Nasdesign’s Systemic Approach to Design Management

Format: Papers, RSD9, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Larissa Berlato
Luiz Fernando Gonçalves de Figueiredo

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil


The most significant problems faced in the globalized world are complex problems that cannot be solved in a fragmented way. In the biological, social and behavioural sciences, problems are essentially of multiple variables, for which new conceptual instruments are required that seek to see the whole, relationships and the context, surpassing the reductionist view of classical science (BERTALANFFY, 1977). Classical science is based on analytical thinking, in which all phenomena can be understood by breaking them down into smaller parts and from linear, cause and effect relationships. This method is restricted to situations with a reasonable degree of the structuring of the problems, reasonable stability of the environment, low degree of dynamic complexity and low degree of influence of the perceptions of different actors from different interests (ANDRADE et al. 2006).

In the General System Theory, developed by Bertalanffy, the organism is considered a whole greater than the sum of its parts, being necessary to study not only parts and processes in isolation, but also “to solve the problems found in the organization and in the order that unifies them, resulting from the dynamic interaction of the parts, making the behavior of the parts different when studied in isolation and when treated as a whole”. (BERTALANFFY, 1977, p.53). Thus, the systemic approach considers the context broader whole, establishing the nature of their relationships and considering their environment (CAPRA, 1998), assuming procedural activities, flows of matter, energy and information (ANDRADE et al., 2006).

Design is characterized by a projective perspective. The “result” of a design project can be seen in the products and services and the design “activity” consists of a user-centered problem-solving process. In both activity and results, design needs to be managed in order to ensure that the desired objectives are effectively achieved (BEST, 2012). Design management is the effective management of design resources available in organizations – people, projects, processes and procedures, which help companies achieve their goals (MOZOTA, 2011; BEST, 2012) and can be present at three different levels: strategic, tactical and operational as shown in Figure 1.




Citation Data

Author(s): Authors: Larissa Berlato, Luiz Fernando Gonçalves de Figueiredo
Title: Nasdesign’s Systemic Approach to Design Management
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
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First published: 4 October 2020
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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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