Learning systems thinking by building models (AHO 2006)

In the research pages you will find references to systems litterature, articles and projects. Here also the concepts of systems oriented design will be presented. This might take some time because they are in the pipeline for publishing.

Click on the submenus to the left to read more about methods, publications, and reference list.

Systemic Design

Field of possibilities sod web

Systemic Design as a field of possibilities. (B. Sevaldson 2013).

SOD is placed slightly off center, closer to Design practice approximately at the red blurred dot.


The idea of Systemic Design as a pluralistic field opens up for the possibilities of several different approaches to Systemic Design ar not only allowed but encouraged. This was the proposal of Birger Sevaldson at the RSD2 Symposium in Oslo 2013.

Systems Oriented Design is placed approximately at the red blurred spot, A little bit towards the practice side and a bit design heavy rather than systems heavy.

Systemic Design emerged from the Relating Systems Thinking and Design symposia (RSD) that were an initiative by Sevaldson with the first symposium in 2012 that started as a symposium for Systems Oriented Design students at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). Sevaldson suggested using the term Systemic Design for the whole field in the intersection between design and systems thinking (Sevaldson, 2013). The notion of Systemic Design has diffuse roots but it was introduced in the sense it is used by us by Harold Nelson and Erik Stolterman in their book, The Design Way (Nelson & Stolterman, 2012). The motivation of Sevaldson to abandon SOD as a notion for the whole field was the risk of watering out its design oriented and practice heavy approach and on the other side to colonize a much bigger territory than what felt justified. This spurred the further development of the RSD symposia as a forum for the whole pluralistic systemic design field and also triggered the founding of the Systemic Design Research Network.


The Systemic Design website is found at


Nelson, H. G., & Stolterman, E. (2012). The design way: intentional change in an unpredictable world: foundations and fundamentals of design competence. Englewood Cliffs: 1st ed. Educational Technology, 2nd ed. MIT press.


Sevaldson, B. (2013). RSD2 intro lecture. Oslo. Retrieved from



 The RSD1 symposium was the first Relating Systems Thinking and Design symposium. It was organized by Birger Sevaldson at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. The framework was informal and it was organized as partly a lecture event with invited lecturers and partly a seminar for sharing ideas and presentations.


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Aslak Sødal 17368 assignsubmission file SKjera Tønsberg Map Final web

(Skjer'a Tønsberg Aslak Sødal 2016)

Design for Democracy is an education based research program started in the fall 2016 but with several projects predating this.

The aim of the project is to develop the next generation of design for democracy. We think developing democracy is about practice and culturing rather than about theory. In short, it is about design. Design can play a crucial role in the development of the next generations of democracy.

Here is the link to the democracy files, a collection of resources regarding design for democracy.


Want to study Design for Democracy?


Design for democracy is not new and we think we need to build on the existing work but this needs to be developed further. Victor Margolin has been important in maintaining the agenda and provides an excellent overview in this lecture from 2012.


Victor Margolin: Democracy and Design in a Troubled World


The research project is in its initial phases based on the explorative research by design of the master students at AHO. The project is based on master studio courses, designed as education based research, in its built up phase. 

The next phase is to initiate a larger dialogue. This is on its way with the 2017 RSD6 (Relating Systems Thinking and Design 6) Symposium at AHO 18th to 20th October  Read more here: >>>>>

Also we are contributing to the DEMOCRACY AND DESIGN PLATFORM initiative.

Read more below about news, information, links and projects in the blog below. Any comments or initiatives for collaboration are welcome.


Advisory Council


Harold Nelson

Benedicte Wildhagen, Norwegian Design Council (