Systems in design thinking

At recent talks and conferences, I have been welcomed and challenged by people who are explicitly systems-thinkers. Some resist a design approach as too “micro” and lacking computational modeling-that would better predict outcomes rather than testing + experiments. Others see the links between participatory, multi-stakeholder design processes and a systems approach.

I am thinking through if and how to bring systems-thinking to design work. Here are some sketches I have made, thinking through this approach, and learning from the work of University of Michigan’s Carl Simon, and his work with system modeling.