RSD3 2014

Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2014 Symposium Proceedings

Editors: Birger Sevaldson and Peter Jones

Citation: Author. (2014). Article title. In Proceedings of RSD3, Third Symposium of Relating Systems Thinking to Design. Oslo, Norway: Oslo School of Architecture and Design, October 15-17, 2014.

Published by The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

ISBN: 978-82-547-0263-5

The third Oslo symposium engaged over 200 participants and over 50 authors, and we found a much broader range of contributions across related fields of design and systemics.  The 5 keynote speakers established a significant presence for the field, “relating” from both the systems and design disciplines.

The emerging renaissance of systems thinking in design responds to the increasing complexity in all challenges faced by designers, strategists, and transdisciplinary innovators. We are facing deeply entangled problematics in natural, social, economic, and political systems. Our professional and organizational worlds have become too complex for linear goal-driven management, and the solution of conventional design thinking is insufficient to address complexity across domains, scales, and networks. New thinking, new knowledge, and new forms of intervention are required to take on this web of interconnected challenges.

The core planning team of the RSD symposia established the Systemic Design Research Network organized as a collaborative research group shared between AHO and OCAD University and independent researchers.  Last year Peter Jones also initiated a Systemic Design track and interest group at the Washington ISSS conference, which continues into 2015 with the Berlin conference. European participants of RSD3 might be encouraged to know that we are planning a one-day special track for ISSS Berlin, preceding the conference.

Papers and presentations were organized for the following themes:

  • Social Design
  • Education
  • Service Design and Design for Public Services
  • Theories and Methods of Systemic Design
  • Business and Enterprise Design, Sustainability and Economic Policy
  • The Built Environment
  • Systems Oriented Design
These proceedings are the result of a dialogue and discursive process within the community of practice, more than that of a traditional scientific publication process. The process contains five steps, creating long term engagement, low entry threshold as well as high level final output:
1) the submission and peer reviewing of abstracts,
2) the presentations and dialogues at the RSD3 symposium,
3) the postproduction and submission of a working papers,
4) the publication of the symposium proceedings with AHO as publisher
5) the publication of selected fully developed and peer reviewed scientific papers in an external publishing channel.
This process was tested with RSD2 and worked very well resulting in two special issues of the scientific design research journal FORMakademisk.
RSD3 is following the same process with fully developed and peer reviewed selected publications in a new speciall issue of FORMakademisk and a volume of collected papers on Systemic Design for the Springer series in Translational System Sciences.

In addition to the originally submitted abstracts the RSD3 proceedings contains the working papers and presentations. These were submitted after the symposium by most, but not, all authors. Special thanks to Patricia Kambitsch of Playthink and Daniela Olsen for the sketchnotes.

The proceedings are published online only as open access documents. All copyrights belong to the authors.

Editorial Board: Birger Sevaldson, Peter Jones, Harold Nelson, Alex Ryan, Linda Blaasvær, Manuela Aguirre



Keynotes and Plenaries

  • Birger Sevaldson, RSD3 Chair – Opening
  • Ranulph Glanville, Opening Keynote
  • Daniela Sangiorgi, Keynote
  • John Thackara, Keynote
  • Peter Jones, RSD3 Co-Chair – Opening Friday
  • Michael Hensel, Keynote
  • Harold Nelson, Keynote
  • Hugh Dubberly, Closing Keynote



Symposium Proceedings (Link to Abstracts, Presentations and Papers)

1. Social Design

Bhaskar Bhatt. Saving Lives, By Design: Using Systems Thinking To Combat Maternal Mortality In India

Ana Laura Rodrigues Santos, Jairo Da Costa Junior and Linda Wauben. Designing products and services for challenging societal contexts

Matthew Hollingshead and Josina Vink. Now and Then: Co-Designing Systems Smart Enough for the Future

Theresa Berg, Suvi Kajamaa and Claudia Garduño García. Benefits of Design Practice in Fieldwork: How ‘Artesanía para el Bienestar’ emerged in the field as a concept to Improve access to Healthcare in a Mayan Community in Campeche, Mexico

Sine Celik, Peter Joore and Han Brezet. Facilitating Creative Networks

Doaa El Aidi. Analyzing, Projecting and Synthesizing Real-World Problem from a designer perspective: Exploratory study to tackle poverty in Egypt


2.  Education

Patricia Beirne. Wicked Design 101: teaching to the complexity of our times

Jenny Darzentas and John Darzentas. Accelerating learning and adaptation at organizational and societal scales: really adopting Design for All

Peter Joore, Ron Barendsen and Roelien Bos-Wierda. MySchoolsNetwork – Online educational platform explained by means of a multilevel design approach


3.   Service Design and Design for Public Services

Deaunne Denmark and Danielle Olson. A communications canvas to improve and individualize patient engagement in healthcare systems redesign

Hans Kaspar Hugentobler. Design Science in Health Care: co-designing an optimized patient pathway at a gynecological clinic of a large hospital in Switzerland.

Keren Perla. The Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige: Re-imagining facilitation through trials of systemic design for public policy

Manuela Aguirre and Adrian Paulsen. Supporting ‘User-Driven Innovation Teams’ among Public Servants and Healthcare Professionals

Marc Matthews, Allison Matthews, Rose Anderson, Jo Bernau and Lorna Ross. Reevaluating the value of Primary Care using Design Thinking

Karen Oikonen, Adam Starkman, Peter Jones and Andrea Yip. Human-Centering a Mental Health Service System

John Darzentas and Jenny Darzentas. Systems Thinking for Service Design: a natural partnership

Helena Polati Trippe. The Home as a Service: A service and systems design approach to ownership, development and value

David Ing. Incubating Service Systems Thinking: New frames for collaborating on a pattern language for service systems


4.  Theories and Methods of Systemic Design

Tim Sheiner. From Systems to Software.

Perin Ruttonsha. The Many Faces of Design: From Adaptive Response to Creative Agency to Reflective Engagement

Cameron Tonkinwise and Joshua Bloom. Staging Systems to Feel Round the Corners of Transition Design

Zachary Kaiser and Gabriel Schaffzin. Designing for our New Scale: A Provocation 

Liv Merete Nielsen, Petter Naess, Janne Beate Reitan, Ingvild Digranes, Arild Berg and Ingvill Gjerdrum Maus. Design Literacy – from primary education to university level

Alfred Clatworthy Holmen and Thomas Jun. How easily understandable complex multi-layered system maps are? – A study on the usability of complex interactive diagrams

Peter Jones, Design Methods for Systemic Design Research


5.  Business and Enterprise Design, Sustainability and Economic Policy

Ryan Church, Ksenia Benifand & Nihal Ahmed. Reimagining the Future: The Biomimetic Economy

Peter Jones. Caring for the Future: The Systemic Design of Flourishing Enterprises

Carolin Kowollik & Wolfgang Jonas. Clashing cultures – a systemic examination of onboard and destination cultures in cruise tourism

Alex Ryan & Michael Dila. Disruptive Innovation Reframed: Insurgent Design for Systemic Transformation

Merlina Missimer, Karl-Henrik Robèrt & Göran Broman. Lessons from the field: A first evaluation of working with the elaborated social dimension of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development

Ian Percy & Brita Nielsen. Sustainable integration in Norway: A social system’s design approach


6.  The Built Environment

Perin Ruttonsha. Return to the (Managed) Wild: Interpreting Human Settlements as “Designer Ecosystems”

Marie Davidová. Generating the Design Process with GIGA-map: The Development of the Loop Pavilion

Serena Pollastri. Drawing Things Together. Diagrams for the Design of Scenarios of Future Liveable Cities

Tim Tompson. Designing towards the leverage points in an open innovation project for digital urban transport interventions

Mahaan Ghose and Praveen Nahar.  ACCESSCITY — A Systems Enquiry & Response on Urban Transport in Indian Megacities

Jasmine S Palmer.  Network mapping of housing systems: the case of medium-density dwelling design in Australia.


7.   Systems Oriented Design

Birger Sevaldson. Holistic and Dynamic Concepts in Design

Cathrine Einarsson. Designing for Acute Psychiatric Care –– in a learning process of systems oriented design

Linda Natalia Tunheim. Designing for Health at Sea

Benedicte Wildhagen.  Strategy is the solution – but what is the problem?

Jonathan Romm and Adrian Paulsen. Professional application of Systems Oriented Design: Developments in practice

Manuela Aguirre and Adrian Paulsen Using material properties to understand and shape relationships in public and social services.



  • Praveen Nahar and Mahaan Ghose        
    Wicked issues to Wicked Opportunities: One day workshop on System Design response to complex problems
  • Peter Jones     
    Co-creating a Systemic Design Methodology: How do we study systemics as design research?
  • Manuela Aguirre and Adrian Paulsen     
    Supporting ‘User-Driven Innovation Teams’ among Public Servants and Healthcare Professionals
  • Hugh Dubberly               
    On Teaching Systems in the Context of Design.
  • Birger Sevaldson      
    Gigamapping workshop