Relating Systems Thinking & Design 3

Peter Jones Service Design, Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

RSD3 2014 Symposium Following the successful Relating Systems Thinking & Design (RSD2 symposium) last year, RSD3 seeks to engage a wider audience, maintaining the lightweight style of a small symposium where every participant can easily meet. Registration is open for RSD3 – taking place again at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, October 15-17. Since last year the organizing committee has co-created an international team to develop collaborative research and curricula, as the Systemic Design Network.  We are convinced that integrated, more effective systems thinking and methods are required for addressing complex societal concerns – and our observation is that educational programs and design agencies are not providing the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with systemic design issues. We believe a stronger integration with design and design thinking is a promising way forward. Last year’s symposium geared up the expectations and increased the enthusiasm. This year’s presenters are …

Emerging Contexts of Systemic Design – ISSS 2014

Peter Jones Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

The 2014 ISSS conference held at George Washington U was organized and convened by current president Gerald Midgely, ( U of Hull) who this year hands off the lead to Open University’s Ray Ison, a leading researcher in water ecosystems. Ray will lead next year’s ISSS conference in Berlin and will be looking for inspiring new ideas for this nearly 60-year organization. Gary Metcalf provides an excellent recap of the ISSS plenary sessions at the Saybrook University blog. Proceedings are not yet published for the current conference, but the prior years are available online. The theme for this year was appropriately titled “Leading Across Boundaries,” a clear call to engage ideas across the disciplines to which systems theory and thinking contribute.  I opened this year’s new track in Systemic Design at ISSS 2014 with a context presentation of systemic design in the context of systems practice and education (the additional research …

Design Research Methods for Systemic Design

Peter Jones Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

From the presentation at ISSS 2014, Washington DC The recent development of systemic design as a research-based practice draws on long-held precedents in the system sciences toward representation of complex social and enterprise systems. A precedent article, published as Systemic Design Principles for Complex Social Systems (Jones, 2014) established an axiomatic and epistemological basis for complementary principles shared between design reasoning and systems theory. The current paper aims to establish a basis for identifying shared methods (techne) and action practice (phronesis). Systemic design is distinguished from user-oriented or industrial design practices in terms of its direct relationship to systems theory and explicit adoption of social system design tenets. Systemic design is concerned with higher-order socially-organized systems that encompass multiple subsystems in a complex policy, organizational or product-service context. By integrating systems thinking and its methods, systemic design brings human-centered design to complex, multi-stakeholder service systems as those found in industrial …

What is a “Problem,” Really? The Wickedness of Problem Systems

Peter Jones Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

Adapted from a new article:  Jones, P.H. (2014). Systemic design principles for complex social systems. In G. Metcalf (ed.), Social Systems and Design, Volume 1 of the Translational Systems Science Series, pp 91-128. Springer Japan. “Problems,” as we naively designate them, are essentially social agreements to name a salient concern shared within a culture. We learn to describe an observed phenomenon or anticipated possible outcome as a normative deficiency, and we expect a listener to accept the “problem” as a shared object of concern.  But what is a “problem” really?  The designation of concern (Latour, 2008) reflects a thoughtful presentation of the social value of the meaning ascribed to problems as experienced. Latour distinguishes between matters of fact (believed to be objectively determined) and matters of concern (about which we share associated values, and experience care, entanglement, and investment).   Matters of concern are issues relevant to our motivation for design …