Noteworthy Journals

In addition to the annual publication of Relating Systems Thinking and Design symposium proceedings and the continuous publication of articles in Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal, members work to actively increase the availability of systemic design literature by building presence and relationships with high-quality design journals.

There are several journals and niche publications and systemic design has started to show up in many fields. High-quality design journals have been responsive to initiatives to collaborate on special issues and submit systemic design literature. As systemic design gains recognition across disciplines and fields, it is expected that the number of collaborative and specialised publishing initiatives undertaken by members will continue to grow.

Recognising that systemic design is a developing interdisciplinary field with researchers coming to systems theory from design—and design practitioners engaging in systems theory—members agreed that a systemic design publishing platform was timely and necessary. Therefore, the SDA board endorsed the development of a dedicated journal and Contexts–The Systemic Design Journal was launched in 2022.

As Contexts gains recognition as a field-identified journal it will support efforts to increase the impact of systemic design literature in academia and practice and advance systemic design’s emergence as a discipline. Importantly, Contexts will further the potential for scholarly publishing collaborations to support scholarship and maintain the interdisciplinary nature of systemic design’s research network.

Scholarly Publishing Collaborations

The following design journals have published special issues dedicated to systemic design or featured systemic design articles developed from RSD proceedings.

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Research Journal of Design and Design Education

Systemic Design Themed Issues

Vol 13 No 2 (2020)
Relating Systems Thinking and Design VI

Vol 12 No 2 (2019)
Relating Systems Thinking and Design V

Vol 11 No 4 (2018)
Relating Systems Thinking and Design IV

Vol 10, No 1 (2017)
Relating Systems Thinking and Design III

Vol 7, No 4 (2014)
Relating Systems Thinking and Design II (Theory Issue)

Vol 7, No 3 (2014)
Relating Systems Thinking and Design I (Practice Issue)

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Policy Design and Practice

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Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation

Systemic Design Themed Issues

Vol 5, Issue 2 (2019)
Pathways to Systemic Design
Editors: Birger Sevaldson & Peter Jones

Vol 3, Issue 3 (2018)
The Systemic Turn: Leverage for World Changing
Editor: Peter Jones


Vol 7, Issue 4 (2021)
A Co-evolutionary, Transdisciplinary Approach to Innovation in Complex Contexts: Improving University Well-Being, a Case Study
Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer, Diedre Kligyte, Tyler Key

Vol 7, Issue 2 (2021)
Issue Systemic Mapping and Design Research: Towards Participatory Democratic Engagement 
Juan de la Rosa, Stan Ruecker, Carolina Giraldo

Designerly Approaches for Catalyzing Change in Social Systems: A Social Structures Approach Josina Vink, Katarina Wetter-Edman, Kaisa Koskela-Huotari

Vol 6, Issue 3 (2020)
Systemic Design Principles in Social Innovation: A Study of Expert Practices and Design Rationales Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer, Bridget Malcolm

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Strategic Design Research Journal

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Vol 12, No. 2 (2021)
Special Issue: Service Design and Systems Thinking
Editors: J. Tuomas Harviainen & Josina Vink

Note: Service Design Network membership or pay-as-you-go options are required to access Touchpoint.

See Design Dialogues for Peter Jones’ review of the publication and the Touchpoint article, co-written with Kristel Van Ael, “Design for services in complex system contexts”.

Searchable Repository | Since 2012






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