SOD is open source

profesjonal workshop1

From a workshop with design professionals in Tallin 2013

SOD is open source

Updated November 2017

From the very beginning, the techniques and methodology of Systems oriented design (SOD) were never thought to be precise descriptions of defined processes. On the contrary, each project or systemic intervention needs its own variation of the process. Each situation is slightly unique and demands a rethinking and adjustment of the process. Process design is an integrated part of a SOD project. In that sense, SOD is a ‘methodology without a method’.

Another aspect of this is that the research on SOD has always been shared in the academic context of the design research community.

Announcing SOD as ‘open source' we actively declare this inherent nature of SODand encourage others to participate in its development.

As an open-sourced methodology, anyone is welcome to use any part of the methodology and change it in in any way. As you think about ways to change SOD, we ask you to respect the following:

  • Please make a reference to the SOD page with a ‘based on SOD’ note.
  • Please respect the ‘kernel’ of SOD.
  • If you find that your project is not covered anymore by the kernel library of SOD, then please stop referencing SOD.

The Kernel of SOD
The kernel of SOD represents the core values and perspectives that determine if a project can be seen as a SOD project. These are guidelines that were made by us, but we will not police these guidelines in any way. We ask you to consider them and respect the kernel of SOD.

If your project corresponds to all or most of the kernel parameters, we welcome you to reference it as a SOD project, and we would appreciate it if you send us a reference to the project or even material to publish on the website.

If the project does not correspond to most of the kernel parameters, we kindly ask you not to refer to the project as an SOD project. If the project is within the field of systems thinking in design, we suggest that you refer to the project as a systemic design project. If your project is mostly on the systems side and does not contain an important element of design, design thinking and design practice, we suggest you refer to the project as a systems engineering project, a systemic development project or something similar.

The kernel of SOD is characterised by the following:

1) Designerly way of understanding and creating systems
2) The use of central SOD techniques, among them 
3) Addressing complex problems across scales and disciplines
4) Responsibility for the intended and unintended consequences of the design
5) Participatory processes with stakeholders, experts and all relevant organisations and individuals
6) Ethical considerations because SOD is about improving things

To be regarded as a SOD project, your project should be able to check off all or most of the points mentioned above. 
We encourage you to help us develop SOD.