A SYSTEMS DESIGN APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
Accelerating the transition to a systems perspective in design
Embracing the complexity of energy challenges in low-income markets and the societal and technical problems faced by low-income markets are increasingly seen as more complex due to environmental, social, and economic concerns. The enormous negative impacts of societal problems and the inability of designers to deal with complexity cannot be overcome without a paradigm shift in how we understand, engage with, and teach about such issues. In light of this challenge, one can pose the question, “What is the best approach to deal with a complex societal problem?” A traditional approach to dealing with a complex problem is to simplify it. Alternatively, as here, research may aim to provide a novel approach to handling complex societal problems, thereby embracing complexity. Thus, this research contends that embracing complexity represents a significant shift from the traditional design approach to a systems design approach for sustainable development.