Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

RSD11 calls for papers that challenge, extend, critique, and diversify established working methods in systemic design. (source: RSD www 2022)

Call for Papers: Possibilities and Practices of Systemic Design

We are proud to announce that RSD11, the 11th Relating Systems Thinking and Design  symposium by the Systemic Design Association, will happen at the University of Brighton in October 2022. The international hybrid event will be hosted by a team of colleagues from our School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering, led by Dr Ben Sweeting and including Andre Viljoen.

Under the overall theme Possibilities and Practices of Systemic Design, the conference invites work on many topics, including ‘design for circular cities and regions’ and ‘designing for urban food systems’. The call for papers has just been released:

RSD11 Call for Papers is open to May 30, 2022.

As RSD moves into its second decade, it is possible to question systemic design’s emerging shape. What are the strengths and limits of joining systems thinking and design practice, and how do these compare to other frameworks? How can systemic designers learn from their growing bodies of practice? What does systemic design make possible, and what are its blind spots? Is it sufficiently radical? Sufficiently pragmatic? Which conventions does systemic design contest? Which does it leave in place? Does systemic design entail particular assumptions about the world, and what might the consequences of these be? As it becomes a more mainstream endeavour, how will it address issues of power, complicity, and privilege?

As designers look to address systemic challenges, they must wrestle with tensions and conflicting requirements within their own practices as well as in those situations they seek to change. Systemic questions cannot be approached one at a time in isolation, yet it is inevitable that design is partial in its engagements – to address everything is implausible or else uncritical to implicit boundary judgements and the privileges of dominant perspectives. Unpredictable interdependencies require a cautious approach, yet incremental strategies risk entrenching underlying errors and injustices by making the status quo more palatable. Deep, long-term changes are needed, but the urgency of the present also demands immediately achievable actions. Moreover, design brings its own entanglements and faulty assumptions – design has contributed to many aspects of systemic crises, yet there is no way forward that is not design in some sense. Nothing about enacting systemic change implies an easy path. Difficulties such as these are to be expected when working across and between multiple contexts. But how can these and other potential impasses be navigated? To what extent is it possible to treat these challenges as any other set of conflicting design criteria? Are new modes of designing needed and how might these be enacted?

Building on previous RSD symposia, RSD11 looks to further expand systemic design’s modes of working. Systemic design has thus far drawn primarily on methodological and organisational aspects of systems thinking as a way of handling complexity. In what ways might systemic approaches be augmented by other perspectives?

The wider systems field is open to the creative arts, countercultural movements, enactive cognitive science, family therapy, posthumanism, and much more. How might these transdisciplinary connections further enrich and critique systemic design research and practice?

RSD11 invites contributions that extend and challenge the possibilities and practices of systemic design, especially projects and case studies from practice, education, and research; transdisciplinary theory building that extends systemic design’s modes of working and range of reference; and critical enquiries that can prompt new phases of development in systemic design.

A further series of RSD11 thematic provocations and focuses will be released shortly.

RSD11 Call for Papers, Presentations, Interactives, Exhibits

Full papers. Up to 5000 words, presenting finished work. Full papers are double-blind reviewed.
Presentations. Proposals for presentations of speculative and ongoing work, a summary of the presentation up to 1000 words. Presentation proposals (abstracts) are single-blind reviewed. Following the conference, there will be an opportunity to update the summary or extend it to a working paper (up to 2000 words), responding to comments received during the presentation session.
Interactive sessions. Proposals for interactive sessions of any format, including but not limited to performance, playshops, and dialogues. Proposals of up to 1000 words will be reviewed by the program committee.
Exhibition contributions. Proposals for exhibitable material, including but not limited to maps, posters, physical artefacts, and audio-visual material. Submissions are to include summaries of up to 1000 words, which will be single-blind peer-reviewed.

Key dates

Submission portal opens for full papers and presentation proposals: March 31, 2022. The deadline for submissions is May 30, 2022.
The call for exhibition contributions opens on June 15, 2022. Deadline: August 15, 2022.
Conference dates: October 13-16, 2022. University of Brighton, Brighton, UK, in-person and online.


For more information on the symposium see its own website.

For information on the Systemic Design Association see here.

Image: RSD11 calls for papers that challenge, extend, critique, and diversify established working methods in systemic design. (source: RSD www 2022)

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* circular cities* food systems* urban designBrightonInternational

Katrin Bohn • 31st March 2022

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