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Desmond Wong

Systemic design has primarily drawn on systems thinking methodologies. It is a niche area where soft systems methodology almost dominates practice today (Hossain et al., 2020; Smith et al., 2019).

Yet, systems thinking is more than methodology. Critique is an active surfacing and challenging of irresolvable tensions in philosophy, and boundary critique is its real-world counterpart – the life’s work of Werner Ulrich (1987; 1983).

In gist, boundary critique is a framework for reflective practice on four sets of tensions and boundaries (Ulrich, 2022; 1987; 1983; Ulrich & Reynolds, 2020). It also builds on Churchman’s (1971) own heuristics for application.

The use cases in the last five years have been in business and economics, coalition building, evaluation, and technology. In turn, this workshop is intended to help systemic designers apply boundary critique in their work.

Keywords: boundary critique, critical systems heuristics, systems thinking

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Citation Data

Author(s): Desmond Wong
Year: 2022
Title: Boundary Critique: The work of Werner Ulrich
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 031
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/boundary-critique-the-work-of-werner-ulrich
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 30 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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