Introducing and Testing a Systemic Design Practice Framework

Facilitator: Emma Blomkamp

Country: Australia
Format: 2.5-hour online workshop, limited to 25 participants

Bring your own project to this interactive workshop to test out a new practice framework for systemic design

This participatory workshop introduces a new practice framework for systemic design, which articulates what to consider when tackling complex problems and designing for systems change. Its approach to systemic design follows Peter Jones’ (2018) definition of: ‘a design-led practice that integrates dialogue in co-creation for sensemaking and decision making’.

The systemic design practice framework aims to offer an accessible, flexible and contemporary guide for practitioners and leaders working with communities and other stakeholders to consider the necessary components of systemic design. It does not set forth a rigid model or narrow recipe but recognises the diversity of contexts and circumstances in which this work takes place. Early sharing and testing of the framework suggest it could be a useful point of reference for planning and commissioning work, reflecting on practice, and evaluating process and impact.

The practice framework brings together learnings from research, practice, evaluation and capability building experience. It is informed by ethical principles, ethnographic research on design practice in the public sector, practice knowledge from working in social innovation and strategic design consultancies in New Zealand and Australia, as well as analysis of case studies and theories of systemic design and related disciplines.

This structured, participatory online workshop will include:

  • Presentation of the practice framework and its origins
  • Application of elements to participants’ own work (individual writing or sketching)
  • Discussion in small and larger groups

Each participant is invited to bring a ‘case study’ of systemic design practice to the workshop. This could be an existing, past or future project or piece of work that you have led, participated in or are familiar with. You will not need to share or present any information about your case study with the group.

Participants will be asked to reflect and discuss what the practice framework brought to light about their case/project. A final group discussion will focus on the following questions, with the aim of refining the framework to share with the broader community of practice:

  • How could the practice framework be used to teach or support practitioners of systemic design?
  • What might we add, change or remove to make it more useful?

Following the workshop, participants will receive a written presentation of the practice framework and summary of participant contributions.

Posted: Oct-2020

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