The College of Education, Health and Human Sciences welcomed Dr. Harold G. Nelson to the University of Idaho. Dr. Nelson is a leading thinker, a teacher and a compelling speaker on the subject of design, whose work has been called “The Rosetta Stone of Design.” This presentation, “Design in the 21st Century: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World” occurred at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 in the Administration Building Auditorium, Moscow Campus. Dr. Nelson is an architect, consultant and former Nierenberg Distinguished Professor of Design in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2001, he served as president of the International Society for Systems Sciences (ISSS). He co-authored the influential book The Design Way. Dr. Nelson excels in both physical and systems design. He’s the designer of several major architectural projects, including an iconic visitor center located in The San Gabriel National Monument near Los Angeles. He also designed and directed a graduate program in Whole Systems Design (WSD) which was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Best” programs in Organizational Development. Dr. Nelson has served as a consultant for a variety of organizations: non-profits and corporations, state and federal agencies including military organizations, international governments, and the United Nations. He continues to work as an educator, consultant, and researcher in the field of advanced systems design where he brings inquiry and systems science to the design of complex social systems.
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