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Relics and Resources: Representing complexity in service and systemic design

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Adeline Hvidsten and Anna Kirah

Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway

This paper explores designerly tools for visualising insights, generative creativity and mirroring complexity. As designers are increasingly facilitating complex and wicked problems, making sense of and communicating large amounts of insights becomes a challenge (Kolko, 2010; Talgorn & Hendriks, 2021). We focus on the potential and importance of such tools for designers, as well as highlighting potential pitfalls for design as designers’ good intentions meet the demands and complexities of “the real world”. We address the issue of representation through discussions of the expert power of designers and the power of design tools, as well as organisational and wider system components. We believe that a key challenge is developing and applying approaches to design based on non-representational foundations. In the last part of the paper, we explore some existing approaches and potential directions for research and practice. Here, we highlight non-human lenses that acknowledge more than human agency and narrative and reflexive approaches that might acknowledge bias and a multiplicity of presents and futures. Further, we briefly explore the topic of transdisciplinary action as well as organisational and industrial transformation to address what we call a “resource/relic dichotomy.” While we do not claim to have many answers as of now, we raise some key questions we believe will be of importance for system and service design practice and research.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, complexity, gigamaps, personas, visualisation, representation, power

Sketchnote by Patricia Kambitch | Playthink

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Citation Data

Author(s): Adeline Hvidsten and Anna Kirah
Year: 2022
Title: Relics and Resources: Representing complexity in service and systemic design
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 156
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/relics-and-resources-representing-complexity-in-service-and-systemic-design
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 21 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404