Enriching Synergies in Systemic Design: Hybridizing science, design and transformative action

Format: Papers, RSD10, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Reframing Systemic Design methodology within a new MOOC on Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems

Tobias Luthe, Haley Fitzpatrick, Justyna Swat, Tiphaine Mühlethaler, and Abel Crawford

The main goal of developing systemic design has been to seek synergies between design and systems in order to better deal with complexity. Since the need for local people’s action on designing regenerative systems and cultures has been gaining in urgency, and since neither design nor science nor practice alone can transform such systems fast enough, we intend to enrich systemic design methodologies. Adding to the latest discourse on values, direction and currency in systemic design, and when it is regenerative, we identify synergies between an extended array of practices: science, systems thinking, design, and transformative action. Motivated by the development of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems with its specific module on systemic design, we propose some cornerstones of enriching systemic design and “Playing with tensions” while offering this inclusive discourse to the RSD community.

Keywords: enriched methodology, extended synergies, sustainability science, transformative action, systemic design principles

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Citation Data

Author(s): Tobias Luthe, Justyna Swat, Haley Fitzpatrick, Tiphaine Mühlethaler and Abel Crawford
Title: Enriching Synergies in Systemic Design: Hybridizing science, design and transformative action
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 3 September 2021
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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.


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