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