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Tobias Luthe and Haley Fitzpatrick

For operationalising design for regeneration, we need to take decisions across scales of governance and space and adopt practices of continuously zooming in on details and then zooming out to see the bigger picture, which are processes in dynamic relation. The poster offers a spiral approach to relating circularities on eight nested spatial and governance scales, from green chemistry to transnational cooperation (Luthe, Fitzpatrick & Wahl, 2020). Planning and design decisions on one scale have a direct or indirect impact on all scales; thus, governance must better evaluate cross-scalar systemic effects. This conceptual framework is partly based on Wahl (2006) and is here presented in the form of a novel contribution to designing resilient regenerative systems. The mathematical foundation is the Fibonacci spiral: a common functional pattern occurring throughout nature, it provides an analogy for better communicating the scalar processes of designing and governing resilient regenerative systems (Drozdyuk and Drozdyuk, 2010; Bistagnino, 2018).

A widely supported goal is to transform our economies and societies as interconnected systems with locally adapted solutions corresponding to global dynamics. This cross-scale governance approach applies the design of resilient regenerative systems to deal with “wicked problems”, such as how evidence-based solutions are rarely directly translated into decision-making. The inherent complexities in such problem-solving require incubating more effective transformational action (Elzen & Wieczorek, 2005; Wahl & Baxtor, 2008).

Generating clear visualisation strategies is critical to communicate and encouraging evolving debates on the regenerative design of resource production and distribution (Fazey et al., 2020). Building upon published work (Wahl, 2016), the model offers a spiral approach to relating nested spatial and governance scales, from green chemistry to transnationalities, with their inherent circularities, identifies planning and design decisions that have direct or indirect impacts on all scales; thus, governance must better evaluate these cross-scalar systemic effects (Wahl, 2006).

Haley Fitzpatrick is a doctoral candidate in Systems-Oriented Design at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, as well as an architect and design associate at the MonViso Institute.

Tobias Luthe leads SDL and is currently hosted by the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development (IRL), a group of Planning Landscape and Urban Systems (PLUS) at the ETH Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering.

ETH Zurich | Systemic Design Labs | Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems

KEYWORDS: regeneration, cross-scale, circularities, bio-regional scale, transition design, graphical framework, Fibonacci

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Citation Data

Author(s): Tobias Luthe and Haley Fitzpatrick
Year: 2023
Title: Circular Cross-Scalar Governance Spiral
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/governance-spiral
Host: Georgetown University
Location: ONLINE
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 10 July 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404