Skip to main content

The Promise of Systemic Designing; Giving Form to Water

This is the abstract for a chapter in a soon to be published Springer Major Reference Work: 
Systems Thinking and Change Volume (2017)

This chapter is an overview of why systemic design is important, what it looks like and how novices can be prepared to become practitioners of systemic designing. The chapter provides only an overview of systemic designing, introducing ideas that will be developed in much greater depth outside the space limitations of this chapter in a forthcoming book. However, it is important to first become acquainted with the ideas and their interrelationships, which is the purpose of the chapter.


The world is understood to be more complex and dynamic than previously thought. Design is understood to be a deeper mystery than previously assumed. Design creates reality and humans have engaged in design from the beginning of history but little is known of its true nature or full potential. Familiar approaches to design and design education no longer match the real-world necessities and expectations of modern societies. Everything is connected and it is difficult, or it seems often impossible, to determine what course of action is prudent when designing within complexity. Systemic design is an emergent approach to creating desired change that takes a broader stance and deeper approach to designing than is the norm nowadays. Creating educational experiences that prepare systemic designers for professional practice requires systemic design approaches. This chapter is an introduction to some of those approaches.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Center for Systemic Design draft prospectus

    PROSPECTUS Center for Advanced Systemic Designing Introduction  Our futures can be approached in four ways: 1) drifting—adapting to whatever happens,  2) colliding—reacting and enduring,  3) retreating—backing away from undesirable states or conditions, or   4) advancing—navigating into desirable states-of-affairs. The norm nowadays is to drift, collide or retreat into the future. The fourth approach, the proactive approach, is the more apt response given the complex challenges and rising expectations that are the new norm for the foreseeable future.  The fourth approach depends on the agency of individuals who have the capacity to handle the challenge of securing desired outcomes in indeterminate situations on behalf of concomitant stakeholders and clients. They achieve this by serving—design agency—as members of design teams and design cohorts. These systemic designers are skilled polymaths who have the ability to create assemblies of essential elements into coherent whole system

Design, Wicked Problems & Throwness

Horst Rittel is one of the seminal residents in my 'Berkeley Bubble'. Recently a friend and colleague sent me an article about ‘double-wickedproblems’ . I have become ever more aware of the increasing number of references to ‘wicked problems’ in all forms of media that seem to have missed Rittel’s deeper insights . This brought up the concern I have about the use and miss-use of the term ‘wicked problem’.  The term ‘wicked problem’, first introduced by Rittel in West Churchman’s seminars at Berkeley, was in reference to his conceptualization of the impossible challenge of dealing with significant social issues using traditional, rational, ‘problem solving’ methods. In most cases what are miss-diangnosed as ‘wicked problems’ are actually complex or complicated problems that can be simplified or broken into smaller 'tame' problems allowing for a straight forward 'problem solving' approach to be taken. This approach is believed by many to be capable

'sketch-note feedback' from keynote

  This is a sketch-note done of a recent keynote of mine. It is an invaluable form of feedback for a presenter. It shows what someone else heard from the presentation, how topics were related and what concepts were foreground and what were background — all from the perspective of an attentive listener. This is an invaluable service. Much more valuable than just a transcript of critical reviews. The sketch-note author in this instance is Manisha Laroia — Thank you Manisha.