Systemic issues feature dynamic complexity that challenges cognitive, contextual, spatial, and temporal perceptions within ‘social messes’ (Ackoff, 1974) and ‘super-wicked problem’ (Levin et al., 2012) environments. Systemic designers thus find themselves working with tensions endemic to paradoxes, breaks in scale, value (or goal) conflicts, and heterogeneous contexts. These differences may yield opportunities for design exploration when considered as spaces of praxis. Tensions within such spaces often make collaboration and collective action challenging – yet can also be considered as a type of design medium. This paper proposes the concept of ‘tension manifolds’ – and explores the potential for enabling design within systemic issues, with the goal of reframing tensions as a type of design affordance that enables collaboration and collective action in multi-stakeholder environments.
(CC) Goran Matic and Ana Matic, 2021. RSDsymposium.org content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the license terms.
Citation: Matic, G. and Matic, A. (2021). The Other Side of Design : Tension manifolds and collective action. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD10) Symposium. rsdsymposium.org/The Other Side of Design: Tension manifolds and collective action