Focus: Radical shifts in planetary health
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Designing radical shifts in and for planetary health

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic forces us to confront the importance of understanding and responding to global ecologies of health. My health depends on your health, which depends on networks, systems, and webs of planetary health. Attending to health means fundamentally rethinking where (our) health comes from. The importance of considering global health and human health as intersecting is increasingly pressing, and “achieving planetary health will require a renaissance in how we define our place in the world” (Myers, 2017, p. 2867). However, these intersecting health entanglements are vast and complex. These networks or webs include elements that are difficult (if even possible) to be seen or measured in conventional empirical or rational terms.

How might systemic design practices engage with ecological reparation (Papadopoulos, et al., 2022) together with global health reparation, rather than reinforce individual wellness models? In what ways can systemic design modes and models simultaneously ethically engage within the bodily, social, and political histories of the contexts that they exist within? To what extent does this perspective extend or challenge the existing focus on health and well-being within systemic design?

Indicative references

Myers, S. S. (2017). Planetary health: Protecting human health on a rapidly changing planet. The Lancet. 390(10114), 2860-2868. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(17)32846-5

Papadopoulos D., Puig de la Bellacasa, M., & Tacchetti, M., (Eds.). (2022). Ecological reparation: Repair, remediation and resurgence in social and environmental conflict. Bristol University Press.

Shiva, V. (2020). Designing with Nature: Systems design for the well-being of the Earth community. Proceedings of the Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD9) 2020 Symposium. https://rsdsymposium.org/vandana-shiva/

Special thanks

Thanks to those who have proposed and developed the focuses: Gareth Owen Lloyd, Christopher Daniel, Dulmini Perera, Sally Sutherland, Ben Sweeting, James Tooze, Jeffrey P. Turko, and Josina Vink.

Posted April 2022
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Papers: June 16, 2022
Presentations: June 30, 2022

RSD11 INFO

RSD11 Call for Contributions

RSD11 Call for Contributions

Now open. RSD11 Call for contributions that challenge, extend, critique, and diversify established working methods in systemic design.

Preparing an RSD submission

Preparing an RSD submission

This article invites you to follow the RSD posting protocols and provides a detailed description of the basics to consider when preparing your submission.

Contributions to RSD11 focus sessions

Contributions to RSD11 focus sessions

Authors are invited to identify their paper or presentation as aligned to one of seven specific focus sessions. These have been developed as provocations for critical reflection, new topics, and different directions.

Focus: Design over time

Focus: Design over time

Designers must navigate between the need for immediate action and maintaining long-term change. Yet, it is difficult to think of the temporality of design beyond the consideration of years or decades.

Focus: Products are systemic objects

Focus: Products are systemic objects

In this focus, RSD11 is interested in contributions exploring: circular design, regenerative design, distributed design, and, more broadly, ways that designers of things act to shape the nature and legibility of economic, bureaucratic, ecological and cultural systems.

Focus: Architecture gone wild?

Focus: Architecture gone wild?

Now that the architecture discipline seems to be arriving at a period of digital sobriety in its modes of practice and generative methods, critical perspectives are needed.

Focus: Different stories in design

Focus: Different stories in design

How may we use Bateson’s provocations to rethink the problematic stories around design and modernity as mobilised in contemporary design practices?

Focus: Methods and the worlds they make

Focus: Methods and the worlds they make

Methods afford and perpetuate ways of understanding and organising the world much like any other artefact. Because conventions are assumed within the context of a methodological practice, they are difficult to question from within.

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