Design Project 3 – Designing System Interventions

Design is no longer simply about making stand-alone products. Nowadays, products become part of complex product systems and services involving multiple stakeholders. Changing one thing in a system is like a chain reaction; it effects the system on all kinds of levels. This course explores how the role of the designer changes when designing for interdependent systems.

With products and services now being embedded in larger systems, this course focusses on the skills needed for designing interventions in this context. It’s about understanding the effect that interventions have on a system as well as optimising a system for sustainable impact.

Learn about the complexity of systems, which involve various types of dependencies from products to services to stakeholders. Use this knowledge in a case study to develop a new system. Introduce a product into it and explore what happens. Experience the dynamic environment when you tailor, or redesign, the product and it affects the system again.

Using this understanding of how the system works, consider what it would take to scale it up. Try to improve it from a sustainability standpoint, considering things like materials, organisations or behaviour change in people.

This course is an introduction to the complexity of systems, an opportunity to make choices around sustainable impact improvement and preparation for choosing a direction for further studies and a career.

Photo by John Simitopoulos
Photo by John Simitopoulos

Course Coordinator's perspective

“I really hope that by the end of this course students are not simply intimidated by the complexity of systems, but that they are fascinated by the design space it gives. I want them to enjoy the fact that they can be a spider in the web to design for such systems.”

Arnold Vermeeren

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