Systems Oriented Design / Systemorientert Design (NO)
The designerly way to work with systems
The main mission of Systems Oriented Design is to build the designers own interpretation and implementation of systems thinking so that systems thinking can fully benefit from design thinking and practice and so that design thinking and practice can fully benefit from systems thinking.
Manuela Aguirre on Bela Banathy, Participation and Power
In the Norwegian PhD dissertation, the candidate is given a title for a trial lecture to be held before the actual dissertation. The title is given three weeks before. Manuela Aguirre had her dissertation in beginning of June 2020. To see her presentation and get access to the thesis see here.
However, the trial lecture is in itself worth a watch. The committee consisted of Professor Per-Anders Hillgren from Malmø University, Alex Ryan PhD director at the MaRS innovation centre in Toronto and Associate Professor Maya Van Der Velden from the University of Oslo. They gave the candidate an interesting challenge.
The title of the lecture given was:
How can Bela Banathy's ideas on pervasive co-design culture be understood in relation to Participatory Design and the issues of power?
Panacea Food Lab is a service and systems oriented design diploma that explores healthy diets and food system sustainability in China.
Nowadays, China's food system faces significant challenges in the context of rapid urbanization, population growth, dietary transition, and climate change. The current food system is threatening both human health and environmental sustainability.
The project takes a systemic look at the current food system in China. Based on the understanding of the food systems and the target users, Panacea Food Lab suggests a platform targeted at young Chinese consumers that provides a hands-on educational food experience.
By combining the offerings from various stakeholders, like food-related social organization, knowledge providers, and local organic farms, the platform provides a comprehensive service. The service includes food innovation workshops and online services.
The food innovation workshop is the core of the service. With knowledge empowerment and hands-on experience, it aims to guide consumers toward building a scientific and healthy dietary perception with Chinese cultural identity for taking the first step of behavioral change. Also, the workshop connects humans, food, and the environment, conveying the idea of a sustainable lifestyle.
The online part of Panacea Food Lab makes the service more accessible and potentially more influential. It includes an online eco-food market that sells sustainable food and ingredients, a food library where users review and share multimedia and interactive food knowledge, and management tool for users to effortlessly search and book workshops.
This thesis explores how public sector organizations introduce new ways of working, such as co-design methods and mindsets, and examines the interactions between emerging co-designing cultures and dominant public sector cultures. This research contributes to the field of design, with a focus on culture change in public sector organizations.
When designers try to create lasting change in the public sector, their aim is not only to co-design meaningful new or improved services, but also to embed the capacity – rather than dependency – of co-design into the organization. Current research suggests that this embedded co-design capacity allows for ongoing transformation.
Organizational change can be achieved in various ways, one of which is by facilitating experiential capacity-building programs that immerse public employees in co- designing methods and approaches over the course of several months. In this context, designers often experience that the existing organizational culture strongly constrains the adoption and application of new ways of working. However, many designers are not trained to address this cultural phenomenon.
Through a systems oriented design (SOD) approach, two cases of capacity building programs from different countries were analyzed, Fifth Space in Canada and Experimenta in Chile. An integrated research approach combining methods, such as research by design, gigamapping, interviews, and literature mapping was used to get new insights into the complex, contemporary design practice of nurturing and spreading organizational co-design capacities. The analysis of both programs drew my attention to the liminal space between the pre-existing culture in the organization and the emerging culture related to the introduction of new methods and ways of working. While it seemed like these conflicting cultures prohibited lasting innovation, there was also a lack of models and reflective tools to examine these intercultural dynamics.
This thesis presents analytical and conceptual models that help to make interactions between the emerging and existing organizational culture more explicit and actionable. First, the Ripppling model provides three analytical dimensions – paradigm, practices, and the physical dimension – to analyze the interactions between the emerging and dominant organizational cultures. This analysis can help to position the emerging culture in a constructive way without alienating the dominant culture, and to enable the co-existence of both for long-lasting transformational change. The Ripppling ecosystem model builds on the micro-interactions analyzed with the Ripppling model and proposes a system of embedded layers for large-scale cultural change processes that can have effects beyond the organization that participates in the capacity-building program.
Taken together, the results of this thesis help to explain the difficulties public organizations face when introducing new capacities, such as co- design. My work suggests that these new capacities function as carriers or vehicles of cultural meaning that will inherently generate productive or unproductive tensions with the pre-existing culture. Therefore, one has to carefully recognize and address the underlying interactions across cultures to build organizational transformation strategically and to leverage the full potential of co-designing approaches. This work gives new insights into how to create continuous change in the public sector and has implications for future design practice, research, and education.
Here is a video priduced by Justyna Swat from our fishbowl workshop at RSD8 at IIT in Chicago. We discussed how systemic design can become a regenerative practice.
A fishbowl is a particular discussion format that allows all people both to listen and to engage in a concentrate manner. Five chairs are in the center. Sitting on a chair gives you the right to speak. When you have nothing to say leave the chair and let others occupy it.