Mountain Water Management through Systemic Design: The Monviso Institute real-world laboratory

Format: Papers, RSD10, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Socioecological Design

Francesca Carraro, Silvia Barbero, and Tobias Luthe

This research deals with the sustainable management of water resources in rural areas, through the study and design of integrated water systems in a mountain environment. The work promotes a new model of sustainable use and treatment of water in a real context, created to be experimented by the public, by the research centre and born from the need for the development of new environmental activism, based on conscience and awareness. Thinking across scales of space and governance, a scalable and replicable system is outlined, based on cooperation between local actors, addressing current tensions while thinking of long-term effects. The trans-disciplinary approach joins systemic projects from different fields, brought together to model a single cooperating system. We outline the regenerative water management model at the campus of the MonViso Institute, a real-world laboratory advancing sustainability and regenerative design in the Italian Alps, as an illustrative case for the design of regenerative water systems.

The delineation of the project came to life thanks to a careful initial research phase, which clarified the identity of the chosen site and the local culture. These were the foundations for the design project of water systems on campus, applying the development of natural technologies, creation of connections and circularity as of reusing water and nutrient flows. The interaction between the components highlights the desired dependence between one and the other, which generates the value of the whole system.

Keywords: water systems, cross-scalar design, systemic integration, real-world laboratory, water experience




Citation Data

Author(s): Francesca Carraro, Silvia Barbero and Tobias Luthe
Title: Mountain Water Management through Systemic Design: The Monviso Institute real-world laboratory
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).


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Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

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Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

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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.

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