Contexts logo

the systemic design journal

Publisher’s Statement

Hamsa hand with three extended fingers in the middle and a curved thumb and pinky finger on either side

Radically author-centred.

Functioning as a platform for authors, supported by the spiral model, and offering a unique forum for inquiry.

Aims & Scope

Contexts—The Journal of Systemic Design is an open access, peer-reviewed research journal of the Systemic Design Association, the first journal dedicated to scholarly reporting and research communications in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

Contexts welcomes original scholarly contributions from the growing research community across all institutions and locations in the world pursuing design-led studies and action research in complex social and sociotechnical systems. The types of studies and articles of interest include the following:

  • Primary research that contributes to the development of scientific knowledge in the field, including field ethnographies, social science-informed design research, and interdisciplinary research drawing on multiple fields.
  • Organizational and social systems studies
  • Qualitative research that adheres to appropriate study design and reporting guidelines.
  • Systematic reviews across the fields of systems theory and design studies that demonstrate a comprehensive and unbiased sampling of existing literature.
  • Systemic design methods developed and validated by high-quality fieldwork or practice evaluations.
  • Case studies, case reports and interpretive essays on systemic design projects.

Publishing Ethos

Peer review is under the responsibility of the Systemic Design Association. We are an open-access journal with no fees. Articles are published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. ISSN 2704-0542.

Contexts is a peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary design journal that focuses on the following design contexts: collaborative design for landscape and territorial ecologies, complex interfaces and distributed networks, urban and societal ecologies, expressive architectures with entailment of humans and nature, business models and systems for organizational strategy, complex health practices and healthcare systems, theories of systemics, culture, and change, design labs for public value and engagement, policy design, and new methodologies for mapping, dialogue, facilitated systems practices, and toolkits.

The journal is dedicated to scholarly reporting and research studies in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design and advancing systemic design and innovation, design process, and design thinking in today’s complex sociotechnical environment. Contexts is the first scholarly journal dedicated to systemic design and provides a unique forum for inquiry.

Articiles are representative of the growing field of systemic design and transdisciplinary collaboration across scholars, students, and practitioners, all working with shared methods and vocabularies, who are also contributing to the construction of a shared language and building a new frame of meaning. The journal aspires to be radically author-centred—functioning as a platform for authors. The editors recognise a spiral model that supports the evolution of scholarship and are committed to supporting contributions, coordinating peer feedback, and publication within the diverse, creative, and multidisciplinary systemic design community.

The use of generative AI and AI-assisted technologies

This guidance is for authors, readers, reviewers, and editors using generative AI and AI-assisted technologies and refers to the writing process. It aims to support transparency, build trust between authors, reviewers, editors, and readers, and ensure compliance with the terms of use of the relevant tool or technology.

Authors are responsible for ensuring that the work is original, that the stated authors qualify for authorship, and that the work does not infringe on third-party rights. The use of AI for data analysis is not within the scope of this guidance.

We acknowledge that AI and AI-assisted technologies can improve readability, clarity, and consistency and should be used in the preparation of a manuscript. Generative AI or AI-assisted tools in producing graphical abstracts are also acknowledged as commonplace and permitted. However, submissions should not use AI to replace authoring tasks such as creating written abstracts, producing insights, drawing conclusions, or providing recommendations. When AI or AI-assisted tools are part of the research method, such use must be clearly described in the methods section. Content attribution should include the name of the model or tool, version and extension numbers, and application used. Be sure to adhere to the application developer’s specific usage policies and ensure correct content attribution.

AI-generated output can be incorrect, incomplete, or biased, and authors are ultimately responsible and accountable for the work’s contents and for providing the necessary human oversight. If it is the case that AI and AI-assisted technologies are used in the work, authors must provide a statement at the end of the published work describing how AI was used or applied. The use of spell and grammar-checking software does not need to be declared.

The Systemic Design Association will monitor AI and AI-assisted technologies and adjust or refine the guidelines as needed to stay current with developments and norms of use.


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