Research paper presentation at ISSS 2014: Design Research Methods for Systemic Design: Perspectives from Design Education and Practice
The recent development of systemic design as a research-based practice draws on long-held precedents in the system sciences toward representation of complex social and enterprise systems. A precedent article, published as Systemic Design Principles for Complex Social Systems (Jones, 2014) established an axiomatic and epistemological basis for complementary principles shared between design reasoning and systems theory. The current paper aims to establish a basis for identifying shared methods (techne) and action practice (phronesis). Systemic design is distinguished from user-oriented or industrial design practices in terms of its direct relationship to systems theory and explicit adoption of social system design tenets. Systemic design is concerned with higher-order socially-organized systems that encompass multiple subsystems in a complex policy, organizational or product-service context. By integrating systems thinking and its methods, systemic design brings human-centered design to complex, multi-stakeholder service systems as those found in industrial networks, transportation, medicine and healthcare. It adapts from known design competencies - form and process reasoning, social and generative research methods, and sketching and visualization practices - to describe, map, propose and reconfigure complex services and systems.
Peter Jones, PhD OCAD University, Toronto Institute for 21st Century Agoras ISSS 2014 July 31, 2014 Design Research Methods for Systemic Design Peter Jones, PhD OCAD University, Toronto Institute for 21st Century Agoras ISSS 2014 July 31, 2014
Before methods, contexts. • Systems science has preferred theories for system description (explanation), prediction (control), & intervention (change). • Contributions of modern design disciplines ‐ industrial, information, service design – are marginal at best. • “Design” as problem solving, or a process of system design • Social systems design as a template for design thinking in complex socially‐constructed domains. • Which are (now) everything.
22 Designer Hugh Dubberly (& Nelson) argues that design processes are embodiments of systems thinking. Banathy (& Gharajedaghi) advocate a designing orientation to social systems as designing.
Compatible philosophies, different generations. Generation: First Second Third Fourth Philosophy Rational 1960’s Pragmatic 1970’s Phenomenological 1980’s Generative 2000’s Methods Movement from craft to standardized methods Instrumentality, Methods customized to context Design research and stakeholder methods Design cognition Generative, empathic & transdisciplinary Authors & trends Simon, Fuller Design Science, Planning Rittel, Jones Wicked problems, Evolution Schon, Don Norman User‐centered & Participatory Design Reflective action Dubberly, Sanders Generative Design Service Design Systemic design Systems influences Sciences, OR Cybernetics Natural systems System dynamics Systems engineering System dynamics Social systems Soft systems Complexity Socio‐ecological Dialogic Participatory
Design doesn’t really integrate systems thinking. Tendency to adopt system thinking as method. Systems thinking influenced management practices similarly. • System dynamics too positivist, analytical for design. • Externalizes systems as behaviors, but not artifactual • Senge, Meadows ignored design thinking • Incompatible with social systems • Ackoff school was not methodological, or “design‐endorsed” • Designers in practice often use what works & do not care about the pedigree
25 Design thinking also deals with complexity. Design must become more systemic – as we confront wicked problems. Complex domains have > stakeholders Design 1.0 Craft design, Advertising Design 2.0 Industrial, Products, Web Design 3.0 Organizational & institutional Design 4.0 Distributed social systems Mixed stakeholders What are equivalent units in systems theory?
10 Shared Design Principles Design Principle Design Methodologies 1. Idealization Iteration 2. Appreciating Complexity Sensemaking 3. Purpose finding Saliency ‐ Meaning‐making 4. Boundary framing Provocation and strange‐making 5. Requisite variety Multiple perspectives 6. Feedback coordination Modeling 7. System ordering Structuring 8. Generative emergence Future projection 9. Continuous adaptation Multiple reasoning modes 10. Self‐organizing Co‐creation Guidance for complex systems design from systems, cybernetic & complexity principles. Foundation for practitioners to enhance engagement and evolve better practices. Elicited from systems theoretic concepts, but propose no new theory. Elements to form net new frameworks enabling integration of other concepts for specific design contexts. “The primary aim the two systems of thought share today is enabling organized high‐ leverage action in increasingly complex and systemic problems as design situations.”
Design methods by outcome intent Modes
Design methods associated with principles Principle Design Methodologies 1. Idealization Framing, Iteration 2. Appreciating Complexity Sensemaking 3. Purpose finding Saliency ‐ Meaning‐making 4. Boundary framing Provocation and strange‐making 5. Requisite variety Multiple perspectives 6. Feedback coordination Modeling 7. System ordering Structuring 8. Generative emergence Future projection 9. Continuous adaptation Multiple reasoning modes 10. Self‐organizing Co‐creation We might also observe design of: Time (4), Space (3), Information (3)
(Some) systemic methods by principles Principle Systems Methodologies 1. Idealization Dialogic design, Idealized design 2. Appreciating Complexity Problematique 3. Purpose finding Function hierarchy 4. Boundary framing Critical system heuristics 5. Requisite variety System modeling 6. Feedback coordination System dynamics 7. System ordering Process models 8. Generative emergence Cellular automata 9. Continuous adaptation Intervention (leverage points) 10. Self‐organizing Dialogic design, Developmental Eval
Possible system methods in design process
31 Design / Systems pairs D4.0 Policy / Dialogic Design D3.0 Org Process / Social Systems, Panarchy D2.0 Practice & Information / Service Systems D1.0‐2.0 Product, Comm / Activity Systems
Service System Design / As Work Domain Analysis 34
Adaptive cycles in organizational design 35
Dialogic Design in Policy Making 36 What do we (stakeholders selected for requisite variety) agree are the deep drivers resisting change in the Canadian healthcare system?
Shared wayview / systemics & design thinking • Framing ‐ Refraining from premature problem solving • Iterative inquiry • Dialogic processes elicit depth of participation • By participants with stake in outcome • Selected for requisite variety to the problem • Human centered – across contexts • Complexity embraced as reality in fuzzy situations • Multiple design actions over time • Temporality is critical to decision / intervention • Understanding systemics does not assume design or action. • Design actions need not be systemic in every case!
Rheinfrank, J. and Evenson, S. From Winograd, Terry. 1996. Bringing design to software. New York: Addison‐Wesley. Design Languages for Systems Methods Rheinfrank, J. and Evenson, S. From Winograd, Terry. 1996. Bringing design to software.
39 “Though a handful design thinkers have made some substantial contributions to systems thinking in general, hardly anybody has developed a systems practice from within design, specially informed by design thinking and design practice. This is remarkable when we compare us with other fields where proprietary adaptations of systems perspectives are normal.” Birger Sevaldson, Oslo School Of Architecture & Design Giga‐Mapping: Visualisation For Complexity & Systems Thinking In Design Nordic Design Research Conference 2011 why has Systems Thinking ignored Design?