Thursday 13th October, 2011
9:30am to 12:00pm
The artifacts created by designers are embedded in complex systems (environmental, social, technical). Making our artifacts effective, efficient and delightful increasingly means negotiating their relationships with these systems. It means taming complexity, and helping others to tame it as well. We also need a holistic approach if we are to resolve the many political, ecological and health issues that face us. This workshop outlines changes in the context and practice of design that require a systems approach. It will begin with a brief review of traditional notions of systems in design and then builds bridges to systems thinking in biology, economics and engineering, such as stocks and flows, reinforcing loops, balancing loops, self-regulating feedback systems, multi-layer self-regulating systems, learning systems and conversations systems. Individually, these models are easy to grasp and teach. Collectively, they form the basis of a language for talking about systems and offer a language for understanding context and taming complexity. This workshop will show how these models have been used in design courses at Stanford and SVA, as well as in practice, and will also touch on the ethical stances that arise in the writing of several major systems thinkers.
Dubberly Design Office
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