Abstract

This paper outlines an emerging Transition Design approach for addressing “wicked” problems (such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, crime, poverty, pollution, etc.) and catalysing societal transitions toward more sustainable and desirable futures. Wicked problems are “systems problems” that exist within large, socio-technical systems and therefore require new problem-solving approaches. The Transition Design Framework brings together an evolving body of practices that can be used to: 1. visualize and “map” complex problems and their interconnections and interdependencies; 2. situate them within large, spatio-temporal contexts; 3. identify and bridge stakeholder conflicts and leverage alignments; 4. facilitate stakeholders in the co-creation of visions of desirable futures; 5. identify leverage points in the large problem system in which to situate design interventions. Rather than a fixed, templatised process, the Transition Design Framework provides a logic for bringing together an evolving set of practices relevant to designing for systems level change. This paper reports on how this approach is being tested on a community-based project that was informed by classroom-based coursework.

Keywords:

transition design; wicked problems; socio-technical transitions; sustainable design

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

The Emerging Transition Design Approach

This paper outlines an emerging Transition Design approach for addressing “wicked” problems (such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, crime, poverty, pollution, etc.) and catalysing societal transitions toward more sustainable and desirable futures. Wicked problems are “systems problems” that exist within large, socio-technical systems and therefore require new problem-solving approaches. The Transition Design Framework brings together an evolving body of practices that can be used to: 1. visualize and “map” complex problems and their interconnections and interdependencies; 2. situate them within large, spatio-temporal contexts; 3. identify and bridge stakeholder conflicts and leverage alignments; 4. facilitate stakeholders in the co-creation of visions of desirable futures; 5. identify leverage points in the large problem system in which to situate design interventions. Rather than a fixed, templatised process, the Transition Design Framework provides a logic for bringing together an evolving set of practices relevant to designing for systems level change. This paper reports on how this approach is being tested on a community-based project that was informed by classroom-based coursework.

 

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