systemic design

noun / si-ˈste-mik di-ˈzīn /

: an interdiscipline that joins systems thinking to design methodology


OCTOBER 16–26, 2024. The Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD13) symposium will take place in Oslo, Norway, and will be hosted by the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. The theme is Rivers of Conversations, inviting work that flows from RSD12’s sequence of in-person and online sessions livestreamed from 13 hubs worldwide in 2023. 

Detail view of the Lena River delta. Photo: Daniel CoeCC BY-NC-ND 3.0.


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 convenes a wide range of designers and scholars leading emerging practices, design-led systems research, and advanced design methods. Membership fees provide the basic infrastructure needed to keep the systemic design community networked.

RSD12-Toronto selfie by Templeton Sawyer.


Systemic design has moved toward pragmatic practice. The annual RSD symposia and proceedings contribute to a repository of systemic design,, that represents an extensive searchable resource of work shared by practitioners and academics. SDA also aims to create 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. RSD keynote speakers on

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