Systemic Design Methods and Methodology

Prototyping as a resource to investigate future states of the system.
Juan de La Rosa and Karolina Kohler
Wednesday 15:30. Room A3.
Design model
Design research
Future design
Design disciplines naturally search to solve ill-defined or wicked problems (Rittel & Webber, 1973). Current design process and practices show that design objects are usually part of a network of different actors (Latour, 1990) that interact between each other. Therefore, even when analyzing simple cases, designers will seek to increase uncertainty to reveal the complexity of the system that contains the case of study. This process of scope and observation of macro and micro scale details can be identified as a problem of scale and resolution of complex systems (Arenas, et al, 2008), and can help us defined the nature of design problems as systemic by nature. 
Even though the lenses provided by the General Systems Theory (Bertalanffy & Rapoport, 1956), have been profoundly helpful for designers to recognize and map complexity of the current systems where the problems are situated, the futuristic nature of design that seeks for the definition of the not-yet-existing requires the production of new models that can help us map and investigate future states of the systems once the designed artefacts have been incorporated to them. 
This paper discusses the opportunity to use prototypes as argumentative and conversational objects (Galey & Ruecker, 2010) that are designed, not to validate a pre-established idea, but as probing instruments that uses the distance between them and the users (Simondon, 1958; Latour, 1990; Akrich, 1992) and the new affordances defined by the users to reveal possible complex future interactions that may be established and the possible transformations of the socio-technical system. 
With the analysis of two case studies that recognized the ability of objects to create a better understanding of the possible futures that are created by their interaction and produce a map of the structure of those possible futures (Voros, 2003). Later, we use the Analysis & Synthesis reframe model (Alexander, 1964) and the Divergence & Convergence model (Banathy, 1996) to produce a new initial procedural model that presents an iterative deployment of displaced prototypes on the periphery of the object of study, that could be used to produce a map of the structure of the plausible and preferable states of the system. References (abstract) Akrich, M. (1992) The de-scription of technical objects. In BIJKER, W. E., & LAW, J. (eds.) Shaping technology/building society: Studies in sociotechnical change. MIT press. 
Alexander, C. (1964) Notes on the Synthesis of Form. Harvard University Press. 
Arenas, A., Fernandez, A., & Gomez, S. (2008). Analysis of the structure of complex networks at different resolution levels. New Journal of Physics, 10(5), 053039. 
Banathy, B. A. (1996). Information‐based design of social systems. Behavioral Science, 41(2). 
Von Bertalanffy, L., & Rapoport, A. (1956). General systems. Yearbook of the society for the Advancement of General System Theory, 1, 1-10. 
Galey, A., & Ruecker, S. (2010) How a prototype argues. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 25(4). 
Latour, B. (1990) Technology is society made durable. The Sociological Review, 38(S1). 
Simondon, G. (1958). Du mode d’existence des objets techniques: thèse complémentaire pour le doctorat ès lettres présentée à la Faculté des Lettres de l’Université de Paris (Doctoral dissertation). 
Rittel, H. W., & Webber, M. M. (1973). 2.3 planning problems are wicked. Polity, 4, 155-169. 
Voros, J. (2003). A generic foresight process framework. foresight, 5(3), 10-21.


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Capacity Building Through Community Building: The Story of the Systemic Design eXchange.

Brent Wellsch, Roya Damabi, Ben Weinlick and Aleeya Velj

Wednesday 16:00. Room A3.

Systemic Design
Capacity Building
Community Building
Reflective Practice
Community of Practice
Flourishing Community

This paper profiles the learning journey and emergence of the Systemic Design eXchange (SDX): a community of practice based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada seeking to build cross-sectoral capacity (e.g. private sector, public sector, not-for-profit sector, etc.) in the discipline of systemic design. SDX launched in December 2015 and has been stewarded through a collaborative partnership between two innovation labs from different walks of life: the Government of Alberta CoLab and the Skills Society Action Lab. 

SDX currently features a membership base of more than 350 leaders from diverse sectors who gather on a bi-monthly basis. SDX has a bias towards learning by doing and aims to be a gathering place where multiple sectors can come together, learn about, and explore systemic design. 

Theory around communities of practice has driven the evolution of SDX. The notion of a community of practice was developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (Lave and Wenger 1991; Wenger 2000) as the basis of a social theory of learning. What characterizes a community of practice is that it is a social grouping bound by an inherent shared interest in co-developing capacity in a common practice. Beyond this, communities of practice typically engage in efforts dedicated towards developing shared meaning over time (i.e., mutual sense-making), both about the practice they are exploring, as well as the broader environment and context that the practice seeks to interface with. 

SDX demonstrates the power of using a community of practice approach to collectively explore systemic design and catalyze the adoption of systemic design as a methodology, toolkit, and mindset for tackling complex challenges. 

SDX does this by bringing together a diverse group of people, enabling participants to create a shared theory of change around how systemic design can further both incremental and transformative social innovation, and by enabling participants to explore the connection between systemic design and other emerging (and more traditional) change practices. At an individual level, SDX encourages and supports members (SDXers) to work with reflective practice and aims to bridge personal and collective approaches to change. 

To facilitate learning, SDX adopts a multi-pronged approach: 
• SDX invites innovators to present their stories of how they have applied systemic design to a complex challenge and offer insights about what they have learned. 
• SDX enables new collaborations to form. This has led to spin-off efforts that have applied systemic design to various complex challenges. 
• SDX seeks to understand the personal experiences of its community members to appreciate the opportunities and barriers each are facing in applying systemic design in their own contexts. This helps to generate empathy for fellow community members and surface future areas of exploration for the community. 

By prioritizing experiential learning, SDX complements and bolsters the academic tradition that underpins the theory of systemic design. At the heart of the systemic design ethos is an acknowledgement that the complex nature of the ‘wicked’ problems we seek to address requires not only systemic solutions, but an intersectoral approach that is systemic in terms of the membership of the change agent team itself. 

While simple in theory, creating the conditions for genuine cross-sectoral learning and collaboration to emerge can be difficult to accomplish. However, the design of SDX offers effective principles for how to achieve this. A community of practice design is enabling SDX to break down siloes and generate a sense of common identity amongst its membership. In short, this is uniting a flourishing community of practitioners in their shared purpose around addressing and creating positive systemic change through the application of systemic design. 

To conclude, the authors seek to contribute to the dialogue at the upcoming Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium by chronicling harvested insights concerning how a community of practice approach can serve as a promising model for practically disseminating awareness and knowledge of, confidence in using, and united conviction towards the adoption of systemic design for addressing complex challenges.

Storytelling as a driver for policy developments.
Hilde Opoku and Kristin Støren Wigum
Wednesday 16:30. Room A3.
Participatory design
Awareness for Change
System Oriented Design

The world situation today calls for new holistic approaches towards questions concerning the relation between human equality and maintenance of natural ecosystems that have fundamental consequences for further development of our global civilization (Meadows et al. 1972, 1992)(Hylland-Eriksen, 2014). This paper will discuss how global oriented art and artists can be a catalyst of value changes, through local experiences and storytelling. Does art play a role in the shaping of politics and future systems design? 
Storytelling is a common goal and tool of the different professions mentioned. However, what stories do we want to tell, how can we become able hearing them, and where do the stories come from? 

Our western life style permeated by consumerism, has become global. Rituals, rhythms of the day, holidays, and activities in our spare time have become costly affairs. Designers have used their skills together with production companies and advertising industry, to give shape to everyday things as trendy products that must be exchanged regularly. Status is not what you have as such, but having the right product at the right time (Dokk-Holm, 2001). The ideal designer working for a non-profit cause is rare. However, lately designers who are working in the intersection of art, architecture and design, have introduced the values of arts and crafts modernised by artistic methods and storytelling. Expression of local identity is shown through choices of local (raw)material and crafting methods. Slowly new – more sustainable solutions – seem to be emerging. 

Some important distinctions between a piece of art work and a designed product, are the designers focus on functionality, user perspectives, and criteria for mass production in an economic efficient way for a certain market, whereas the artists use their own experiences, perceptions of society and context in life to emphasize what they find important and valuable to visualise and talk about. 

It may seem as design education in Scandinavia and Europe is returning to more original organisational structures that bring design, art and architecture closer together, as intended described by the Bauhaus educational concept (Findeli, 1995). What potential has this constellation in context of wicked problems, related to social, ecological and economic sustainability, and globalisation of production and local place development to day? What values do artists bring into public debates of place development, or political decision making in general, promoting democratic processes? 

Participatory design is seen as crucial for successful design especially within service design. Dialogue and feedback from users of the new solutions is guiding the design team towards more appropriate concepts (Hannevig, Parker 2012). Artwork and art performance has its purpose to effect the audience. Often the viewer is meant to participate for a personal experience. New research is exploring more extensively the participation in material-based art work (Berg 2014). Berg points to the need of certain skills in order to reach the potential of public participation of art processes, such as how art may bring in a transformative social force to a place. 

This paper will explore the voice and force of artistic work and process as important channel for democratic change and contribution to new forceful stories for policy-making, awareness and inspiration for design for sustainable life-styles and society. The paper compares the works and approaches from an artist who has crossed the disciplines from design to art, emphasizing our manifold of resources, and an artist who tells the stories of products imported to his country Ghana, from Europe and industrialised cultures and how they now are literally woven into his daily surroundings. 

In a globalized communication structure we are now able to hear and see voices from all the continents and it is not necessarily pleasant stories that reach our own everyday life from abroad. How may this have an effect on new politics in Norway for sustainability? Through system oriented design methodology (Sevaldson et al, 2014) we look at the impact of contemporary artists on the conceptualization of product impact on culture, ecology and democracy.

Berg, Arild. (2014). Artistic Research in Public Space, Participation in Material-based Art. Aalto University publication series, Doctoral dissertation 33/2014. Finland, Helsinki: Unigrafia. ISBN-978-952-60-5601-2 

Dokk-Holm, Erling og Siri Meyer (red). (2001). Varene tar makten (trans. Eng. The commodities overtake the power). Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. Gjøvik: AIT Gjøvik AS. 

Findeli, Alain. (1995). “Moholy-Nagy’s Design Pedagogy in Chicago (1937-46)” , p.29-43, Margolin, Victor (editor). The Idea of design. Cambridge, Mass., USA: MIT Press. 

Hannevig, Lise and Marjorie Parker. (2012). Dialog. En praktisk veilder. (In Norwegian only. transl. Eng.: Dialouge. A guidebook for practice.) Finland, Porvoo: Bookwell OY. ISBN 978-82-92773-50-5 

Hylland Eriksen, Thomas. (2014). Globalization: The Key Concepts. (Second edition) Bloomsbury. London /(Norwegian: 2008) Globalisering: Åtte nøkkelbegreper. 

Meadows, Donna, Dennis Meadows and Jørgen Randers.(1972).The Limits to growth. USA: Universe Books. ISBN 0-87663-165-0 

Meadows, Donna, Dennis Meadows and Jørgen Randers. (1992). Beyond the limits. Confronting Global Collapse. Envisioning a Sustainable Future. USA: Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN- 0-930031-62-8 

Sevaldson B., Ryan A. Eds. (2014) Relating Systems Thinking and Design 1. Practical Advances in Systemic design, Formakademisk Vol 7, No 3, Oslo


Putting the horse in front of the wagon: how a multi-contextual design space successfully addresses complex challenge.

Wouter Kersten, Jan Carel Diehl and Jo van Engelen

Thursday 11:00. Room A3.

context variation
rich design space
What’s going on? 
We observe that designers who want to address complex issues are currently often falling for the temptation to fight this complexity with simplification. They acknowledge that there are differences between contexts (e.g. user groups, countries) and to address this, they zoom in on one specific context. This enables them to develop a solution that works in that specific context. After this has been achieved they start working on variations for new contexts. This strategy may look appealing, but seems to satisfy a desire for management control rather than address a real life issue. Complex situations seem complex for a reason: reality is complex. Simplification by focusing on a beneficiary group in one context has several consequences which together clarify why it is the wrong response. We mention a few of these consequences: 
• Heads down design: Simplified issue analysis results in incomplete views, which is certain to result in limited quality of ‘solutions’. If at all useful then only for a limited group, a small part of the issue and/or a short duration in time. 
• Path dependency: Any next step to improve the starting solution will be a small variation on the first step, even if next steps, e.g. involving new beneficiary groups, in fact require a different way of looking at the situation and quite different ‘solutions’ 
• Early zooming reduces the solution space: Since complexity is characterised by many elements, and many interactions taking place, will severely reducing the number of connections lead to something meaningful? Can we think of an alternative? 
Alternatives are possible and several authors have provided thoughts on this. Below we list a representative while not exhaustive summary: 
• Accepting the reality of contemporary society being complex is the first step in enabling yourself to deal with it: “fight complexity with complexity” (Stacey, 1996) 
• Move beyond simply putting (human) users central as the solution, but apply more systemic thinking throughout (Jones, 2014) 
• Information that is novel to you, i.e. enriches your overall view, is more likely to reside at or over the edge of your network than in the centre (Sunstein and Hastie, 2015). 
• ‘Complex Adaptive Systems’ are able to adopt and evolve with changing circumstances which is arguably the most important characteristic to cope in a rapidly accelerating society (Friedman, 2016). 
• Especially when still in issue definition phase, consider the concept of (re)framing (Dorst, 2015), but refrain from being satisfied with just using that concept. Ask how reframing can be nudged in a direction that is likely to be useful. “Reframe!” is not a helpful guideline. We may need to provide better guidance on how to reframe to be able to address complex issues. One important element is that it requires multiple perspectives. In practice, involving different (types of) people to be able to actually reframe (Suen, 2015). 
• While moving from single-angle to collaborative inquiry is a good step, the move we really need to make is to shared inquiry, to arrive at true integration of multiple perspectives and in that process start seeing new emerging patterns (Nelson, 2014). 
• From research with junior designers it became apparent that to source inspiration that turns out to be relevant, this inspiration should neither be too close (i.e., too obvious) nor too far (i.e. really arbitrary) removed from the challenge at hand. (Gonçalves, 2016). However, they often do not get much guidance how they might achieve this. Can we combine these alternative thoughts? 
The above provides ingredients for a way forward when dealing with complex design challenges. We propose an approach and associated attitude that takes these thoughts one step further: Context Variation by Design (CVD). It combines four main principles to shape the analysis: systematic variation including of networks, hierarchical decomposition, satisficing and discursiveness. These principles interact and create a rich solution space that allows crucial connections to be revealed by avoiding early simplification. A central construct in this approach is to aim for multi-contextual richness of the design space. Richness as a design construct is a little researched area. Our work intends to change that because we feel it is key to addressing complexity. We elaborate elsewhere. What might this approach add for designers (and others)? 
What does CVD-thinking add to a designer’s arsenal? We argue that it adds this: recognising that in order to work with the multiformity of many challenges and allowing connections (hidden or otherwise) to be revealed, systemic principles need to be combined with early systematic variation. We consider our key message to be that instead of early simplification and late variation, we should reverse the dynamic: early systematic variation (products, markets, networks) and if still necessary save simplification for later, e.g. by starting implementation in one context first. Examples of what we can expect when we focus on richness of design spaces are: building in ‘doors’ for future requirements, realising that key requirements in one context are still desirable for other contexts and introducing connected multi-context business models. 

In summary 
When analysing and considering a complex societal challenge, draw facts, opinions and insights from multiple contexts into one design space to create a rich analysis of the possible issue, as basis for a platform for solution directions that as a whole cater for requirements from a range of different end-user environments. By approaching the challenge in this way, 
• One has direction for reframing (preventing too one sided formulation of the challenge), enriching the concept of Dorst. 
• One can use systemic design principles combined with a practical issue, connecting to the work of Jones. 
• One has guidance on whom to involve in a shared inquiry, enabling Suen’s ideas, 
• One has guidance on where to source inspiration, building on Gonçalves’ work and giving direction on how to decide where to look. 
• One creates a design space from which contextual adaptations will be easier to accomplish, addressing worries by Friedman. 
• One creates more space for integrated pictures and emergence (Stacey, Nelson) with lower risks of heads down design (Meyerson) and of path dependencies based on early simplifications (Jones)

Sustainable System Design.
Andres Pineda, Ulrik Jørgensen and Erik Hagelskjær Lauridsen
Thursday 11:30. Room A3. 
system design

In this paper we present the motivation, rationale and methodological outline of a framework for designing sustainable systems. The proposal builds on a discussion that draws on literature from the fields of: Sustainable Transitions, which claims that the necessary transformations of our modern technological systems require paradigm shifts and thus systemic change; Design, which have enriched the scope, scale, and character of objects of design overcoming the limited focus on products to embrace service systems, social innovation and transition design (Irwin, 2015); systemic thinking which has taken up the challenge and need to support design projects at different levels (Ryan, 2014); and socio-technical change, that has contributed with widely adopted theories and methods to analyse technologies in context as socio-technical networks (Latour, 2005). The result is a three stage meta-methodology that guides the collaborative process of designing new mid-range systems like local energy systems, neighbourhood recycling systems and cycles of circular economy for products. We will illustrate the analysis with the presentation of four exemplary projects from students where different aspects of systemic change are salient: inter-systemic dynamics (Blåvoulevard, 2015; Affasldsystem AFK, 2016); intra-systemic dynamics (Energi Sydhavenen, 2016) and circular economy (Ikea, 2016). These projects are developed by students at the 5th semester of the BSc Sustainable Design Engineering, however the aspects discussed here on system design are relevant for the whole education and for the MSc in Sustainable Design Engineering. 

Irwin, T. (2015). Transition design: A proposal for a new area of design practice, study, and research. Design and Culture, 7(2), 229-246. 

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford university press. 

Ryan, A. (2014). A Fram



The power of trust and motivation in a designing social system.

Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer

Thursday 12:00. Room A3.

social systems
social design
design expertise
design relationships
design management

The world is increasingly faced with open, complex, dynamic and networked problems (Dorst, 2015), which result from a highly connected world (Manzini, 2015). Over the past decade, many have turned to design practice to address these problems, which has led to promising results, but at the same time has also revealed many challenges and constraints. For example, designers have been critiqued for failing to successfully implement ideas (Mulgan, 2014; Norman & Stappers, 2015). 

In this paper I take a social systems view of design. Traditionally, design has been described as a social process within a design team (Badke-Schaub, Neumann, Lauche, & Mohammed, 2007; Dorst, 2006). However, the application of design in addressing complex issues has moved design beyond the boundaries of the design team, to what Manzini (2015) calls ‘designing networks’: a distribution of design processes among numerous actors who differ in culture, motivation, and professional development. As such, designing becomes part of a social system. 

A social system is a whole that cannot be divided into independent parts, and within this system both the parts – human beings – and whole are purposeful (Ackoff & Emery, 1972). Social systems theory focuses on the relationships between people (Stacey, 2006). A social systems view of designing could provide support for the development of successful design strategies for complex social problems. To achieve this we need a better understanding of the people and the way they relate to each other in a ‘designing social system’. 

In this paper I will explore the roles of the human beings that are part of a designing social system, and the way the relationships between these people can be characterised and shaped. The successful application of design requires at least the following capabilities: 
• Decision making about investment in design processes and implementation of outcomes 
• Design expertise, ranging from novice or naïve to expert or visionary (Lawson & Dorst, 2009; Nelson & Stolterman, 2012) 
• Domain expertise about the problem space and feasibility of implementation of solutions. 
In a complex social system these roles are distributed over multiple people within different stakeholder groups such as the design team, funders, service deliverers, end-users and service organisations. 
To develop an understanding of design within social systems we conducted five case studies of contemporary social innovation agencies in Europe, North America, and Australia. The case studies show design practices in relation to different levels of expertise and impact: 
• Local level design: design practitioners who design and implement interventions locally, for example service deliverers: they have a basic level design expertise, high level of domain knowledge, and agency to make decisions within their local context. 
• Systems level design: design practitioners with high-level design expertise who rely on interactions with domain experts and decision-makers to develop initiatives that create change on a systems level. 

The relationships between the people who played a design role in the case studies were explored through phenomenological themes, which describe the structure of the lived experience of the people who participate in the design process (van Manen, 1990). The case studies showed that the themes of trust and intrinsic motivation played a key role in shaping the relationships within the designing social systems, and through that in the success of the investigated projects. 

On a systems level, trust played an important role in the relationship between decision-makers and expert designers in all five case studies. Trust was essential as designing on a systems level can be a very uncomfortable and uncertain process. This trust was achieved in different ways across the case studies through building long-term relationships, building credibility, and a carefully designed open and participative communication process. 
On a local level, trust was key in the relationship between decision-makers and the local designers/ domain experts. In those cases where decision-makers provided domain experts with the agency and capability to design initiatives for their own practices, a high level of trust was experienced mutually. In one case study this level of trust was achieved through the design of what I have previously called a ‘social infrastructure’ (Author, 2016), a structured way of connecting and empowering people to incrementally improve their service. 

Intrinsic motivation drove people in the designing social system to make a difference. The themes that are related to intrinsic motivation are described by (Pink, 2009) as mastery, purpose, and autonomy. 
Mastery (or growth): opportunities to learn drive people’s motivation to contribute. All case studies included capability building of decision-makers and domain experts, through training or active participation in the project. The relationship between growth and motivation is reciprocal: the learning opportunity drives motivation, and motivation is essential for learning. 
Purpose: all participants wanted to make a difference. Purpose-driven decision-makers played an important role in each of the client organisations in making sure that the design process and design outcomes were implemented. To maintain a sense of purpose decision makers were involved in design, which allowed them to see what the impact was of their decisions. 
Autonomy (or agency): being able to implement your own design is highly motivating. In one of the case studies service deliverers were provided with the agency and capability to redesign their own practice, which had a profound impact on their mindset and how they experienced their work. 

Current ways of problem solving fail to address the dynamic and networked nature of problems. Problems are often addressed in a rational and top-down controlled manner, resulting in slow processes, demotivated employees and service deliverers, passive end-users and sub-optimal solutions, which prevent successful implementation. In the view presented in this paper, people within a dynamically designing social system continuously design and redesign interventions on a local and systems level, supported by trusted relationships. A better understanding of the relationships between these people and their capabilities will contribute to the development of structures for organisations and networks in which people are empowered to make a difference through design.


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Systemic Design Approach on Water Management.
Dario Toso
Thursday 15:30. Room A3.
Systemic Design
Exclusion Zone

The here presented abstract examines how the adoption of the Systemic Design methodology has led to some interesting and unexpected results during the design process of an alternative water treatment for domestic purpose. 

The rapid evolution of the worldwide scenario, the climate change, biodiversity loss, resources depletion and rapid technological and social development called for a radical response from the design community. Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where an urgent change of route towards sustainability is inescapable. At the same time, the understanding of the raising complexity in natural and social systems, resulting by the discoveries occurred during the last century in Physics, Cybernetics, Biology, etc. made the reductionism view inadequate. 
Therefore, the Systemic Design (SD) methodology results as a supportive tool for helping the designer to look at the objective in its complexity and to organize all the actors of the project by giving them the ability to relate and evolve autonomously. 
As a consequence the individual parts of the system are intertwined, forming a virtuous network (autopoietic) of relations between the flows of matter, energy and information. 

In particular the SD methodology here adopted has been developed at Politecnico di Torino with the aim of implementing sustainable productive systems in which material and energy flows are designed so that waste from one productive process becomes input for other processes, avoiding being released into the environment. This model is inspired by the theoretical structure of generative science, according to which every modification in resources generates by-products which represent an added value. 
Starting from the observation of natural phenomena, the SD approach aims to “learn from nature” not just for mimicking the natural technologies, but for designing a product system able to positively interact with a dynamic environment and an evolving society. 
The application of the SD methodology to the design of a water treatment entailed a focus on the understanding of the water behavior both at molecular and at macroscopic level. 

It is well know that water is one of the most abundant resources on Earth and it is inextricably linked to life. The majority of natural phenomena involve water and our existence is dependent on this precious substance, or the lack of it. However water is limited and despite of its ability to self-cleaning along the water cycle, its quality is vulnerable and fragile. Hence, water scarcity and water pollution represent tremendous issues at global level that call for rapid solutions. Therefore sustainable management of water resources is one of the largest commitments to the international community for the coming years. 

The state of the art of the methods used to disinfect and decontaminate water and to reuse wastewater or to desalinate seawater, is working in concert to improve health, safeguard the environment, and reduce water scarcity. However, despite modern science is able to investigate water very deeply and even though the efficiency of water purification technologies has increased tremendously in the latest years, many properties of liquid water still remain incompletely understood. Yet, a more profound comprehension of the water behavior can lead to turn the light on the many mysteries of this incredible substance. 

The SD methodology drove the research through an intense exploration of the complex properties of liquid water touching a variety of disciplines from physics to chemistry until bioengineering and medicine that has opened the frontiers to a more holistic understanding of water. 
As a consequence we got in touch with some of recent theories from physics, biology and biochemistry, that have cast a light on some new properties and behaviors of water able to dramatically change the perspective on which we use to consider this incredible resource. 
In particular the recent hypothesis about the liquid water biphasic structure according to quantum field theory and the evidence of the so called Exclusion Zone (EZ) in the vicinity of hydrophilic surfaces, have inspired the design of a “filterless filter” which has the capability of filtering contaminated water using the EZ phenomenon instead of a physical filter. The separation process is driven by incident light energy, which builds the EZ and thereby excludes the contaminants. It is a self-cleaning process that involve a behavior of water in the vicinity of hydrophilic surfaces that occurs naturally at ambient temperature and pressure. 

Therefore, the research started from the exploration of the liquid water abilities in self-cleaning and self-organization at molecular level, and leaded to the design of a water system that drastically reconsiders the water usage at domestic level. 
The new house system is here considered as a “living organism” where water is treated using membrane-less and chemical-free purification modules that take advantages of the spontaneous solutes rejection in the vicinity of some hydrophilic surfaces or in a free-vortex.


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Systemic map to revitalizing local knowledge in autochthones communities.
Ana Luisa Cavalcante and Francisco Fialho
Thursday 16:00. Room A3.
Design for Cultural Sustainability
Knowledge Management
Demand for construction of systemic map / infographic allowed the questioning, understanding, and the future replication of the local knowledge revitalization system in an Indigenous Land in the State of Paraná (Brazil) whose purpose was to promote the sustainability of culture. Thus, was organized visually the Local knowledge management process. In the collaborative organization, the indigenous is considered a producer of the local, collective, traditional and contemporary knowledge and is part of a dynamic process sociocultural. Planning procedures and compliance with the steps that are relevant to the suggested process of revitalization are presents, namely: Knowledge kind definition (Input); Interdisciplinarity; Research subject; Process steps of the Local Knowledge Management; Proposals (output). This steps are sinthetized in an infoghraphic that show the results obtained of research that structures resources for the construction of local knowledge revitalization system with emphasis on graphic and visual representation in order to contribute to the cultural sustainability of indigenous communities of practice.

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Open mind and open heart: Two approaches for exploring the dynamics in stakeholder networks in complex co-design projects.
Remko van der Lugt
Thursday 16:30. Room A3.
Stakeholder networks
Exchange values
In co-design projects, it is imperative to gain an understanding of the dynamics in the stakeholder network, to get a sense on which stakeholders to involve when and in which ways, in order to enable an effective collaborative innovation effort. 
Many tools are available regarding stakeholder analysis, primarily stemming from business development. A well-known way is to set out in a graph the interest and importance of other organizations in order to identify how to deal with these. Other stakeholder mapping approaches identify relations and interdependencies in the stakeholder network (e.g. Den Ouden, 2012). From a systemic perspective, such approaches are of limited in various ways. They tend to: 1) focus on direct interest of the own organization, rather than the needs of the network as a whole, 
2) have a bias to exchange of (monetary) value, rather than acknowledging the broad spectrum of contributions that stakeholders can bring to each other. 
3) limit the investigation to the direct stakeholders, rather than getting a sense of the ‘larger whole’. 
4) regard the stakeholder network as a solid state, rather than a dynamic system. In order to deal with these issues, we have explored two alternative ways of getting a grip on stakeholder networks. 
The first approach addresses the lack of a sense of the whole stakeholder system, by combining aspects from Gigamapping (Sevaldson, 2011), which aims to provide understanding through constructing overview of the system as a whole, with a broad understanding of value exchange inspired by Pierre Bourdieu’s broad understanding of forms of (cultural) capital, which we developed towards a series of 8 exchange values (Economical, Embodied, Materialized, Institutional, Social network, Status/reputation, Information, Experience, Personal motives) that can help to get a sense of the value exchange in the stakeholder network, as well as potential dysfunctionalities and patterns. 
The second approach addresses the dynamic aspects of the stakeholder network, exploring movement and forces in the system as a whole. Here we bring in the systemic phenomenological approach of constellation work. This approach was developed by Bert Hellinger for family constellations, but is increasingly applied in organizational settings (e.g. Stam, 2012). These constellations can be set up with people as representatives, or with objects, depending on what the situation asks for and allows. When related to the three mindsets in a Theory U change model (Scharmer, 2009), the first approach addresses the ‘open mind’, and the second the ‘open heart and open will’. In this paper, we will describe these two approaches, and grounding them by both theory and by various cases in which we applied them in design projects. For instance, we applied both approaches in a project on stimulating individual households to recycle cooking oils Based on a structured reflection on our experiences, we describe the potential applicability and benefits of these tools, as well as the liabilities. We share first insights regarding the ways in which these tools approaches may inform designers (and stakeholders) involved in systemic design challenges. We explore possibilities of combining the tools together in a project, and how this can strengthen or hinder insight. Finally, we will also provide directions for further development and research. NOTE ON DELIVERY: If possible I would love to present this work as a workshop, rather than, or in addition to, a presentation. REFERENCES 
Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Harvard University Press. Den Ouden, Elke (2012). Innovation Design: Creating Value for People, Organizations and Society. Springer Science+Business Media, London. Scharmer, O. (2009). Theory U. Berrett-Koehler Publishers 

Sevaldson, B. (2011). GIGA-Mapping: Visualisation for complexity and systems thinking in design. In Nordic Design Research Conferences, Making Design Matter. Helsinki: NORDES.  

Stam, J. J. (2012). Fields of connection: Systemic insights into work and organisations Groningen: Het Noorderlicht


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Changing behavior of the systems we’re in: Designing for transitions in Environment, Economy, and Democracy.
Francis Carter, Silvia Mata-Marin, Dimeji Onafuwa, Ahmed Ansari and Dan Lockton
Thursday 17:00. Room A3.
behavior change
transition design
second-order cybernetics

Emerging approaches to designing for societal transitions toward more sustainable futures (e.g. Irwin et al, 2016; Mulder & Loorbach, 2016) involve methodological commitment to engaging with complex sociotechnical systems—the value of a systemic design approach is being recognized in considering everyday practices, from bathing (Kuijer et al, 2013) to food (Barbero, 2015). 

However, much systems work focuses on mapping actors and relations, while in transition the dynamic nature of relationships, and how to intervene, is crucial. There is value in a second-order approach, recognizing that we are within the systems we are trying to change: “everything said is said by an observer” (Maturana, 1975:324); “the designer never stands outside the situation” (Dubberly & Pangaro, 2015:78). At RSD3, Ranulph Glanville (2014:3–4) noted, paraphrasing Charles François, in relation to the “typical sort of systems diagrams with boxes here and here and here and here and arrows connecting them”, that “Systems people are interested in the boxes and cybernetics people are interested in the arrows.” We recognize that design’s role is in enabling people experiencing transitions to have agency to change the behavior of the systems they are in: to affect those arrows between the boxes, to exploit relations and seed potentialities within situations. Systems-in-change have been explored before, particularly actors’ agency toward systemic goals (Beer, 1972), but we derive an alternative approach from the concept of efficacy in Chinese philosophy (Jullien, 2004), and dunamis or potentiality from Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Designing for transition in systems can be seen to involve creating future scenarios through a close read of the present, and to enact change through the transformation of opportune situations. 
In our paper, we examine three cases covering making sense of, and affecting, sociotechnical systems-in-change, dealing with permeability of boundaries, agency in effecting intrasystemic change, and differences of experience, but with a common theme of manipulating the present in order to seed the future with many emergent possibilities. In Case 1, migrants experience their behavior being changed by the system; in Case 2, people negotiate how to redraw boundaries to change the behavior of a system; while in Case 3, people are enabled to perceive and enact their agency in changing the behavior of the system. 

Case 1: Democracy: Experiencing systems and artifacts as bordering 

As the world’s population faces an accelerating state of flux, nation-states’ borders have failed to regulate and control access of people. This control vacuum has been filled by other sociotechnical systems that are part of everyday life, from drivers’ licenses to credit cards; systems are adopting bordering qualities (van Houtum, 2005), constantly re-defining the separation between communities. This leads to tensions between the practice of reinforcing borders—by dominant political interests that seeks to divide and exclude—and practices of border crossing—by migrants that seek to integrate. 

Sociotechnical systems embody politics of difference aimed at excluding populations from public life; mobilization, fiduciary exchange, public services are often made unavailable depending on migration status. Exclusion from social spheres of public life has led to migrants adopting practices and changing behaviors with the purpose of navigating and crossing these barriers on an everyday basis. Understanding that the current and future state of the world is one that will be defined by massive flows of migrants—as a response to other global crises (environmental, political, social)—it becomes imperative for designers to think about systems and their role in normalizing politics of difference that affect matters of self-determination and agency for migrant populations. 

Case 2: Economy: Design-Enabled Recommoning 

We are facing global crises with resources of our collective livelihood, such as water, data and housing. Decline in the availability of these “common resources” is leading to research in new ways of platforming resource use negotiations. Commons represent resource and social systems as well as the practice of managing such resources. They occupy the margins between public and private ownership, and they change the conversation from ownership rights to participation and co-ownership. Commons have clearly defined boundaries that ensure reduced participation costs for commoners as well restrictions for free-riders, who may benefit at the expense of others. For commons to avert system collapse, they need permeable boundaries—open enough to sharing, to relationships, and interactions—but closed to overwhelming external disruptions that may lead to failure (Stavrides, 2016). Boundaries are demarcations represented in rule enforcement (Ostrom, 2015). These rules may pertain to everyday life decisions, may relate to participation eligibility, or they may be enacted to help determine the levels and forms of governance needed. 

Luhmann (1986) argues that social systems are new forms of autopoietic systems because they self-reproduce. Communication determines the vitality of such socially autopoietic reproduction—without communication, there is no relationship, and without relationships, boundaries defining the communities degrade. However, social systems are not purely based on communication—humans have agency in building the limits of such relationships. Their changing behaviors continuously redraw the boundaries around social systems. 

Case 3: Environment: Constructive Contradictions 

Tactics are opportunistic, designed responses to strategies of the status quo which seek to meet the unmet needs of those enacting them. Self-provisioning refers to acts people are “compelled to do out of necessity, since existing market practices and government policies did not meet their basic needs.” (Kinder 2016:5-6); a tactical, often informal, response taken by an individual or community, striving to have “powerful effects on local quality of life” (Kinder 2016:28). A place-based, “best response” (Slee, 2006) to current circumstances acts as a constructive yet temporary solution, serving a meaningful purpose for self-provisioning within the current context. 

Practices of “everyday urbanism” (Crawford & Speaks, 2005) represent alternative ways of designing that contradict top-down systems. These acts of subversion produce alternative moral geographies—cultural landscapes where certain people, practices, and objects appear to belong and others do not (Cresswell, 2005); these constructive contradictions challenge existing social value structures by proposing practices offering more meaningful action in the world. They introduce play into existing systems by identifying gaps in social services and leverage underutilized resources to overcome those gaps, involving an understanding of the problem space from within the system.   


Barbero, Silvia (2015). Systemic Design for Food Sustainability: Interpretation of real cases and reflection on theories. Proceedings of RSD 5 Symposium: Relating Systems Thinking and Design, Banff.

Beer, Stafford (1972). Brain of the Firm. Allen Lane, London. 

Brewer, Jennifer F. (2012). Don’t fence me in: boundaries, policy, and deliberation in Maine’s lobster commons. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102 (2), 383-402. 

Crawford, Margaret and Speaks, Michael (2005). Everyday Urbanism: Michigan Debates on Urbanism Vol 1. Distributed Arts Press, New York. 

Cresswell, Tim (2005). Moral Geographies. In Atkinson, David, et al (eds.), Cultural Geography: A Critical Dictionary of Key Concepts. I.B. Taurus, London, 128. 

Dubberly, Hugh and Pangaro, Paul (2015). Cybernetics and Design: Conversations for Action. Cybernetics and Human Knowing 22 (2–3), 73-82. 

Ehn, Pelle, and Badham, Richard (2002). Participatory design and the collective designer. PDC 02: Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference, Malmö, 1-10. 

Glanville, Ranulph (2014). How Design and Cybernetics reflect each other. Transcript of keynote at RSD3 2014 Symposium: Relating Systems Thinking & Design, Oslo. 
van Houtum, Henk (2005). The Geopolitics of Borders and Boundaries. Geopolitics 10 (1), 672-679. 

Irwin, Terry, Kossoff, Gideon, and Tonkinwise, Cameron (2016). Transition Design Provocation. Design Philosophy Papers 13 (1), 3-11. 

Jullien, François (2004). A treatise on efficacy: between Western and Chinese thinking. (Trans. Janet Lloyd). University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu. 

Kinder, Kimberley (2016). DIY Detroit: Making Do in a City without Services. University of Minnesota Press. 

Kuijer, Lenneke, de Jong, Annelise, and van Eijk, Daan (2013). Practices as a unit of design: An exploration of theoretical guidelines in a study on bathing. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 20 (4), art.21. 

Luhmann, Niklas (1986).  The autopoiesis of social systems. In: Geyer F. & van der Zouwen, J. (eds.) Sociocybernetic Paradoxes, Sage, London, 172-192. 

Maturana, Humberto R (1975). The Organization of the Living: A Theory of the Living Organization. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 7, 313-332. 

Mulder, Ingrid and Loorbach, Derk (2016). Rethinking Design: Transition Design as a critical  perspective to embrace societal challenges. Position paper at Transition Design Symposium 2016: Can Design Catalyse the Great Transition?, Dartington. 

Ostrom, Elinor (2015). Governing the Commons. Cambridge University Press. 

Slee, Tom (2006). No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart. Between the Lines. 

Stavrides, Stavros (2016). Common Space: The City as Commons. Zed Books.


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