Design Research, Facilitation, and Futures

Systems Thinking and Mapping

Most people who work in design or product/service development run up against complex systems. Even supposedly simple projects are linked to social, cultural, political, and ecological systems that are extremely difficult to understand without dedicating time to map them out.

That's what we'll do in this workshop. We will practice a range of system mapping techniques designed to help teams pick apart and visualize them, enabling easier detection of patterns, cause-effect, and power relations. These methods are especially valuable to designers as they make decisions on how to intervene in the system to make positive change.

Expect to spend about 80% of time on activities, 10% on lecture and full group discussion, and 10% on small group discussion and individual reflection.