Design professionals were attracted at the RSD5 (Relating Systems Thinking and Design) Symposium to a preconference workshop on October 13 at OCADU in Toronto, with the following abstract:
Since 2014, an international collaborative of design leaders has been exploring ways in which methods can be augmented, transitioning from the heritage legacy focus on products and services towards a broad range of complex sociotechnical systems and contemporary societal problems issues. At last year’s RSD4 Symposium, DesignX founder Don Norman presented a keynote talk on the frontiers of design practice and necessity for advanced design education for highly complex sociotechnical problems. He identified the qualities of these systems as relevant to DesignX problems, and called for systemics, transdisciplinarity and the need for high-quality observations (or evidence) in design problems. Initial directions found were proposed in the first DesignX workshop in October 2015, which have been published in the new design journal She Ji. In October 2016, another DesignX workshop will be held at Tongji University in Shanghai, overlapping with the timing of the RSD5 Symposium.
We propose to sustain the relationships between RSD and DesignX with this RSD5 half-day workshop, to explore the relationships between systemic design, existing educational programs and the DesignX agenda. We invite RSD participants engaged in both of these contexts to join in a collaborative discussion aimed at further developing the design and education agendas in these discourse communities. We aim to capture experiences and insights from design leaders, educators and practitioners in Toronto, as input, validation and/or suggestions for further development of the DesignX direction.
The morning started with 26 participants, who were briefed on the context for discussion, and given some instructions on a suggested approach.
The participants broke up into 5 groups for an open discussion over 90 minutes, and then gave brief verbal recaps supported by flipcharts on which that had collaborated. For the impatient, here are some initial summaries expressing voices on emergent issues, that may serve as a basis for further inquiry.
Group 1‘s discussion centered on social designers:
Group 2‘s discussion centered on design educators:
Group 3‘s discussion centered on designers working in policy:
Group 4‘s discussion centered on designers engaged with stakeholders:
Group 5‘s discussion centered on design learners:
Comments on refining these questions are welcomed at the foot of this post, or through private communications.
Susu Nousala chaired the workshop. The agenda was to explore together what people know, think, feel and experience about the field of design in relation to the DesignX and Systemic Design initiatives. On the wall was a shrub (initially envisioned as a tree) of quotations on DesignX, published in She Ji.
Some excerpts were read out, and participants were welcomed to come up to refer to the text during the discussion period.
daviding November 9th, 2016