Designing for acute psychiatric care in a learning process of systems oriented design

Format: Papers, RSD3

Author: Cathrine Einarsson

How does learning a systems oriented design approach together, affect and impact the co-design process and outcome between designer, and health professionals at an acute psychiatric ward? A ward team is consisting of psychiatrists, psychologist, special nurses, nurses, unit manager, lead special nurse, social worker, all working closely with inpatients at the ward in an intertwined, multi-disciplinary team. Not only focusing on treatment at the ward, but also building strong relationships to the patients “outerworld”. The team is very passionate, willing and open to change (J. Schaeper) as well as comfortable with open-ended processes. But at the same time they are restricted by the old ways of doing in healthcare practice (Jones 2013). Their role in the process has been to facilitate and contribute with resources, open up the ward for the designers to research and observe, participate in co-research and co-design workshops, facilitate meetings with users and the designers to learn about the ward, and participate making design interventions at the ward.

The result of this process will yield interesting view points on how the different parties approached and shaped the systems oriented service design process towards the final result of the project. What were the perceived relevance and value from both perspectives, and when did it occur? Doing this will provide a rare insight into where the real impact happened in the project and also what else the process triggered apart from the concrete design solution in the end.

Presentation & paper

Citation Data

Author(s): OCTOBER 2017
Title: Designing for acute psychiatric care in a learning process of systems oriented design
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 28 September 2014
Last update:
Publisher Identification:

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested citation format (APA)

Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

Publishing with RSD

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

Papers and presentations are entered into a single-blind peer-review process, meaning reviewers see the authors’ names but not vice versa. Reviewers consider the quality of the proposed contribution and whether it addresses topics of interest or raises relevant issues in systemic design. The review process provides feedback and possible suggestions for modifications.

The Organising Committee reviews and assesses workshops and systems maps & exhibits with input from reviewers and the Programme Committee.

Editor: Cheryl May
Peter Jones
Ben Sweeting

The Scholars Spiral

In 2022, the Systemic Design Association adopted the scholars spiral—a cyclic non-hierarchical approach to advance scholarship—and in 2023, launched Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal. Together, the RSD symposia and Contexts support the vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars and practitioners to publish work in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

The Systemic Design Association's membership ethos is to co-create the socialization and support for all members to contribute their work, find feedback and collaboration where needed, and pursue their pathways toward research and practice outcomes that naturally build a vital design field for the future.


Verified by MonsterInsights