Hannah Goss, Nynke Tromp, and Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein
Designers are increasingly tackling complex societal challenges and fostering system transitions. Transitions are long-term, multi-level, multi-phasal system changes involving numerous actors, requiring innovations that develop new relationships within the system. Therefore, the process of designing for transitions requires new ways of bridging system analysis and system synthesis. This paper explores the concepts of ‘transition readiness’ and ‘value conflicts’ as valuable indicators to bridge this gap and support designers in fostering system transitions. Synthesizing insights from literature and previous experience, we propose a first step towards an integrative model for mapping a system transition in a way that inspires design. Our model, called the Transition Readiness Profile, anticipates the dynamics of a system transition and helps identify how and where design can intervene to accelerate the transition. It analyzes the transition at the user-, organization-, and ecosystem level to understand the system dynamics and reveal what organizations can bring forward to foster the transition relative to others. The Profile captures the relational dimension of a transition by mapping readiness and value conflict.
Keywords: designing for transitions, value conflict, system mapping, transition readiness