The RSD Symposia series was initiated a decade ago in response to the rise of the systemic turn in design programs and studies, and the lack of direction in the literature. The SDA was formed to sustain this movement, to build a base of research and scholarship to support new design theory and practice in complex systems.
2023 marked the first year of Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal.
Harold Nelson and Eric Stolterman, after the publication of The Design Way, held a call for a state-of-the-art collection of work in systems thinking and design for a special issue of Design Issues. However, in 2012 there was insufficient development or depth in the field, and the project was abandoned due to the lack of content. Birger Sevaldson at AHO initiated a graduate workshop (RSD1) to share methods and develop scholarship, and in collaboration with Dr. Nelson and Peter Jones at OCADU, the RSD Symposium was launched. Relating Systems Thinking and Design started to build a corpus of work in this emerging interdiscipline. With a publishing partnership already in place with Birger’s editorial position in FORM Akademisk, the first special issues (theory and practice) were published following RSD2. After 10 symposia, the SDA has a corpus of over 950 proceedings articles, seven issues of FORM Akademisk, two RSD theme issues of She Ji, and several books.
In step with the systemic design's movement toward disciplinary discourse, the SDA's first volume of Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal was published in January 2023.
Thinking of scholarship in terms of a cyclic, spiral process supports a vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars.
This year, Georgetown University and partner hubs around the world hosted 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 culminated 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. Proceedings will be finalised by March 2024.
Announcing the official launch of Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD11. The whole RSD11 experience—submissions and reviews, RSDX and the University of Brighton event, and producing the proceedings—was a brilliant experience that’s advanced systemic design and the RSDsymposium.org repository.