As design problems become more complex, a systems perspective becomes critical in design thinking. This class, led by professor Miso Kim, explores the nature of a system by addressing fundamental questions regarding the design practice: What is a system? What are the different types of systems? How do we observe and analyze systems in the context of design? How can we represent, create, and communicate systems? Design Systems is a full semester course that provides students with the opportunity to learn fundamental principles of systems theory and broaden their concept and design skillset.
In the first project, students were asked to work in a team to design and model an imaginary “island,” which would serve as a symbol of the system. They first designed an internal model of the system for the team, and then a communicational model of the system for the people who they would invite to the island. In the second project, students were asked to work in a team to design a system for themselves which would help them to enhance their autonomy in a certain activity that they would like to do but proves difficult to carry on, e.g. exercise. They first designed a service system for themselves in current daily life, and then redesigned it to work as a sustainable system for the future.