Systems Oriented Design

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


 RSD 9 teaser

The role of systemic design in informing equitable and sustainable choices increasingly demands that designers re-orient toward “design and…”. Together, we’ll explore real-world contexts where organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, policymaking, and design are already colliding, as well as new tools and methodologies to evolve our individual and collective points of view about leadership and the transformative practices—and challenges—of large-scale collaboration.

Well-being, be it of the planet or our bodies or of surroundings forms the core of meaningful existence. Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity, including good mental health, life satisfaction, being socially connected and a sense of purpose. Being humane is to be marked by compassion and empathy not only for humans but the surroundings. Moreover, the well-being of our bodies, surroundings and larger planets are all interconnected.

In our myopic race towards progress humans have forgotten this interdependent aspect of the world, putting the entire planet and its beings deeper into issues of climate change, food scarcity, financial instability, energy shortages and resource unavailability. It is only through the lens of systemic thinking, with an understanding of the relational nature of action on any scale being resonated at all levels, can resolving of these issues be meaningful. We can with shifting our focus to a holistic human service approach and revisiting our ‘ways of understanding’ synchronise nature’s dynamic balance and our well-being.

More details about this conference will be published soon.

RSD: Relating Systems Thinking and Design, is a series of conferences, started in Oslo 2012. The conferences are for both academics and professionals. To read more about the former conferences go to


RSD8-Chicago videos

The RSD8 at Institute of Design IIT was another great success. Reports and proceedings will follow soon. Meanwhile the keynote videos are online here.


The next RSD is public and will be announced here and on the Systemic Design net soon.


See the Speech from the Systemic Design Association (SDA) held by Peter Jones and Birger Sevaldson. This speech adresses the nature and future of the Systemic Design Association.



Saskia Sassen from Columbia University presented an eyeopening report from high finance. She starts after 7:30


Terry Erwin from Carnegie-Mellon university presented the latest development of Transition design towards systemis perspectives. She starts after 5 minutes.


Chris Rudd from IDE IIT gave a shocking historical record on the history of slavery. His speech starts at 20 minutes.


New information on the SOD web

Here are some updates on the SOD web.

Since the last update a lot of things have happened. We had a very successful RSD8 at IIT institute of design , Chicago. Updates will follow and the proceedings will come online on

I reorganised the gigamapping and tools section into tools and framework. The use of the term frameworks seems adequate for many of the concepts we use in SOD.

Also i added a new framework. The SOD creative process framework seems a good idea to give some more guidance for systemsoriented designers to make their way out of the jungle of complexity. 


SOD creative process framework


This is work in progress on the draft stage and if you click the image you will be taken to the shared document we are working on. It contains comments and links. If you have comments to this work you are more than welcome.


We also have published the bachelor projects from this spring here: 





More news to be pubished soon from this autumns master course and the included sustainable ski building course.




Tobias Luthe joins SOD at AHO

AP Tobias Luthe 01

We are happy to announce that Tobias Luthe has joined the SOD group at Oslo School of Architecture and Design in a part time 50% position.

Tobias is professor dr. at ETH Zürich, Dept of Civil, Env. and Geomatic eng. Institute for Spatial and Landscape development  >>>>>>

He will remain in a 50% position at ETH where he amongst other things teaches a course in Systemic Design for Sustainability   >>>>>

Tobias is a person with diverse interrests reaching from landscape ecology to systemic design. He is a mountain guide and the founder of the Monviso Institute.  

Tobias will contribute with different perspectives and approaches to the SOD environment. 

We wish him welcome and we are looking forward to an exiting collaboration.

See Tobias' website here >>>>>

Read more about Tobias here: >>>>>


Master Exchange students in SOD

IMG 8623


If you want to study SOD and you are in one of the Exchange schools for AHO you can apply as an exchange student. The deadline for applicaiton is 1st April.

To apply go to  



Follow SOD on





Mother institution:

AHO-logo                      dr-logo



Main research networks:


  logo systemic design 150                 OCEAN-logo-grey               formakademisk






doga logo       halogen        AttendoLogo