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Design council x The Point People: Systemic Design

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Thought-provoking contributions from Alastair Parvin, Cassie Robinson, Jennie Winhall, Ilishio Lovejoy and Nick Stanhope on Design for Systems.

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Design council x The Point People: Systemic Design

  1. 1. Systemic design talks Part of a series of events around design for systemic change & transitions Hosted at Design Council, 2 December 2019
  2. 2. Event series aims Further explore and articulate the particular role design can play in transition and systems change work, revisiting and revising some of the tools and practices we’ve created over the last decade. Support more designers to adopt and evolve their practices, and show designers the unique role they can play in addressing complex social challenges. And make the case to commissioners and funders to adopt systemic, transitional and design-led approaches.
  3. 3. Spread current practice, widen its use Explore next practice, push boundaries
  4. 4. Spread current practice, widen its use Explore next practice, push boundaries
  5. 5. Talk aims Share different practices of design and systems Explain some language around what this means, so you can take it back to your organisations Be clear about the value of design within systems and what you can do to act systemically
  6. 6. Agenda 6:00 - 6:05 Introduction & framing the session, by Cat 6:05 - 6:10 Ice breaker 6:10 - 6:35 Giving some structure and examples, by us all 6:35 - 7:05 3 talks, introduced by Cassie Nick Stanhope, Shift Ilishio Lovejoy, Fashion Revolution Alastair Parvin, Open Systems Lab 7:05 - 7:25 Q&A, led by Cassie 7:25 - 7:30 Takeaway
  7. 7. Icebreaker Think about a system you know. How has design been used? Share with the couple of people around you (5 mins)
  8. 8. What are we talking about? Design for systems change? Systemic design? Transition design? Design for system innovation?
  9. 9. What are we talking about? Design for systems change? Systemic design? Transition design? Design for system innovation? It’s an emerging field and lots of ways of talking about it We don’t have an absolute definition but we think some coherence is helpful We are seeing how people are using it, see what is working and illuminate an emerging practice.
  10. 10. Design “To design is to devise courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones”. Herbert Simon
  11. 11. Social systems Technical systems Living systems Systems
  12. 12. Systems “Systems are composed of multiple components of different types, both tangible and intangible. Systems exist in an environment, have boundaries, exhibit behaviours, and are made up of both interdependent and connected parts, causes and effects.” Lankelly Chase / New Philanthropy Capital
  13. 13. Designers are good at working in systems Synthesis Seeing how different elements come together (synthesis or taking a holistic look at something)
  14. 14. Designers are good at working in systems Synthesis Seeing how different elements come together (synthesis or taking a holistic look at something) Reflexivity Probing and sensing to see how something changes in response to a intervention, knowing it is dynamic
  15. 15. Designers are good at working in systems Synthesis Seeing how different elements come together (synthesis or taking a holistic look at something) Reflexivity Probing and sensing to see how something changes in response to a intervention, knowing it is dynamic Analysis Making things that improve the current (analysis and optimisation)...
  16. 16. Designers are good at working in systems Synthesis Seeing how different elements come together (synthesis or taking a holistic look at something) Making ….and imagining and creating something new Reflexivity Probing and sensing to see how something changes in response to a intervention, knowing it is dynamic Analysis Making things that improve the current (analysis and optimisation)...
  17. 17. Shifting to the new “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster-Fuller
  18. 18. Design Systems theory Design allows systems practitioners to create action and shift things Systems theory is applied by designers to understand the whole and where to act
  19. 19. Design Systems theory New practices where design acts differently
  20. 20. Designing to optimise or improve Designing to transform or transition Current system New system ALTNOW group.org
  21. 21. Systemic design “Such situations, problematiques, messes and meta-messes, require our capacity to rethink received notions, to reframe and redirect, to creatively inquire, to engage peripheral skills and senses, to powerfully communicate central ideas to others, to produce campaigns for change.” Peter Jones, Taking Stock & Flow of Systemic Design
  22. 22. Designing deeply Understanding and designing the wider context in which a person or idea sits, tackling the root cause of an issue - which might be things that are said or mindsets that are unsaid but frame the way we see opportunities - and thinking through unintended consequences. Designing collaboratively Designing a portfolio of initiatives at different places or levels of the system or different levers of change, and connecting to other working to the same goal, working intentionally as an ecosystem rather than alone. Designing hopefully Imagining entirely new systems, and creating a vision that allows people to design things that move us towards it. Designing disruptively Designing something (and it can be small) that changes a behaviour or a relationship between different elements of the system, that can have a wider ripple effect. Some component practices
  23. 23. Designing the elements, interactions and narratives that shift: Purpose Reframe the challenge that the system is addressing, its mission and so its method Power Create structures that change who has power over decisions, rules, legitimacy, flows of resources or information Resources Make new resources from inside and outside the system part of meeting the challenge - people, money, knowledge, technology Relationships Catalyse new, generative relationships between existing and new actors in the wider ecosystem (these become our design materials) Design to shift: PURPOSE POWER RESOURCES RELATIONSHIPS Current system New system Design for system transition ALTNOW group.org
  24. 24. Designing on a new set of system principles ● Designing deeply ● Designing disruptively Targeted Meeting needs Centralised Focus on finance Individuals as the unit Open to all Building capabilities Distributed Focus on resources Social networks 1942 Welfare State 2020 Welfare State Inversing the pattern of interactions System principles: Participle.org
  25. 25. Designing transitional activities ● Designing deeply ● Designing collaboratively Changing the dominant norms Employment example Dominant system ‘norms’ New approach NExTWORK, Rockwool Foundation
  26. 26. Changing the dominant norms Employment example Dominant system ‘norms’ New approach New identity & community of practice = Devising activities based on new system logic NExTWORK, Rockwool Foundation Service blueprint + training= System immune response Transitional innovations (new measures, finance etc) Designing transitional activities ● Designing deeply ● Designing collaboratively
  27. 27. Designing a new system story ● Designing hopefully ● Designing collaboratively Helping a new system emerge e.g. Creating a new safety net for workers in the new landscape of work Starting with a narrative for big change Seeing what role you can play in a bigger system RSA / ALT/Now / Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth
  28. 28. Stabilising the existing system, being responsive to immediate need and building good will/legitimacy Balance of focus on the potential and on the current Designing on a new set of system principles ● Designing collaboratively
  29. 29. Create conditions that bring a new system (and relationships) into being Designing a new narrative Designing transitional activities ● Designing deeply ● Designing collaboratively
  30. 30. Prototyping with intent Making strong demonstrations Considered portfolio composition Designing a new system story ● Designing hopefully ● Designing collaboratively
  31. 31. How design already works in systems >Synthesis >Reflexivity >Analysis >Making Current practices of design for systems >Designing deeply >Designing hopefully >Designing disruptively >Designing collaboratively What might need to change in the future? > Having clear and more ambitious intent and taking positions > Committing to and valuing creation >Dynamic coherence Evolving design practices
  32. 32. Designing deeply Understanding and designing the wider context in which a person or idea sits, tackling the root cause of an issue - which might be things that are said or mindsets that are unsaid but frame the way we see opportunities - and thinking through unintended consequences. Designing collaboratively Designing a portfolio of initiatives at different places or levels of the system or different levers of change, and connecting to other working to the same goal, working intentionally as an ecosystem rather than alone. Designing hopefully Imagining entirely new systems, and creating a vision that allows people to design things that move us towards it. Designing disruptively Designing something (and it can be small) that changes a behaviour or a relationship between different elements of the system, that can have a wider ripple effect. Nick Stanhope Finding your best role Ilishio Lovejoy Changing mindsets and behaviours Alastair Parvin Following the white rabbit down the hole Our speakers
  33. 33. “We should be less interested in the design of bridges, and more interested in how to get to the other side.” – Cedric Price
  34. 34. “If I only had an hour to save the world, I’d spend 55 minutes understanding the problem, and only 5 actually solving it” – Unknown
  35. 35. Nick Stanhope
  36. 36. Panel discussion Cassie Robinson with Alastair Parvin, Ilishio Lovejoy and Nick Stanhope
  37. 37. Endbreaker Now what do you think is systemic design? Retell one of the stories you’ve heard from tonight with a partner And what one thing would you do differently at your work (10 mins)
  38. 38. For more information www.designcouncil.org.uk

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