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Prospecting a systemic design space for pandemic responses

Van Amstel, Frederick M.C.; Guimarães, Cayley; Botter, Fernanda. (2021). Prospecting a systemic design space for pandemic responses. Strategic Design Research Journal, 14(1), pp.66-80.

Abstract: Design literature describes an expansion of design activity towards systemic relations, which requires dealing with controversies among multiple actors. These controversies have a sociotechnical nature, given the inextricability of social and technical relations. This research looks at the sociotechnical controversy in COVID-19 design responses to assess the extent of said expansion. A controversial design space mapping was conducted based on a set of web pages found in the international design community which describes design responses for the pandemic. Considered as a representation of a socially-produced design space, the mapping reveals that systemic relations are still overlooked by the design community. A possible explanation for that is the lack of depth in problematizing the COVID-19 pandemic. The research offers, thus, prospective recommendations for a systemic design space for pandemics and other systemic crises.

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