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RSD12-Kingston: Cyber and Digital


tensions between protection and radical change

Hosted by Kingston University | October 8, 2023 | Kingston upon Thames, UK

RSD12-Kingston is centred on the University of Kingston’s Cyber/Digital Group as one of the KERI developments from Kingston’s Town House Strategy dedicated to research, knowledge exchange, and professional practice. This trans-disciplinary group’s research interests are central to enabling innovative work that builds future skills and stems from every area of the university. Their collaborative, transdisciplinary engagement facilitates systemic fields of research and practices across design, computing, business, health, engineering and the creative/cultural industries.

What if interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary excellence and knowledge are the keys to setting and meeting the challenges for society and industry?

The Cyber Centre of Excellence and the School of Design have partnered to explore interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to changing the cybersecurity culture in the context of a new wave of designers and researchers who view social, environmental and governance as criticalities of design. Organiser Damian Chapman connects this to #NewMacy and second-order cybernetics:

Cybernetic thinking applied as a basis for a constructionist methodology informs the development of circularity by observing cause and effect through participant insights and feedback mechanisms. Integrating these skill-sets and knowledge into the faculty of KSA has helped grow our school, and reputation in industry, with close relationships supporting colleagues across national and international boundaries.

RSD12-Kingston Setting

Kinston University has four campuses on the Thames: Penrhyn Road, Kingston Hill, Kingston School of Art, Knights Park, Roehampton Vale, and Kingston School of Art, River House. The campuses are near historic Hampton Court Palace and two royal parks, and central London is 30 minutes away by train. While venues are still under consideration, two possible sites are Town House and the Cyber Centre of Excellence.

Town House is a new building on the Penrhyn Road campus, a location recognised as Britain’s best new building by the 2021 Royal Institute of British Architects and winner of the 2022 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award, the highest accolade in European architecture. The building is a place for lectures and presentations, exhibitions and performances, and a university library with study spaces, cafés, and outdoor areas.

Also of note is the Cyber Centre of Excellence, based within the School of Computer Science and Mathematics and home to the university’s cyber lab facilities. The Centre is recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education. In addition to dedicated lab cyber teaching and learning resources, the Centre hosts cybersecurity activities, convening a growing network of companies and organisations.

More details on the venue, transit, and accessibility will be posted as plans progress.

A modern glass building reflecting an older brick building, representing the Kingston University's Cyber Centre of Excellence

Cyber Centre of Excellence. Source: Kingston U

Town House video tour. Source: YouTube

FOCUS: Cyber and Digital

The RSD12 call for contributions is now open and accepting submissions for papers, posters and online/offline workshops on “cyber and digital.”

This focus area is rooted in technological entanglements. AI is trending as a disruptive force in the tangle of emerging technologies, from the familiar—IoT, AR, VR, 5G, and blockchain—to the recondite—nanotechnology, biotechnology, DNA sequencing, and quantum computing. This focus area seeks contributions that represent research related to design and technology, for instance, tensions between ethics and design, defuturing and contra-innovation (Dulmini & Fry, 2023), security and innovation, and so on. Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the space between and across cyber security and design are especially welcome.

The partners’ statements from their web pages form a starting place for this dialectic.

Cyber Centre of Excellence

Cyber security is a global challenge that impacts societies, national security, critical infrastructure and the global economy.

The primary aim is to collaboratively establish nationally recognised standards of excellence in cyber security education, with Government and other academic institutions. Building on a GCHQ-certified masters programme and a strong research base, the Centre will deliver a state-of-the-art cyber security education environment specialising in live threats intelligence simulations and establishing long-term proactive partnerships with industry, Government, local communities—to change the cybersecurity culture.

The Centre aims to become a hub for applied cybersecurity activities, growing a network of companies and organisations, local and global, with which it will develop substantial business partnerships.

School of Design

We believe that tomorrow’s designers need to be able to think critically and act practically; they are required to be contextually insightful and creative, and therefore well placed to meet new challenges in a strategic, ambitious and perhaps entrepreneurial manner … we believe inter-disciplinary excellence and knowledge are key to the development of confident, agile, innovative and creative contemporary design practitioners meeting and setting the challenges for society and industry. Thinking and doing underpin design practice across the school and supports students and staff as their work traverses disciplines and subjects in hybrid spaces defining the emerging roles and responsibilities for designers of the future.

We aspire to design practice that is vested with personality, purpose and vision resulting from an appetite for life and a desire to make a difference. As a school we aim to graduate creative and innovative designers and researchers who are clearly engaging in and aware of ethical, moral, social and environmental responsibilities, as 21st century citizens.


Perera, D. & Fry, T. (2022). Contra-Innovation: Expanding the innovation imperative in the context of futuring, defuturing and fictioning. Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal, 1.


Barba, E. (2021). Tensions between systemic design and systems engineering. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD10.

Battle, S. (2022). Ontological Design for Robotics. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD11. Article 147

Edeholt, H. (2022). Trapped in Complexity: Worlds and the methods they make. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD11. Article 187.

Luna, B. (2022). Building a Systemic Designer’s Library: Borrowing from multiple disciplines to develop systemic design mental models. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD11.

Cattabriga, A. (2022). Systemic Relational Insights: A new hybrid intelligence approach to make sense of complex problems. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD11.

Lomas. D., Patek, N. and Forlizzi, J. (2021). Designing Data-informed Intelligent Systems to Create Positive Impact. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD10.

Marines Hernández, L.E. (2018). Mapping Disciplinary Mobility for Tackling Complex Problems. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD7

Mozuni, M., Ohlhoff, M., and Glatzel, G. (2021). Option Evaluation in Multi-disciplinary Strategic Design. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD10.

Sweeting, B. (2017). Cybernetics, virtue ethics and design. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD6.


The University of Kingston organisers are:

  • Damian Chapman, Head of School of Design and Project Lead, Leadership & Development
  • Dr Darrel Greenhil, Associate Professor, Department of Networks and Digital Media, School of Computer Science and Mathematics
  • Dr Vesna Brujic-Okretic, Head of School of Computer Science and Mathematics and Cyber Centre of Excellence


The programme and schedule are in development.

October 13 to October 14 #RSD12


The budget and participant fee schedule are in development.

About the organisers

Damian Chapman’s 20+ year professional career informs his work in cross-functional knowledge sharing to challenge siloed communities and to facilitate inductive approaches to organisational learning. He is Head of School for the School of Design in the Kingston School of Art faculty, with specialisations in design innovation, interaction design, and communication design. Damian is also a Royal College of Art doctoral researcher with a lifelong ambition and dedication to education’s ability to greatly improve people’s lives and their potential for learning. 

Darrel Greenhill, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Networks and Digital Media in the School of Computer Science and Mathematics. He has been a lecturer at Kingston University since 1997 and is active in the research fields of computer vision applied to biomedical imaging and gamification for education. Darrel is a Digital Information Research Centre member, resulting in over 40 publications. He is the originator of undergraduate and graduate computer game development courses, namely Computer Games Programming BSc and the Digital Media Kingston courses Game Development Programming MSc and Design MA. 

Vesna Brujic-Okretic, PhD,  is a Professor of Computer Science with a background in engineering and physics and expertise in the area of augmented and virtual reality. She is Head of School for the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, which includes the cyber security centre, a national Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education. The School offers computer science, data science, user experience design, cyber security, games programming and digital media technologies courses and launched an undergraduate course in Artificial Intelligence in 2023.

kingston university london logo
Glass roof over the external quadrangle of Kingston University's Learning Resources Centre
Students at work in a brightly lit design studio at the School of Design

Photos: School of Design students, part of a virtual tour. Below logo: School of Design Learning Resources Centre, source: Pascall+Watson.

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested citation format (APA)

Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

Publishing with RSD

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

Papers and presentations are entered into a single-blind peer-review process, meaning reviewers see the authors’ names but not vice versa. Reviewers consider the quality of the proposed contribution and whether it addresses topics of interest or raises relevant issues in systemic design. The review process provides feedback and possible suggestions for modifications.

The Organising Committee reviews and assesses workshops and systems maps & exhibits with input from reviewers and the Programme Committee.

Editor: Cheryl May
Peter Jones
Ben Sweeting

The scholar’s spiral

In 2022, the Systemic Design Association adopted the scholar's spiral—a cyclic non-hierarchical approach to advance scholarship—and in 2023, launched Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal. Together, the RSD symposia and Contexts support the vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars and practitioners to publish work in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

The Systemic Design Association's membership ethos is to co-create the socialization and support for all members to contribute their work, find feedback and collaboration where needed, and pursue their pathways toward research and practice outcomes that naturally build a vital design field for the future.


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