RSD9 Workshops

16 workshops, hosted online from Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Thailand, UK, and USA.

Circularity as Unifying Concept in Systemic Design for Sustainability?

WORKSHOP: Sunday, October 11, 2020 | 7:00 PM IST. Tobias Luthe, Angel Lamar, Birger Sevaldson, Tine Hegli, Marianne Storen Berg, and Peter Hemmersam, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Futures Design, Language and Systems – Towards languaging pluriversal futures

WORKSHOP: Friday, October 9, 2020 | 5:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Palak Dudani and Andrew Morrison, Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Mapping the Political Economy of Design

WORKSHOP: Friday, October 9, 2020 | 7:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Joanna Boehnert and Simon Downs, Loughborough University

Power Tools for Collaborative Modelling of Socioeco-Sustainment

WORKSHOP: Friday, October 9, 2020 | 7:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Nicole Norris, Maya Hoveskog, Francesca Ostuzzi, Peter Jones, and Antony Upward

Virtual-Real MOOCS: Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems

WORKSHOP: Friday, October 9, 2020 | 5:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Tobias Luthe, Birger Sevaldson, Silvia Barbero, Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer and Justyna Swat

Practicing the Worlds We Want: Prefigurative design for revolutionary transformation

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 10, 2020 | 7:30 PM IST. Facilitators: Ariana Lutterman & Tara Campbell from Superorganism

Hearth, Home and Well-being

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 10, 2020 | 7:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Sucharita Beniwal & Swagata Naidu, National Institute of Design

The Hippie Movement Discussed as Systemic Change

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 10, 2020 | 5:00 PM IST. Facilitator: Birger Sevaldson, Oslo School of Design

Leveraging Tensions in Systemic Design

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 10, 2020 | 5:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer, Jan-Carel Diehl, Ella Jamsin, Jotte de Koning, Rebecca Price and Nynke Tromp, Delft University of Technology

Bringing Systemic Design to Communities with the Circular Design Lab

WORKSHOP: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 | 5:30 AM IST. Facilitators: Chris Oestereich & Courtney Savie Lawrence, Circular Design Lab

Introducing and Testing a Systemic Design Practice Framework

WORKSHOP: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | 5:30 am IST/10:00 AM AEST. Facilitator: Emma Blomkamp. Limited to 25 participants

Reordering our Priorities through Systems Change Learning

WORKSHOP: Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 5:30 AM IST. Facilitators: Zaid Khan, David Ing, Dan Eng, Kelly Okamuara, and Zemina Meghji

Control vs. Care: Frameworks for Systems Redesign During COVID-19

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 5:30 AM IST. Facilitators: Jonathan Healey and Sydney M. Luken

Intervening in Power Dynamics: Introducing a new tool for talking about, analyzing, and shifting power

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 8:00 PM IST/9:30 AM CST. Facilitators: Lyndon Valicenti and Rae Perez, Daylight

Kogui’s Systemic Thinking for Sustainable Design of Habitats in Colombia and Worldwide

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 5:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Eduardo Mazuera & Laura Niño Caceres.

What Does Belonging Mean? A framing and network approach to tackle loneliness among students

WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 7:00 PM IST. Facilitators: Eva Legemaate, Marie Van den Bergh, and Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer, Delft University of Technology. Maximum of 15 participants

Control vs. Care: Frameworks for Systems Redesign During COVID-19

Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 5:30 AM IST

Facilitators: Jonathan Healey and Sydney M. Luken
Country: USA
1.5-hour online workshop

Read the full workshop description ⇒

This workshop will use Zoom Breakout rooms and a shared Miro board as a space for visual collaboration.

A simple orientation will be provided. That said, folks who are not able to simultaneously connect to or operate the Miro board will still be able to participate fully.


The scale and urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic have strained social systems both locally and globally, warranting a spirit of creative resourcefulness in tending to the crisis while new specially-tailored systems are conceived. In the face of this challenge, a jarring clash often occurs as socio-technical systems, with their pre-existing design priorities, simply reposition their services in response to the new demands of a public health emergency. As communities struggle to resume work, education, and entertainment, a persistent design question lies at the centre: what should we be optimizing for in this new context, and how might the values of our available systems support or hinder that aim?

This design challenge finds an important design ally in Bioethics, which helpfully introduces comparative frameworks of Control and Care drawn from the practice of health and medicine. These distinctions are extensible to the assessment and reimagining of non-medical socio-technical systems. In this workshop, we’ll examine a variety of systems we observe in this situation, introduce the history and principles of these frameworks, and operationalize them as Design tools.

So-called “smart access” systems are one such example of an existing system being repurposed in response to Covid-19. These products, previously marketed as “automated, contactless property management solutions,” are now touted as a means to secure the acute health and safety concerns of a building’s occupants. These systems are visible throughout commercial buildings, often connecting peripherals such as thermal scanners, biometric readers, mask-detection cameras, and human security attendants.

When observed through the framework of Control, core attributes of the existing system design emerge: an architectural paradigm of “compatibility,” a single-direction data authority structure, and a broad subjugation of human users without mechanisms to declare consent. Reframing the design analysis through the framework of Care reveals the system’s centering on asset security priorities at the expense of the dynamic social environment it is purported to support. The framework of Care also reveals alternative priorities, such as the privacy and well-being interests of people that encounter the building, or a notion of community maintenance rather than an attitude of surveillance.

This designerly approach to comparative analysis also provides a foundation to inspire forward-looking systems thinking and design. In the case of “smart access,” how might these systems better sense and support the health and safety needs of the surrounding community? By leveraging the frameworks, value-driven design responses emerge, such as disclosing readings only to the assessed person, automating targeted maintenance services, and including local health authorities as participant stakeholders of the system. Stepping back from the present context of Covid-19, we can ask how these insights might fundamentally change the design of systems to contribute more responsibly to sustainable and equitable societies.


  • Systemic thinking for creating products, services and systems for contentment and sustainability
  • Systems for equity, collectivism, co-design and citizen movements
  • Methodology, philosophy and theory of systemic design


The goals of this workshop are to:

  1. Introduce system-value alignments in context,
  2. Translate Bioethics frameworks of Control and Care to frameworks of systems thinking
  3. Identify opportunities to enhance the practical methodologies of systems design to centre on the sustainable well-being of individuals and society.

Through this workshop, we expect to:

  1. Generate a collection of example cases (including initial comparative analyses through the frameworks of Control and Care, as well as sketches of imagined alternatives)
  2. Refine a translational framework of systems of control versus systems of care to share with the greater RSD and System Design community


The following outline is for a 90-minute workshop:

Opening Activity [10m]
The opening exercise will ask participants to think of systems that are currently responding to Covid-19 demands but were originally conceived for vastly different purposes. We’ll discuss some of these examples as a group.

Introduction of Frameworks [15m]
The facilitators will introduce Bioethics frameworks of Control and Care, providing an overview of relevant principles as well as historical examples of their translation to practice.

Story-sharing & Intention Setting [25m]
Participants and facilitators will share their own perspectives and experiences with systems of Control and of Care, both as designers and as people experiencing the systems’ effects. We will begin compiling ideas about essential attributes, priorities, and interests within these systems.

Systems Analysis & Re-imagining [25m]
Participants will select one system for comparative design analysis—first through the lens of Control, then through the lens of Care—then imagine responsible design alternatives. A prompt for re-imagining might be: In a post-COVID context, how might these systems better support systems for equity, collectivism, and flourishing ecological systems?

Gallery & Closing Reflection [15m]
Participants will share their work with the full group, reflect on what we learned in the process, and consider avenues for developing resources for professional and pedagogical communities.