There is a commonly expressed fear among scientists and other rational agents that design is too nihilistic and relativistic. Design is dismissed as merely expressions of intuition, fashion or ‘whatever’ and not objective, rational inquiry. This has raised many barriers between scientific thinkers and design practitioners. It has confused design educators and students alike. However, systemics provides dimensions of critical reasoning to designing that many assume or fear are missing.
In systemic designing, systems and design are not only interrelated, they are inseparable. Systemic design is a compound whole and not merely two interrelated strategies of inquiry. It is an integration of knowledge and skill that enables prudent action—wise action—to transpire. It is a manifestation of the integration of theory and action—wisdom. This is the original definition of sophia—in philosophy (philo (love) + sophia (wisdom))—as the wise hand. It is a holistic synthesis of cultures of inquiry that is designed to see or create ultimate particulars while acknowledging generalities and universalities. Systemic designers pay attention to environments, contexts and the provenance of any design activity while paying full attention to the particulars and people of the moment. Systemic designing is a compound, not an aggregated assembly of approaches. Systemic designing strives to be rational, beautiful, just and good while remaining practical.