A Systemic Design Resource

This website serves as a systemic design resource representing the annual proceedings of the annual Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium and other Systemic Design Association events. It also serves as a searchable repository of peer-reviewed work in systemic design.

Through the initiatives of the Systemic Design Association’s (SDA) board of directors, host organisations, systemic designers and researchers, the RSD archives represent a repository for hundreds of independently produced contributions within the development of the systemic design field. RSD symposia have been hosted in several different countries: Canada, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Getting started

The collection’s genesis goes back to the first RSD, organised by Birger Sevaldson as a graduate seminar at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). Since then, the annual call for contributions has received a growing number of submissions representing leading research and cases in systemic design and related design and systems disciplines. The discourse community was formalised when a small group connected AHO and OCAD University to form the Systemic Design Research Network to advance systemic design as an integrated design discipline. Then, in 2018, in conjunction with RSD7, the Systemic Design Association was formed, and its first general assembly at Politecnico di Torino and announced at the symposium. Today, the SDA is a democratic, non-profit scholarly association based on academic and industry relationships and invites faculty and students worldwide to become members, participate in events, and share research.

Each year, the RSD symposium acts as a capstone event in the systemic design community. A scientific review committee for each RSD symposia provides the capacity and expertise required to review and comment on submissions. The contributors present their work, introducing new studies, theoretical work, and practices from various disciplines. The presentations represent complex design issues, social systems and complex policy, socioecological sustainability, critical cultural and development perspectives, and emerging practices and methodology. Finally, the SDA produces annual RSD proceedings as a unique collection of contributions and editorials by the chair(s). As a next step, SDA editors have also collaborated with She Ji, Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, FORM Akademisk. Research Journal of Design and Design Education, and interdisciplinary journals such as the Strategic Design Research Journal.

Committing to a systemic design resource

In 2021, the SDA board decided to move the archive to the searchable format you are now experiencing as RSDsymposium.org. This move toward a robust, searchable repository signals the SDA’s commitment to maintaining an authoritative source for hundreds of systemic design presentations, papers, and systems maps. Furthermore, SDA licenses all work under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Systemic designers – academics, practitioners, and researchers – collectively contribute to the furtherance of systemic design as an interdiscipline that joins systems thinking to design methodology. The aims of the RSD collection include supporting an international knowledge-sharing network of systemic designers. Through the RSD symposia, the SDA advances design practice to lead programs of strategic scale and higher complexity (e.g., social policy, healthcare, education, urbanisation), adapts systems thinking methods, and creatively pushes the boundaries beyond the popular modes of systems dynamics and soft systems.

Featured image (above): A detail from the sketchnote of Integrating Selves and Systems through Ritual. Courtesy of @komalja.in | Komal Jain.

Systemic Design Association

SDA is a membership organization registered with the Brønnøysund Register Centre in Norway.

The first RSD symposium was held in 2012 at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Announcing the first call for manuscripts for the inaugural issue of the SDA Journal.

Mieke on-campus and online

RSD10 Hybrid Event hosted by TU Delft, The Netherlands.

RSD5 guest

The systemic design community gathering at RSD5.

Posted October 2021