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Systemic Design Framework

What is systemic design?

Systemic design is the acknowledgement of complexity and interconnectedness throughout the design thinking and doing process. It is both a mindset and a methodology - considering the structures and beliefs that underpin a challenge.

It asks both designers and non-designers to radically reimagine and create new ways of living.

The climate and biodiversity crises, and associated social injustice, are the biggest challenges facing humanity today, and so design must evolve to include these: acting more systemically, shifting towards alternative regenerative systems.

Systemic Design Framework

Our overall, high-level methodology for Design for Planet.  

It keeps the core premise of the Double Diamond (divergent and convergent thinking) and asks designers to come together to Explore, Reframe, Create and Catalyse. It expands the design process to encompass the ‘invisible activities’ that sit around it: Orientation and vision setting, Connections and relationships, Leadership and storytelling, and Continuing the journey.  
It also includes six principles that underpin Systemic Design, and the four key roles needed to help work in this way. 

Systemic Design Toolkit

Our way of putting the Systemic Design Framework into practice.

It is for people who want to use design to address the climate emergency, but who find that their current methods and ways of working are insufficient for the complexity of the challenge. 

The toolkit contains 11 tools that sit across the systemic design stages, helping you to adopt a systemic approach.

The Systemic Design Framework is our high level methodology for designing to address the climate and biodiversity challenges, as well as the Toolkit they are further evidence of Design Council’s commitment to enable Design for Planet, as outlined in our Strategy 2020-2024. It draws on research with designers working across different design disciplines, and our System-Shifting Design report.

It builds upon the global success of Design Council’s Double Diamond which sits within our Framework For Innovation, which remains an essential guide for anyone innovating within their organisation. It builds upon the global success of Design Council’s Double Diamond which sits within our Framework For Innovation, which remains an essential guide for anyone innovating within their organisation.

Designing for Legacy

The purpose of this series is to help you end a project or a piece of work well; for the benefit of yourself, your team and the wider system, so that your hard work and impact to date can be built upon instead of forgotten. 

  • Episode 1: Connect
  • Episode 2: Shift
  • Episode 3: Inspire