Ben Sweeting and Sally Sutherland
Radical Methodologies Research Group, School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering, University of Brighton
As Relating Systems Thinking and Design moves into its second decade, it is possible to question systemic design’s emerging shape. RSD1 through RSD10 have established systemic design as a field with growing mainstream recognition. However, such successes carry the risk that those things that are valuable and different in systemic design can become lost, simplified, and conventionalised. Drawing on Birger Sevaldson’s framing of systemic design as a field of possibilities, we draw attention to systemic design’s own boundary judgements and their importance in maintaining and developing the field’s pluralism and criticality. We conclude with questions that we see as crucial for systemic design: What are the possibilities and practices of systemic design? And what should they be?
KEYWORDS: Design, boundary critique, cybernetics, gigamapping, systems thinking, transdisciplinarity
This essay has been developed from the RSD11 call for papers and the welcome remarks given in the RSD11 opening plenary.