Dulmini Perera and Ben Sweeting
As systemic design develops and expands, its guiding epistemologies re-enter the modes of thinking and acting through which it is developed. This recursive structure forms root metaphors, where notions such as the system, the whole, and representing complexity become taken for granted within systemic designers’ everyday practices. While this process may be helpful in expanding ways of working and maintaining the identity of the field, the uncritical replication of these and other concepts may lead to discussions becoming bounded within preconfigured pathways that can lead to problematic consequences. In this dialogue session, we invite you to identify and explore root metaphors in your own practices and to contribute to the interrogation of systemic design’s underlying assumptions.
KEYWORDS: systemic design, sustainability transition, root metaphors, Gregory Bateson, second-order systems, cybernetics