One of the thrills of my working year in 2004 was helping a UK team develop the concept and business plan for a new service design institute in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – my home town. One North East, a UK regional development authority, is nurturing a post-coal, post-iron, post-shipbuilding economy with great flair. The Design Innovation Research Centre (DIEC) will play a pivotal role in the next phase of ONE’s plans. Part grad school, part project organization, DIEC will be an actor, not an observer, in the region’s service economy. A seminar in May will focus on four DIEC service design pilot projects, based on real-world situations, that are paving the way for the institute itself: they include an ‘Airport Of Tomorrow’ a National Health Service hospital. May 19 2005 15.30h BALTIC, Level 1 Performance Space, Gateshead. For a ticket to ther seminar contact:, or