to the Dr. Guislain museum team, a very kind and welcoming team may I add. Proof of this kindness was the museum offering me a place to stay for duration of my internship (it was cut short and only ended up being for two weeks as they gave the apartment to the Ukrainian refugees, more proof of their generosity).

My task at the museum was to prototype an interactive multilayered and simplified map, aimed to help the mentally impaired navigate the museum easier. From the first day it was fully steam ahead! I was working on: interviews, running tests, journaling EVERYTHING, eventually 3D modelling, iterating and prototyping.

A great experience, surrounded by great people. I learnt a lot about myself and about product design, all while polishing up my dutch skills! As my first 9-5 professional experience, the museum has set a precedent on how my professional career may look… We will see.


I first came in contact with Achilles Design through our teacher and design mentor Tom Verbist. His pitching & presentation skills and experience in the field really impressed me. I was very excited to hear that Achilles Design was looking for a team of two interns with complementary skills to work on diverse service projects. My SSD colleague Elena Kiannu, joined forces and we immediately decided to take this opportunity.

On Achilles’ website, I saw that a lot of projects were about more than just making ‘beautiful things’ but were going deeper and making sure that a positive customer experience was prioritised. This was something I was eager to learn more about.

I enjoyed working on different projects during these 2,5 months. This way, I could experience what it is like to work with various people with different expertise and get to know them a little bit better and the work they bring into the project.Space and service design was totally new for me at the beginning of this school year, I did not know anything about it. The opportunity to do my internship at Achilles design showed me what space and service design work really encounters.

I was able to pitch my research findings/ design concepts and brainstorm together with the Achilles team members to make the best possible product/ service for our clients.Besides that, I learned that you should be able to explain your work in a structured, simple and clear way. Almost every time we had a feedback meeting together, we had the opportunity to exercise this skill. I am glad we did because now I feel that I am becoming more confident in explaining my ideas to other people. Creating an overview for your clients is another important aspect I have learned during this internship. By showing more than just one solution and using different parameters to present I was able to ground my recommendation for the best solution based on research and scores.

After this internship, I feel that I have grown both personally and professionally.


During the first semester, the school gives us a list of suggested companies and agencies to contact for our next semester internship. Although the agency I had my internship wasn’t on that list, but the word “Up-cycling” drew my attention. Therefore, I dug deeper in the companies on the list and I did my own research for more options. While doing my online research, The Circular Agency was one agency that I admired their style of projects and the variety of tasks they do. As a service designer I was very ambitious to work there and make an impact, and to learn from this new sector a lot to add on my experience list. Also, with my background as an architect, I have always learned about up-cycling and circularity, but I had never had the chance to see how the theory is applicable in real-life projects where ” I am sexy and I know it”. In addition, I am an international student applying for a designing agency, so it was really important to me that the language isn’t going to be an obstacle or a crackdown. So, after I applied, I did an interview with Evy, and she told me more about the agency, their type of work and project, their workspace. And what attracted me the most to accept this internship is the variety of the team with not only contains people in the designing field, but also from others such as marketing, accounting, law… This variety is almost the same that I, as a service designer, looks for in my future team in order to deliver more accurate project that reflect the reality and the current situation more.So, I am convinced this will be a fulfilling experience. I would like to experiment a different approach and perspectives, and learn new skills. Furthermore, I strongly believe this would be a great opportunity to immerse myself into the Belgian working field.