Vanessa Rodrigues and Josina Vink
There is a growing interest in how design can be used to spark change within incumbent social systems. However, the challenges of cultivating this change from the inside and how they might be
overcome through design efforts have not been sufficiently addressed in design literature. This paper uses structuration theory and enactment of structures to reflect on the tensions that actors embedded within social systems face when designing. Through a case study of a service design initiative in healthcare, the authors highlight the role of design in enacting new structures that conflict with the status quo within social systems. The authors also discuss the importance of shifting mindsets to encourage systemic change. The paper concludes by outlining opportunities for future research that can help to better equip actors to enact change in social systems through design.