Call for Systemic Design Contributions

The call for systemic design contributions is currently closed, but opens every spring with a summer deadline. Please subscribe to the RSD newsletter for notifications about calls for contributions and related news.

Session Formats

Symposia and conferences are often primarily a time to report on work already done and ideas already conceived. But they are also a time to work in unfamiliar constellations and develop new thoughts and questions. RSD is geared toward online proposals that allow participants to interact with and get to know each other. They are held during the on-site timeframe and, as part of RSDX – an extended schedule leading up to or after the annual event.

In-person sessions should be designed to take advantage of physical spaces and materials in imaginative ways (e.g., embodied, hands-on, spatial, mobile, etc.).

If you have any questions about the formats, please reach out via chat or contact

Featured image (above): A detail from the sketchnote of Systems for Innovation: Towards a model of requisite variety through intercultural conversations. Courtesy of Yatin.

1. Activity sessions

Activities are 30-minute interactive sessions that will provide a space for participants to engage and enact (not just listen to) new ideas and practices. Whereas conventional paper presentations usually begin with a talk and end with (often rushed) questions and comments, this format places interactions amongst participants as the main activities. Sessions should use the following format:

10 minutes – Opening, including introductions and scene setting 15 minutes – Activity, with participants getting the chance to interact 5 minutes – Conclusion

Activities can be either online or in-person. TU Delft introduced the interactive format in 2021. It is particularly suited to contributions that look to introduce or deepen methods or practices to systemic design. Note that it is possible to reassign existing paper submissions to this format. See RSD Interactive for examples of activity sessions.

2. Workshops

RSD is particularly interested in online workshops that open up systemic design practice and possibilities to new participants. Workshops connected to other RSD contributions are also encouraged. When submitting a workshop or activity proposal, please complete the RSD template as you would for a paper. Accepted workshops and activities will be entered into the conference proceedings. Complete the template with an abstract (200-400 words) and an expanded description (up to 1000 words) of the session, putting it in context. Be sure to include the following in the description:
  • In what ways does the proposed contribution relate to the RSD themes and focuses?
  • What will those participating in the workshop/activity be doing?
  • How will this be structured? Please give an outline schedule.
  • Is the workshop/activity intended online or in-person, or could it be either? If it is proposed as an in-person session, how does it take advantage of this?
See RSD Workshops for examples in previous years. In-person The standard workshop length is 120 minutes; however, shorter or longer workshop lengths are also possible. In-person workshops take advantage of physical space and materials – there should be a reason for the workshop being in-person rather than part of the online programme. Online Online workshops are an exciting part of the overall online programme. They take place during the formal proceedings but can also be part of an extended programme in the weeks leading up to the symposium. The standard length is 90 minutes; other timeframes are possible. Online workshops should offer opportunities for online participants to interact with and get to know each other.

3. Exhibits

RSD invites proposals for exhibition items of various kinds. In particular, RSD is interested in systems maps and exhibition items that can prompt conversation and question the edges of systemic design concerning the main call for contributions. Within the core symposium programme, there will be an opportunity to present exhibition items in a rolling ‘project fair’ format (both in person and online). RSD is open to other exhibition concepts. Other presentations are welcome; an example is Karianne Rygh’s RSD6 exhibition showcasing tangible tools for co-design workshop facilitation. There is an opportunity to present work that doesn’t fit within the range of standard RSD formats. Examples are multi-media and digital work, performance, and environmental and experiential forms.

Annual Focus Sessions

Submissions can be made to the general call or RSD invitation for contributions that engage with the theme and specific foci developed by the programme committee each year.  For instance, the RSD11 focus sessions were developed as seven provocations for critical reflection, new topics, and challenges to normative direction.

Updated December 2022

The Call for Contributions reflects RSD11, and can vary based on the decisions made by the host and organising committee.

RSD Information

Submission Guidelines for Papers

Submission Guidelines for Papers

Submission guidelines provide a detailed description of how to prepare a submission for presentation and publication in the proceedings.

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SDA Adopts a Scholar’s Spiral

After nearly a decade of the publishing ladder, SDA has adopted a cyclic publishing “spiral” to re-centre the overall approach to systemic design publishing.

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The RSD symposia proceedings represent a systemic design resource—an unparalleled collection of peer-reviewed work.