Rethinking Design for a Complex World: The Systems Track

  • Cecilia Landa-Avila (Chair)
  • Sofía Bosch Gómez (Chair)
  • Sine Celik (Chair)
  • Josina Vink (Chair)
  • Sweeting, B. (Chair)

Activity: EventsConference


Theme track at the 2022 conference of the Design Research Society.

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has brought to light many complex emergencies that require urgent attention. The two-year experience has tested the resilience of communities, institutions, businesses, and governments alike. As well as its consequences for health systems, the pandemic has created a ripple effect on people’s lives, affecting local and global economies and exposing inequalities, injustices, and assumptions in all aspects of life. More than ever before, the complex interconnections between socio-technical, natural, political, and economic systems have become evident. This surfaces paradoxes and dilemmas that disrupt design practice and trigger a need to explore and embrace alternative ways of thinking and acting that consider multiple scales and networks across domains.

This track responds to the need to establish a common ground to integrate a complex systems lens in the design practice. Areas of application include but are not limited to:

Health and care systems.
Systems for alternative pedagogies.
Governance and resilience systems in the face of climate emergency.
Dismantling existing harm-causing systems.

Within the aforementioned areas, we invite papers on the following topics:

Emergence and unintended consequences in systemic design.
Non-traditional methods for working with systems: visualisation, sensemaking, and analysis.
Engagement, power dynamics and multi-stakeholder participation.
Challenges and dilemmas around values in systems.
Transitioning toward alternative systems and radical possibilities.
Integration of critical systems thinking principles.

This track grants a space for academics, practitioners, and students to share expertise, knowledge, and methods. We encourage applications from a diverse range of approaches, with special interest in work developed in the Global South and/or by/with marginalised communities.
Event typeConference
LocationBilbao, SpainShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational