There is an urgent need to enable designers to respond to the requirements of an increasingly complex multi-layered scenario. As wicked problems become a norm and conflicts between opposing factors emerge, there is a need for an empathetic, systemic understanding in order to arrive at effective, systemic solutions. The paper examines systems theory and the unique designerly approaches towards systems theory. The study further investigates the phenomenon of design intent and response towards systemic concerns through multiple case study analysis approaches by analysing case studies in a quasi-experimental setup wherein a group of design students worked on the same systems model but responded with varied design intent and conceptual ideas. The presentation puts forth the argument for a more focused approach towards understanding values and meanings held by designers/ design students and its impact on evolving both the design brief and solution space. Based on multiple case study analyses, methodical constructs, including individual concerns based on personal experiences and systemic considerations of multidisciplinary perspectives, developing an understanding of multiple perspectives and inclusion of points of view from multiple stakeholders are elaborated. The use of these methodological constructs derived from a systems understanding is expected to help designers/ design students arrive at diverse and holistic responses to address complex problem spaces.
KEYWORDS: systemic design, design intent, methodological constructs, design practice
A systems model for the education and learning system.