Co-Chairs: Alex Ryan and Peter Jones

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD4) 2015 Symposium

Banff, British Columbia, Canada

March 1, 2016

Published by: Systemic Design Research Network

ISBN: 978-0-9950245-0-2

The proceedings are published and available online as open access documents.

Citation: Author. (2016). Article title. In Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD4) 2015 Symposium. Banff, Canada, September 1-3, 2015.

National Institute of Design

With the fourth RSD symposium at Banff, Canada, the conference turned a corner, moving from Oslo to North America and enlarging the scope of papers and talks from previous years. 40 authors across a range of related fields of design and systemics.

Five keynote speakers presented a range of compelling intellectual engagements, from Don Norman’s provocations to develop a design practice capable of dealing with significant complexity to Lia Patricio’s resonant case study and model of integration in the Portuguese health records system to AP-J’s cutting-edge architectural models. Ursula Tischner and Mugendi M’Riitha shared leading sustainability approaches.

Don Norman – Can HCD Help with Complex Sociotechnical Systems?
Lia Patricio – A Framework for Co-creating Service Platforms
Ann Pendleton-Jullian – Designing for Emergence for Radically Contingent Problems
Mugendi M’Rithaa – Renewing Africa’s Quest for Sustainable Energy
Ursula Tischner – “Crowd” based Systemic Design and Innovation for Sustainability

RSD proceedings are the result of a dialogue and discursive process within the community of practice. While it follows peer review within an extended reviewer panel, it differs from the traditional scientific publication process. The process contains five steps, creating long term engagement, low entry threshold, and a high level of output. They are as follows:

  1. Submission and peer-review of abstracts
  2. Presentations and dialogues at the RSD symposium
  3. Post-production and submission of working papers
  4. Publication of the symposium proceedings with SDRN as the publisher
  5. Publication of selected fully developed and peer-reviewed scientific papers in an external publishing channel

This process was tested with RSD2 and has been used consistently in RSD and for two special issues of the design research journal FORMakademisk. Future symposia will follow the same process. We expect to continue with fully-developed and peer-reviewed selected publications in an annual special issue of FORMakademisk.

In addition to the original abstracts, the RSD4 proceedings provide working papers, final presentations and live sketchnotes. Working papers were developed and submitted after the symposium by most authors, following the evolutionary mode of RSD publication. Special thanks again to Patricia Kambitsch of Playthink and Linda Blaasvaer of AHO for the sketchnotes.

RSD4 editorial board members were Jodi Forlizzi, Peter Jones, Harold Nelson, Alex Ryan, and Birger Sevaldson.

Peter Jones and Alex Ryan
Co-Chairs, RSD4

Toronto | 1 March 2016


All articles and abstracts are copyright (c) 2016 by the respective authors unless stated otherwise.

Full proceedings are available on


The Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium,, is November 3-6, 2021. 

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