We are excited at the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science to share the latest news. Our Call for Papers and Participation for the upcoming 59th Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences held in Berlin, Germany, August 2 – 7, 2015.

Stefan Blachfellner, Managing Director of the BCSSS, and Liss C. Werner from Tactile Architecture, member of the BCSSS, have been invited to chair the Special Integration Group (SIG) on Socio-Ecological Systems. This SIG will be strongly connected to the research group on Socio-Ecological Systems and Systems Design at the Bertalanffy Center.

The ISSS SIG on Socio-Ecological Systems intends to help advance a sound epistemology and methodology for systems design. In cooperation with the ISSS SIG Research Towards a General Theory of Systems and other SIGs insights we investigate the interdependencies of natural – social – technological systems to develop appropriate design competencies for future oriented thrivable ecologies. We work at the interface of science – humanities – engineering/design. The call is for an integration of the knowledge of all those disciplines involved through a transdisciplinary systems approach to advance the disciplines.

The mere notion Anthropocene demands from us to find the ways and means to deal with the actual complex challenges we have co-created as human societies. Design (Gestaltung) is more than a human potential. All we as humans do or not do is Gestaltung. Thus Socio-Ecological Systems, their definition, design and understanding are increasingly subject to a critical review and preview alike. The SIG follows its agenda of conducting research that takes the complexity of both ecological and social systems into account and extends the subject matter into the paradigm of design and Gestaltung as living and learning system.

Biologists, economists, engineers, architects, designers and philosophers are invited to share the stage, to start a conversation and to exchange individual tools, methodologies, material and ways of operating. We are looking for developing strategies and designing systems of design for a ‘theory and practice of Gestaltung’ in a newly framed environment.

Instead of continuing parallel running research projects, we encourage researchers from science, humanities, economics, and engineering disciplines as well as practitioners to collaborate in a trans-disciplinary process in order to decode and encode discipline specific modes of working.

The advent of the ANTHROPOCENE gives rise to novel and challenging global and local parameters, which in some occasions take over from old ones, create new ones or, and this is our main field of interest, give birth to unprecedented emergent hybrids to help us re-search how to design design-systems for systems-design – in theory and practice.

This year’s presence of Socio-Ecological Systems continues its tradition and extends its focus succeeding the symposia Architectural Ecologies: Code, Culture and Technology at the Convergence and Emergent Design at the European Meetings of Cybernetics and Systems Research 2014.

The SIG welcomes contributions from but is not limited to:

  • Architecture and Spatial Design
  • Biological, systemic and computational design strategies
  • Urban design (e.g. sustainable urbanism, smart cognitive cities), and regional development
  • Biodiversity, agriculture and rural development
  • Designing and governing biosphere reserves and nature sanctuaries
  • Design of supply networks in public services (e.g. energy, water, traffic and public transport, information technologies and telecommunications, health care, and education infrastructures) and value networks in business services
  • Designing Innovation and Business Ecosystems (cross-overs welcome)
  • Designing research and development systems and governmental systems to address the challenges of future oriented thrivable ecologies.

Stefan BlachfellnerStefan Blachfellner is the Managing Director of the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS) in Vienna, a Vice President of the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR), and the Conference Manager for the European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR). He chairs the Special Integration Group on Socio-Ecological Systems and Design in the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), is the founding editor of the journal Systema, and an editorial member of the International Journal of Markets and Business Systems. He has broad experience as an entrepreneur and business consultant, and has taught entrepreneurship, leadership, creativity and innovation, innovation management, future studies, and various systems theories at several Universities and in professional management training programs in Austria, Germany, China and the USA.  His current research is focused on the development of a General Systems Transdiscipline as a foundation for a theory of Systems Design, with a view to improving the methods for addressing the complex challenges facing Socio-Ecological Systems.

Liss C. WernerLiss C. Werner is a licensed architect based in Berlin, founder of Tactile Architecture – Office für Systemarchitektur. Werner is Adj. Assoc. Professor at Taylor’s University, Studio Master at DIA Dessau and George N. Pauly Fellow 2012, CMU.  In 2010 she founded her Design Studio Codes in the Clouds at DIA, which was exhibited at Tongji University, and the Venice Biennale 2012. Werner practiced in the UK, Russia and Germany, lectured internationally at MIT, CalArts, USC, TTU, The Bartlett, TU Berlin, Syracuse University, Nottingham University, Linz and ESARQ Barcelona. Her research focuses on cybernetics + architecture, the discourse of computational architecture as a relational focused discipline. Werner chaired several international conferences on Computation, Architecture and Ecology, is the editor of [En]Coding Architecture and Architectural Ecologies (Vienna 2015) and a member of the Scientific Committee 2015 for eCAADe, Milan and the American Society of Cybernetics.  She was educated at the Bartlett, University of Westminster, RMIT and Humboldt University Berlin.

International Society for the Systems Sciences LogoThe International Federation for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) is among the first and oldest organizations devoted to interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems, and remains perhaps the most broadly inclusive. The Society was initially conceived in 1954 at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, and Anatol Rapoport. In collaboration with James Grier Miller, it was formally established as an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1956. Originally founded as the Society for General Systems Research, the society adopted its current name in 1988 to reflect its broadening scope. Read more …

The Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science has been working in close collaboration with the ISSS since the start up of the Center, but we are very happy that we have strengthen our cooperation and contribution to the Society once co-founded by Ludwig von Bertalanffy.