On June 6th 2015 the newly established Research Group on Socio-Ecological Systems and Design led by Stefan Blachfellner at the BCSSS contributed to the International Society for Information Studies Summit at the Technological University in Vienna with a track and workshop on Transforming Systems through Design. The workshop was held in cooperation with the track Emergence of and in (Self -)organizing Work Systems, From Articulation of Work  Knowledge to System Design, led by Christian Stary and Stefan Oppl from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria.

Prof. Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Stefan Blachfellner. Thomas Fundneider, LIss C. Werner

Geraldine Fitzpatrick (Designing for sharing communities: from rhetoric to reality), Thomas Fundneider (Designing desired futures as Enabling Spaces), Holm Friebe (Surviving VUCA – A framework for the far future), and Liss C. Werner (Structural Feeling – It’s not Alice, but Wonderland) contributed to the track topic.

The following dialogue “Transforming Systems through Design” started the conversation with its expert panel engaging architects, engineers, designer, social scientists, and systems researcher to exchange individual tools, methodologies, material and ways of operating, to collaborate further in a trans-disciplinary process in order to decode and encode discipline specific modes of working. Many attendees of the Summit joined the group and carved the paths for further collaborations aiming at an integration of the knowledge to support the advancement of design competencies in theory and practice for future oriented flourishing socio-technological-ecologies.

The term “transformation design” has been associated with work within communities for socially progressive ends, but also with work within organisations to introduce human-centred design approaches. Research and practice have been related to the role and impact of organizational development, business model innovation, innovation ecosystems, creative communities and social innovation as well as in urban design and regional development, and even the wide debate on the redesign of public services and the welfare state.

The lively debate also addressed the critical questions of responsibilities in societies. Should designer really be enabled to transform social systems or should these responsibilities be clearly addressed by politics only? Critical issues which will also be addressed at the Digital Bauhaus Summit for the Creative Economy on Designing Society, July 3-4, 2015 in Weimar, Germany.