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.
2022 marks the first year of Contexts – The Systemic Design Journal, a society-published journal for research contributions in the field.
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 series was launched. The Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium 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 ten symposia, the SDA has a corpus of over 650 proceedings articles, seven issues of FORM Akademisk, two RSD theme issues of She Ji, and several books.
Call for papers, presentations, workshops, and exhibits that challenge, extend, critique, and diversify established working methods in systemic design.
In step with the systemic design’s movement toward disciplinary discourse, the SDA has launched Contexts – The Systemic Design Journal.
After nearly a decade of the publishing ladder, SDA has adopted a cyclic publishing “spiral” to re-centre the overall approach to systemic design publishing.