Contributions to RSD11 focus sessions
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2022 program to include focus sessions for papers and presentations

The RSD11 organising group welcomes the full diversity of systemic design discourse and practice under the general call – and there is no need to try to fit contributions into these focuses for the sake of it. However, authors can also identify their paper or presentation as aligned to one of seven provocations for focus sessions that have been developed for critical reflection, new topics, and different directions. Each focus includes a small selection of indicative references, often including material from the searchable RSD proceedings, which we hope authors will use as a resource for building on the work of others. Accepted contributions that directly respond to these focuses will be grouped in dedicated sessions to create new insights on these topics throughout RSD11.

A summary of each focus session is provided below and linked to an extended description.

Confronting legacies of oppression in systemic design

Systemic design is often complicit in reproducing oppression, contributing to structural inequities being designed into our systems. Grappling with the systemic nature of oppression demands a sustained commitment to equity, self-determination, and liberation through and beyond systemic design. What can relevant thinking and doing related to systemic design aid in confronting the systemic nature of oppression and inform a more equitable approach? What is needed for systemic design to meaningfully reduce structural inequalities in the outcomes of our social systems? Full description–

Methods and the worlds they make

Methods have consequences beyond their utility, affording and perpetuating ways of understanding and organising the world much like any other artefact. As systemic design develops, its conventions, blind spots, and implicit values are formed. What worlds do these give rise to? How might systemic design’s methodological practices be understood as interventions in the world—modes of living and doing that establish different conventions and build different worlds Full description–

Designing radical shifts in and for planetary health

My health depends on your health, which depends on networks, systems, and webs of planetary health. Attending to health means fundamentally rethinking where (our) health comes from. However, these intersecting health entanglements are vast and complex. These networks or webs include elements that are difficult (if even possible) to be seen or measured in conventional empirical or rational terms. How might systemic design practices engage with ecological and global health reparation rather than reinforce individual wellness models? Full description–

Different stories in design: Provocations from the work of Gregory Bateson

Cybernetician and anthropologist Gregory Bateson challenged the reductive ways of engaging systems embedded in the stories built around modernity, human agency, technology, innovation, and design. In contrast to well-meaning attempts to address identifiable problems, Bateson explored themes such as dialogue, metaphor, and a secular rethinking of the ‘sacred’ as different logics of operations that could lead to different stories and engagements. How may we use Bateson’s provocations to rethink the problematic stories around design and modernity as mobilised in contemporary design practices? Full description–

Architecture gone wild?

The discipline of architecture has been undergoing a “Cambrian explosion” of outcomes, influenced by methods, tools, and techniques driven by exponential growth in digital technologies. Latent in these developments are potential transformations of the discipline’s role in the built environment. What opportunities, and troubles, lie within these possibilities? How might this intense period of augmenting design processes and their outcomes also afford ways of reimagining the intentionality of what architecture is and what/whom it is for Full description–

Products are systemic objects

Design covers a spectrum of complexity, from the stylistic to the systemic. The structure is not a hierarchy but a stack. Even the most simple of objects, such as a pencil, have the potential to shape forests, fields and cities. Creating products means creating consequences: direct and indirect; intended and unintended; infinitesimal and seismic; dramatic and accretive. In this focus, RSD11 calls for contributions in circular design, regenerative design, and distributed design, where the designers of things act to shape the nature and legibility of economic, bureaucratic, ecological and cultural systems. Full description–

Design over time

The complexity of systemic challenges comes in part from their extended duration: organisations, places, and cultures are deeply rooted in past actions, while the consequences of interventions extend far into the future. Yet, it isn’t easy to think of the temporality of design beyond the consideration of years or decades. According to the Long Now Foundation, the “long now” spans 10,000 years before – and 10,000 years after – the present moment. What if one thought of systemic design in terms of centuries or millennia? How might this be possible, and what would its consequences be? Full description–

Special thanks

Thanks to those who have proposed and developed the focuses: Gareth Owen Lloyd, Christopher Daniel, Dulmini Perera, Sally Sutherland, Ben Sweeting, James Tooze, Jeffrey P. Turko, and Josina Vink.

Posted April 2022
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DEADLINE

August 15, 2022

Contributing to RSD11: four steps

1. Read the RSD11 call for activities, workshops, and exhibits
2. Refer to RSD11 program overview and “Preparing a Paper” for more info
3. Download the RSD11 template
4. Submit via EasyChair

RSD11 INFO

Call for RSD11 Contributions

Call for RSD11 Contributions

Now open – activities, workshops, and exhibits. This is the final call for contributions that prompt further questions and enact enquiries. Deadline: August 15

RSD11 CfC update

RSD11 CfC update

Current RSD11 updates on Calls for Contributions and acknowledgements.

Preparing an RSD submission

Preparing an RSD submission

This article invites you to follow the RSD posting protocols and provides a detailed description of the basics to consider when preparing your submission.

Focus: Design over time

Focus: Design over time

Designers must navigate between the need for immediate action and maintaining long-term change. Yet, it is difficult to think of the temporality of design beyond the consideration of years or decades.

Focus: Products are systemic objects

Focus: Products are systemic objects

In this focus, RSD11 is interested in contributions exploring: circular design, regenerative design, distributed design, and, more broadly, ways that designers of things act to shape the nature and legibility of economic, bureaucratic, ecological and cultural systems.

Focus: Architecture gone wild?

Focus: Architecture gone wild?

Now that the architecture discipline seems to be arriving at a period of digital sobriety in its modes of practice and generative methods, critical perspectives are needed.

Focus: Radical shifts in planetary health

Focus: Radical shifts in planetary health

Attending to health means fundamentally rethinking where (our) health comes from. The importance of considering global health and human health as intersecting is increasingly pressing.

Focus: Different stories in design

Focus: Different stories in design

How may we use Bateson’s provocations to rethink the problematic stories around design and modernity as mobilised in contemporary design practices?

Focus: Methods and the worlds they make

Focus: Methods and the worlds they make

Methods afford and perpetuate ways of understanding and organising the world much like any other artefact. Because conventions are assumed within the context of a methodological practice, they are difficult to question from within.

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