Systems Oriented Design / Systemorientert Design (NO)

The designerly way to work with systems

The main mission of Systems Oriented Design is to build the designers own interpretation and implementation of systems thinking so that systems thinking can fully benefit from design thinking and practice and so that design thinking and practice can fully benefit from systems thinking.



News blog

Small GIGA-mapping discussion

by Birger Sevaldson

18th April 2012: Here is an email exchange between George Shewchuk a student at OCADU Toronto and me. George emailed me the below map.  These students at OCADU are often very experienced professionals. His background is in communication design & advertising art direction. I thought his efforts, map and questions are worth sharing.

Gigamap Michi_Laura_George_small

George: I’m a student at ocad u who attended your workshop on giga-mapping. I found that process most interesting and wanted to share with you the work that we developed along our original lines of thinking during your lecture/workshop. I think our team took a solid time-line approach with regard to the production of the map, but perhaps it gets too close to being an "infographic" which is not what we wanted. (although i recall you said that a giga-map can be anything we want it to be -- as long as it's still a tool that can be shared with clients.)

Birger: I regard the gigamaps to be designed artifacts, so while you develop them from sketches to more designed versions the information is rethought and reorganized and also internalized so you will know it by heart. In this process you might co-design the map with clients or other stakeholders, involving them and synchronizing views and perspectives. While moving forward in this meta-design process the role of the map might change form being purely process oriented where communication with people who are not part of this process is of no importance, towards a phase where one wants to start to involve others and to communicate.

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Complex solution simply communicated

11th April 2012: Here is a video that was the final design delivery of a very complex project.


The video demonstrates how a series of orchestrated interventions in a solution derived from a deep analyses of a very complex system can be made accessible and communicative.

Project by Lea Brochard, Nicoletta Aveni

AHO - Systems Oriented Design - fall 2011

Prof. Birger Sevaldson with Adrian Paulsen

In collaboration with our partner UDI (Norwegian Directorate of Immigration), we have explored a new way of navigation in space, namely the “economy of signage”.
Our proposal is the result of multiples findings, especially using GIGA-mapping as a tool to provide new guidelines for the 17 new offices which will be opened in Norway, starting from 2013.

The result of our researches is a combination of 3 proposals, not only dealing with a physical space, but with an interior experience:

1. Making the Oslo office an example of beneficial way-finding

2. Providing guidelines to be implemented into upcoming offices (in respect of their locations, sizes, etc.)

3. Mapping of the senses.


Sigrun Lurås and Birger Sevaldson present at RINA, 28th March 2012

27th March 2012: The Royal Institution of Naval ARCHITECTS, the Systems engineering conference, 28-29 March 2012, RINA HQ, London, UK.

Sigrun Lurås presents a paper that amongst others compares S.O.D. with Systems Engineering.

Lurås, S. A different Systems Approach to Designing for Sensemaking on the Vessel Bridge. in Systems Engineering in Ship and Offshore Design Conference. 2012. London: Royal Institute of Naval Architects.

Birger Sevaldson presents a paper he co-authored with co-teacher Adrian Paulsen and master students Maren Moe Stokke, Kathinka Magnus and Jan Kristian Strømsnes. 

The paper: B. Sevaldson, A. Paulsen, M. Stokke, K. Magnus,J. Strømsnes, (2012) Systems Oriented Design in Maritime Design. in Systems Engineering in Ship and Offshore Design Conference. 2012. London: Royal Institute of Naval Architects. 


Birger Sevaldson lecturing at ARCHIP - 19 April 2012

Birger Sevaldson will give a guest lecture at ARCHIP in Prague 19th April 2012.

The title of the lecture is: From Radical Design Experiments to Design for Complexity: The Emergence of Systems Oriented Design.

S.O.D. workshop at OCADU, February 2012

cityteam1 web

1st feb 2012: Birger Sevaldson had a one day workshop and two lectures at OCADU Toronto 1st and 2nd February.

He gave a lecture about resent discussions in design research and a lecture about Systems Oriented Design.

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