Allopoietic Design: Designing of the not-thing

Tore Gulden

In this article, I explore allopoietic systemic design as a perspective and process.

Allopoietic systems are understood as systems that produce something other than the systems themselves. Hence, an orientation of allopoietic design is then not on the making of the thing but on what the thing produces. The produced systems could be quarrels, engagement, teaming up, deceptive behaviour, cooperation, and, hence, activation in general and the history of these praxes. The emphasis of the allopoietic design perspective is thus on the elicitation of praxes (behaviour and thinking) and the subsequent feelings elicited.

The allopoietic view involves parting with the “meaninglessness of physical properties” (Krippendorff, 2007) and products and services, and instead of studying them as interfaces (Krippendorff, 2007) and thus platforms for communication dynamics. By extension also proceeds the understanding of the user or the users (Krippendorff, 2007) that has inspired the development of misleading emphatic design methods inspired from algorithms, such as a persona.

Service design functioning is analysed in relation to play and game dynamics and progression (control) and emergence (autonomous) structure platforms, and I discuss how the notion of service design should be replaced with the notion of the framing of progression and emergence interfaces.

Keywords: systemic design, service design, game dynamics, play, allopoietic design, progression interfaces, emergence interfaces, and framing

Posted September 2021

©­ Author, published by the Systemic Design Association

Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD#) Symposium.