Focus: Methods and the worlds they make
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Systemic design methods and methodologies

The development of systemic design has thus far primarily focused on expanding the methodological repertoire of designers in response to the complexity of contemporary design challenges, with an already substantial literature on methods and methodology in the RSD proceedings. But methods (in both design and research) have consequences beyond their utility. Every method affords seeing and doing some things while obscuring and obstructing others. In this way, 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 and underlie systemic challenges in the sense of being institutionalised.

As systemic design develops, its conventions, blind spots, and implicit values are forming.

What worlds do these give rise to? In what ways might greater attention on the conceptualisation and presuppositions of (systemic design) methods and methodologies enable more radical opportunities and possibilities? How can systemic design move beyond the individual limitations of systems thinking and design? Could elements of the wider systems field (i.e. beyond the methodological focus of systems thinking) augment or challenge systemic design? In what ways might systemic design’s methodological practices be understood as interventions in the world (in addition to the outcomes of these practices)—modes of living and doing that establish different conventions and build different worlds?

Indicative references

Drew, C., Robinson, C., Winhall, J. (2020). Not the venn: An emergent notion of systemic design which transcends the intersection of design x systems thinking. Proceedings of the Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD9) 2020 Symposium. https://rsdsymposium.org/not-the-venn-an-emergent-notion-of-systemic-design-which-transcends-the-intersection-of-design-x-systems-thinking

Glanville, R. (2015). Living in cybernetics. Kybernetes, 44(8/9), 1174-1179. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-11-2014-0258

Harding, S. (2015). Objectivity for sciences from below. In F. Padovani, A. Richardson, & J. Y. Tsou (Eds.), Objectivity in Science: New Perspectives from Science and Technology Studies (pp. 35-55). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-14349-1_3

Krippendorff, K. (2021). From uncritical design to critical examinations of its systemic consequences. Proceedings of the Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD10) 2021 Symposium. https://rsdsymposium.org/professor-dr-klaus-krippendorff/

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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Call for Papers

Submit your paper or presentation via EasyChair

Please use the RSD11 template

NOW OPEN

DEADLINES
Papers: June 16, 2022
Presentations: June 30, 2022

RSD11 INFO

RSD11 Call for Contributions

RSD11 Call for Contributions

Now open. RSD11 Call for contributions that challenge, extend, critique, and diversify established working methods in systemic design.

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.

Contributions to RSD11 focus sessions

Contributions to RSD11 focus sessions

Authors are invited to identify their paper or presentation as aligned to one of seven specific focus sessions. These have been developed as provocations for critical reflection, new topics, and different directions.

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?

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