RSD 8 Symposium

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 5:00pm

The School of Design is well represented at the RSD 8 symposium at IIT Institute of Design's Kaplan Institute, Chicago, with four activities taking place involving students, faculty, and alumni. RSD is the symposium of the Systemic Design Association (SDA), a cooperative educational group founded in 2012 which gathers together the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Norway; OCAD University of Toronto, Canada; and the Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

Practice-led Pedagogy for Socio-Technical Transitions: a Case Study in Systems Thinking

Sofía Bosch GomezFrancis Carter, and PhD and MDes alumnus Dr Ahmed Ansari (now Assistant Professor of Practice at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering) will be presenting Practice-led Pedagogy for Socio-Technical Transitions: a Case Study in Systems Thinking.

The paper makes a case for systems thinking as a core component of a new foundational curriculum for design programs interested in socio-technical transitions and long term systems-level change. Based around a case study of a systems thinking course offered to design undergraduates and non-design majors at Carnegie Mellon University, the paper illustrates how design schools can combine teaching complex theoretical approaches and frameworks with research tools and studio exercises and projects.

Saturday October 19, 2019, 11.00am, part of a session on Design for Transition to Ecological Economies chaired by Dan Lockton.


Tangible Thinking: Materializing how we imagine and understand interdisciplinary systems, experiences, and relationships

Dan Lockton and Matt Prindible (MDes) from the School of Design's Imaginaries Lab, along with Lisa Brawley (Vassar College), Manuela Aguirre Ulloa and Palak Dudani (AHO, Oslo), Laura Forlano (IIT Institute for Design), and John Fass (London College of Communication) will be running a workshop, Tangible Thinking, on Thursday October 17 (2.00–5.30pm).

Tangible Thinking builds on work from the School of Design by alumna Delanie Ricketts, working with Dan Lockton as part of an Imaginaries Lab project onMental Landscapes—see also a recent article in ACM Interactions—as well as continuing work through a variety of classes and projects around making abstract ideas more tangible or physical.

The workshop asks how we can use methods drawn from design, art, and craft, informed by interdisciplinary and systems thinking, to materialize not just envisioned ‘things’, but abstract or invisible ideas and relationships. There is an emerging set of research practices using tangible or material models, or constructive making and embodying to visualize how people think about concepts ranging from invisible systems and infrastructures to mental models, personal data which would otherwise be invisible, or even the phenomenological dimensions of experiences themselves. Examples include explorations of the design of public services, healthcare processes, mental health experiences, career paths, and experiences of social networks.  

Thursday October 17, 2019, 2.00pm.


Exhibition: New Metaphors—A Creative Toolkit for Generating Ideas and Reframing Problems

The Imaginaries Lab's New Metaphors toolkit, created by Dan Lockton, Michelle Chou (MPS), and alumnae Devika Singh and Saloni Sabnis, will be exhibited at RSD 8 as part of a gallery exhibition opening on Thursday October 17 at 5.30pm, at IIT Institute of Design.

The toolkit is a new card deck, worksheets, and workshop format, which enable brainstorming, idea generation, and reframing of the way we think about the world.The Imaginaries Lab has been developing New Metaphors for the last two years through workshops at interaction design industry conferences including IxDA Interaction, UX Lisbon, and Google SPAN, classes at CMU, a workshop as part of the new Plurality University Network, and a webinar with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Disruptive Innovation Festival.

Thursday October 17, 2019, at 5.30pm.


Keynote: Terry Irwin, Transition Design Institute

Professor Terry Irwin, director of the Transition Design Institute and professor in the School of Design, will be giving a keynote talk at RSD 8 on Friday October 18, 2.00pm.

Friday October 18, 2019, 2.00pm.