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Reframing for Transitions: A theoretical model to support designing for transformative design interventions

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Methods & Methodology, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

Anna-Louisa Peeters, Nynke Tromp, and Paul Hekkert

Societal transitions are inherently comprised of wicked problems, requiring new systemic problem-solving approaches. Framing lies at the core of problem-solving, as it connects a specific problem to a promising solution space. In our study, we look at reframing in the context of societal transitions, which is the practice of developing an original frame to open up new routes for transformative design interventions. Based on literature from the fields of design and transitions, we have developed a theoretical model of a ‘Transition Design Frame’ (or TD frame), which can serve as a foundational stepping stone in the process of designing interventions to foster societal transitions. The TD frame model proposes four components that marry societal problems with behavioural solutions: 1) a societal issue, 2) a transition strategy, 3) a systemic lever and 4) a behaviour change mechanism. Through workshops with experts from three innovation agencies in the Netherlands, we evaluate our model by applying it to their existing transition design cases, each addressing a different societal transition, and assess how the model can best support their reframing practice.

KEYWORDS: reframing, transition design, design theory and methodology, design for sustainable behaviour

RSD TOPIC(S): Methods & Methodology, Sociotechnical Systems 

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Citation Data

Author(s): Anna-Louisa Peeters, Nynke Tromp, and Paul Hekkert
Year: 2023
Title: Reframing for Transitions: A theoretical model to support designing for transformative design interventions
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/reframing-transformative-interventions
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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