Well, in that I was honored to be the first guest at what will hopefully become 31Volts’ long standing tradition of “Please pass the Service Design” lunches.
In all other ways, I’m number 9, but that’s a different story.
This was not some elitist, formal event where people pass judgment as easy as they pass the condiments. It was about sharing ideas, stories and…toasties. And the same way Service Design touches pretty much everything, so did the subjects that came up. For example, I would have thought Danish bicycles that use leather straps for seats would be something purely for fetishists. Not so it seems!
This lunch was a direct reflection of 31Volts themselves: Down to earth…and good!
You may be confused when you first arrive, as there is no snotty receptionist on the white-washed, designer furniture-laden second floor of some pompous canal-house. Instead there is a gate. But as soon as you call, you are warmly greeted in person and directed in. Word of advice: Unless you want to wander around the outskirts of Utrecht looking for a payphone or negotiate the pointy gate, make sure your mobile is charged.
As you enter the building you see sculptures and pottery in the windows as you pass. This is the haven of artists and creativity where 31Volts lives. And in their corner of this complex, 4 people very passionate about Service Design. It’s the difference between going to a glitzy, polished auto dealer who simply wants to sell cars to going to a mechanic who loves them; work being done with care, tools all about and total immersion in the machine.
These guys are covered in Service Design grease! And it’s hard not to get some on you after meeting with them.
So how do you get in on all this? Just ask, show up…and don’t hog all the Nutella!