Background reading

Background reading

Here is a lose collection of relevant readings and background resources related with this Systemic Design Labs program – the list is non-exhaustive and just a selection to start with.


Learning for Sustainability – Systemic Design

Systemic Design in simple words

A field guide to Systemic Design by CoLab

Systemic Design Association

Peer- reviewed literature (emerging selection)

Battistoni, C., Nohra, C. G. and S. Barbero. 2019. A Systemic Design Method to Approach Future Complex Scenarios and Research Towards Sustainability: A Holistic Diagnosis Tool. Sustainability 11(16), 4458;

Luthe, T., Lumpe, T., Schwarz, J., Schuetz, M. and K. Shea. 2017. Teaching Systemic Design For Sustainability In Engineering By Building Eco-Skis. Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 9: Design Education, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017.ISBN: 978-1-904670-97-1, ISSN: 2220-4342.

Holtz G, Alkemade F, de Haan F, Koehler J, Trutnevyte E, Chappin E, Halbe J, Kwakkel J, Luthe T, Ruutu S, Papachristos G, Yucel G. 2015. Prospects of modelling societal transitions – Position paper of an emerging community. Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions 17:41-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2015.05.006. (>with a chapter on structural network modeling)

Luthe, T., Kaegi, T. and J. Reger. 2013. A Systems Approach to Sustainable Technical Product Design. Combining life cycle assessment and virtual development in the case of skis. Journal of Industrial Ecology 17(4), 605-617. DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12000

Ryan, A. 2014. A Framework for Systemic Design. 7(4) Art. 4,1-14. DOI: 10.7577/formakademisk.787.

Trevisan, L., Peruccio, P. P. and S. Barbero. 2018. From engineering to industrial design: issues of educating future engineers to systemic design. Procedia CIRP 70 (2018) 319–324. DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2018.02.014

Books & Articles

Wahl, D.C. 2016. Designing Regenerative Cultures. Triarchy Press. ISBN: 978-1-909470-77-4.

Jones, P. and Kojima. K. (Eds.) 2018. Systemic Design. Theory, Methods, and Practice. Springer.

Heymann, D. 2017. The Ugly Pet. Sustainability should be revolutionary to architectural form. But it hasn’t been, at least not yet.

Akademisk – a Norwegian research journal on design and design education, with special issues on SD articles of the RSD (Relating Systems Thinking and Design) conferences.

Study programs

Politecnico Torino, Italy. Bachelor, Master and PhD in Systemic Design

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design AHO. Master and PhD program in Design with a focus on Systems Oriented Design

KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, various Master programs related with design, systems thinking and sustainability

University of Bolzano, Italy. Master in Eco-Social Design

OCAD University Toronto, Canada. Master in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (MDes)

University of Virginia, USA. Behavioral Science for Sustainable Systems PhD program


Annual “Relating Systems Thinking and Design” (RSD) conference: RSD7 2018 Turin, RSD8 2019 Chicago

Systems Innovation

Institutes, , Tools, Labs & Places

MonViso Institute – a real-world mountain laboratory for sustainability transitions and regenerative systemic design

SYDERE Systemic Design Research and Education Center by ECAM Lyon Engineering School and Politecnico Torino

Green Leap center of KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm

University of Virginia’s Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative

Tools, Movies, Blogs & Various

Systemic Design Toolkit

Politecnico Torino Systemic Design Youtube channel

AHO Oslo Systems Oriented Design studio blog

The journal nature Sustainability has a new expert panel on design for sustainability