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RSD12-Nordmarka-Forest: Natural Dialogues


a forest retreat for reflexive conver­sations on systemic design

Hosted by SDA Norway | October 11–13, 2023 | Norway | Nordmarka Forest

The RSD12-Nordmarka Forest hub invites you to the forest. The forest works as a metaphor for a plurality of regenerative minds, design and a sense of being. Further, it mirrors a holistic and open exploration of methods for multi-stakeholder connections and builds resilient, inclusive, and sustainable solutions to complex problems.

Call for Contributions | Deadline for abstracts May 31 | Complete submissions due June 15 | Registration coming soon

RSD12-Nordmarka Forest Setting

The Studenterhytta is located on a hill with a beautiful view of the forest. Three main buildings form a yard; Kjellerberget Restaurant, the family cabin and the large OSI cabin with, among other things, a bedroom (for 60 people), a living room with a fireplace and a shower. The place is within the field boundary; you can get here on foot, by bike or on skis. Clear water can be seen directly behind the cabin. The area around Blankvann and Studenterhytta is a Landscape Conservation Area due to the very rich flora and many rare flowers and plant species.

FOCUS: reflexivity, ecocentrism, and regenerative systems

The RSD12 call for contributions is now open and accepting submissions for papers, online workshops, and exhibits related to “reflexivity, ecocentrism, and regenerative systems.”

Reflexivity can help designers better understand their own assumptions and values. This involves reflecting on their own experiences and perspectives.

  • How might these be influencing their approach to the project?
  • How can a design team identify potential biases or blind spots by engaging in a process of reflexivity?
  • How have systemic design and reflexivity been used in combination to promote critical thinking in the design process?

Ecocentrism is an alternative worldview that places all life at the centre instead of just humans. Operating from this paradigm can help make our practice more-than-sustainable in the future.

  • What can designers deeply learn from nature and the way it works?
  • How can designers operate from an Ecocentric perspective before a human-centred perspective? What does this mean?
  • What are the tensions that can emerge by operating from an Ecocentric perspective in a human-centric industry and practice?

Regenerative systems, human or natural, return more value to their environments and actors than what they extract. Systemic design as a practice should be oriented to creating regenerative systems in all senses.

  • How can we make the conditions for regenerative systems to emerge?
  • What shifts in perspective and practice are needed for us to shift towards regenerative systems?
  • How can designers deal with the tensions and conflicts that are bound to come up in system transitions?

RSD Examples

Avery, H. (2022). The Frog that Leaped. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD11) Symposium.

Dudani, P. (2017). Making Metaphors Matter within Systems Oriented Design. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD6) Symposium.

Lockton, Dan (2017). Metaphors and Systems. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD6) Symposium.

Luthe, T. (2017). Co-designing a real-world laboratory for systemic design in the Italian alps: How complexity shapes the process. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD6) Symposium.

Wigum, K.S. (2022). A Systemic Approach to Traps and Opportunities for Sustainable Value Chains in Norwegian Forestry. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD11) Symposium.


RSD12-Nordmarka Forest is coordinated by:


Programme and schedule are in development.

RSD12-Norway save the date October 11 to 13, 2023


Budget and fees are in development.

About SDA-Norway

SDA Norway (SDA-NO) is an informal national pilot chapter of the Systemic Design Association (SDA). It is an active and collaborative network engaged in building a local systemic design community in Norway (based in the Oslo region). SDA-NO gathers practitioners, academic design researchers and teachers in systemic design, particularly interested in systems oriented design (SOD) in Norway. An offspring of SOD is the Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD) symposia, which began with the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in 2012 and resulted in the founding of the Systemic Design Research Network and later, the Systemic Design Association, founded in 2018.

The purpose of SDA-NO is to support the development, diffusion and celebration of systemic design practice, methodology and theory in the Nordic region.

In line with the SDA statutes, SDA-NO supports a pluralistic approach and view in the development of systemic design and encourages a variety of different approaches to flourish. SDA-NO supports the development of normative ethical standards related to agency, actions, and the consequences of systemic design practice. SDA-NO pursues a spirit of openness and follows a principle of low-overhead operations and distributed responsibility.

The coordinating team of SDA-NO consists of the following members:

The team acts as the body that develops and hosts the SDA-NO gatherings. SDA-NO was first coordinated by Benedicte Wildhagen and Jonathan Romm. Lately, Angel Lamar and Marie Van der Bergh have stepped in as more active coordinators. The coordinator/s are elected by the co-founding team for a period of one calendar year.

SDA Norway had two meetings in February 2023 where the subject of establishing an RSD12 hub in Oslo was discussed and agreed upon.

AHO logo
Mist covers the woods in Nordmarka forest after the dry summer months

Image: Nordmarka Forest, fall mist. Source: Kris-Mikael Krister on Unsplash.

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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