systemic design

noun / si-ˈste-mik di-ˈzīn /

: an interdiscipline that joins systems thinking to design methodology


RSD12 is October 6–20, 2023. This year Georgetown University and partner hubs around the world host a multi-event symposium—a sequence of in-person, online, and hybrid presentations, online workshops, and sessions livestreamed from 13 hubs worldwide. The 15-day online programme culminates with a three-day event, October 18–20, 2023, hosted on-campus at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and the SDA General Assembly on Friday, October 20, 2023.

Hybrid session at RSD10, TU Delft


Contexts–The Systemic Design Journal is an open-access, peer-reviewed research journal supported by members of the Systemic Design Association. It is the first journal dedicated to scholarly reporting and research studies in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design. Authors are invited to submit papers at any time.


The Systemic Design Association provides an international community home for the wide range of designers and scholars leading emerging practices, design-led systems research, and advanced design methods evolving from systems thinking and design. Membership shows your support for the movement toward systemic design. Join to be a part of the growing SDA community.

Perin Ruttonsha presents at RSD


Systemic design has moved toward pragmatic practice. By sharing methods and cases through the annual RSD symposia, practitioners are building a common understanding. SDA creates opportunities for dialogue that contribute to guiding principles for systemic design practice.


The SDA was formed to convene educators, practitioners, and researchers to co-evolve an interdisciplinary field over the long term. The field emerging as systemic design has jumped ahead to engage societal issues now recognised as ever more important for designers to address, ranging from design for health and well-being, quality of life, socioeconomics, urbanization, policy design, and cultural development.

Paul Pangaro keynote at RSD


SDA activities embrace scholarship as a cyclic, spiral process that supports a vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars. The spiral approach also encourages scholarships to take their own path, recognizing the development of the field takes shape through studies in adjacent field journals and through partner societies, with conferences and journals in design research, systems sciences, interdisciplinary studies, and relevant fields.


The Systemic Design Association will send you quarterly updates on systemic design and activities in the SDA network. During the annual Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD) Symposium timeframe SDA will send brief updates related to RSD keynotes, papers, and workshops.

RSD11 event updates, program content, and proceedings are posted on