In this presentation, we build on recent discussions of a paper presented at DRS2022 that explores the theories of the commons and their applicability to systemic design to transition existing systems from being dysfunctional to being regenerative (Schaeper, Kothari, Hamilton, 2022). As many of our social and environmental challenges have been described as a failure of design (Escobar, 2018), designers have been called to reconsider the way they work and to ultimately ‘redesign design’ (Akama et al., 2019; Irwin, 2015). We begin the presentation by sharing a case study of a marine protected area in South Africa’s oceans and how a commoning practice could be applied more intentionally to increase cooperation amongst system actors and apply a multispecies—as opposed to human-centred—perspective to the management of natural, social, and immaterial resources. By drawing on our working hypothesis of how a commons approach could open up opportunities for creating the conditions of improved stakeholder cooperation, we will propose and invite further discussion around how ‘Commoning by Design’ could be positioned as an intentional and careful design act that aims at facilitating staying relational not only through alignment but by surfacing a plurality of voices and thereby holding space for conflicting planetary stakeholder needs, motivations and objectives.
Keywords: systemic design, commoning by design, commons, relational design, redesign design