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Design Thinking for Complex Systems


Units: 6


In the current century, as the distinctions between nature, culture, and the artificial become increasingly blurry, we can no longer talk about interventions within social or economic domains without thinking through them in shape and form of complex socio-technical systems, models of aspects of the world that can guide intentional change. Thinking of designed technologies in relation to different models and ways of seeing and thinking about the word we live in is crucial for practitioners involved in any kind of change through technological interventions, whether at the level of technology production, or deployment, or policy. This mini course introduces students to designerly approaches using systems theory. It aims to sensitize them to a range of different ways to frame and think about systems and expose them to a range of specific systems thinking techniques and terminologies for analyzing complex natural, socio-cultural and technological phenomena and making evaluable changes to those phenomena. As a result, by the end of the course students will expect to have developed a better sense of where and how to effective interventions and gauge the effects and impacts of those interventions.