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Practicing Systemic Design: The radical possibilities of difference -130


Ben Spong

Systemic design concerns itself with understanding the difference made by placing and framing boundaries. Systemic practices such as boundary critique and gigamapping provide methods for dealing with the inherent complexity this consideration entails. Similar questions arise in the practice of architecture on both literal and abstract terms, such as determining the edge of a building or deciding who and which stakeholders should be included in a design consultation meeting.

What is unique to architectural practice is that it has the capacity to make the boundary spatial, thus enabling it to be experienced phenomenally. Ranulph Glanville recognises this in his concept of zero space, a space between the inside and outside, the thickness of walls. For Glanville, zero space was a way of making architectural his thinking and work on distinctions which form the theoretical grounding for the work presented here.

In this presentation, I discuss two architectural design research projects from my practice that tease out the potential of architecture for understanding what is at stake from the placement of boundaries and their relative position to an observer. The projects ask to what extent can architecture, as a form of systemic design practice, lead to new ways of marking distinctions (making and placing boundaries) which resist the reduction of others.

Keywords: systemic design, cybernetics, design, practice, knowledge, knowing, ecology

Pre-proceedings drafts are available for RSD11 participants to review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title. The papers have been peer-reviewed, and the authors have made revisions. Following RSD11, authors will have a final period to revise their work from the feedback received at RSD before the proceedings are formally published.

Posted September 2022 content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium.