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

Industrial Ecology


Björn Frostell from the institute of Industrial Ecology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm had a lecture and workshop at AHO. Industrial ecology is and will be important even in what we call the knowledge economies. After all the material economies will be equally important in the future and they are also the source for the problems of sustainability.



Talking of the immaterial flows of energy and signals and talking of visualization:
We have some pretty cool colleagues here at AHO.
It makes you think what else you can do by bringing the diagram out into real life world. The project is by Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen, Einar Sneve Martinussen

YOUrban weblog:

Touch weblog:

Istanbul City of Complexity


We just came back from a study trip to Istanbul. The reason for the trip was to experience and immerse in a city that has an infinite layering of complex systems, each neighborhood being economically culturally and socially different. Where else would you stumble upon this glad gang I spotted in the Istiklal Caddesi one late night, dancing around a bag pipe player.

Planned Obsolescence

The darkest moment in the history of industrial design might be the invention and promotion of Planned Obsolescence by industrial designer Brooks Stevens and others, contributing to a totally unsustainable developing. The principle of making products psychologically and functionally short-lived is still main stream. Only few alternatives have been suggested, eg the PSS approach to sustainable products. Also Systems Oriented Design intends to produce alternative thinking adressing the severe challenges untamed consumerism has brought to us.

There is a lot of work to do to change the attitude.

Watch the video Pyramids of Waste to learn more:

read more here: 

The problems with leverage points

The problems with leverage points, stocks and flows, feedback loops, variables and positive and negative relations.

After the Chalmers workshop we had a discussion on the usefulness of systems concepts that were defined in other systems frameworks that are more on the hard side of systems thinking, like from systems dynamics and systems analyses

One of them is leverage points. Personally I find this term of Leverage Points very difficult to use and it is more fitted to a technical or systems analytical or systems dynamics way of thinking than Systems Oriented Design. I also find the causal model where everything is defined in variables and the relations are defined as negative or positive quite restricting and limited. We are working on a list of relations types which will be published when more mature. It shows that not all relations make sense to be represented with nodes and arrows. 


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