Shaking Up the Status Quo in the Healthcare System

Format: Papers, RSD5, Topic: Health & Well-being

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.

Citation Data

Author(s): OCTOBER 2016
Title: Shaking Up the Status Quo in the Healthcare System
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 20 September 2016
Last update:
Publisher Identification:

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.

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

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