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Designing social infrastructures for complex service systems

Bijl-Brouwer, Mieke van der (2016) Designing social infrastructures for complex service systems. In: Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium (RSD), 13-15 Oct 2016, Toronto, Canada.


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Services delivered through the public and social sector play an important role in addressing
complex societal problems. Services consist of interfaces between service consumer and deliverer,
and infrastructures that support the service deliverer. Infrastructures such as protocols, scripts and
blueprints are often intended to control the behaviour of service delivers. This is a linear top-down
view of service organisations. This paper presents a different perspective, using Stacey’s theory of
complex responsive processes: service organisations are ongoing iterated patterns of relationships
between human beings. Infrastructures for complex service systems can therefore be considered
‘social infrastructures’. Two case studies are presented that each describe the design of a successful
social infrastructure, in the education and health sector respectively. To analyse the human-centred
design practice of these case studies the author introduces the NADI-model, which identifies
different levels of depth in needs and aspirations of stakeholders. The deepest level of this model
consists of phenomenological ‘themes’. The model is used to show how themes explain the success
of the social infrastructure in the first case study. The second case study subsequently shows how,
using Dorst’s frame creation methodology, themes support designing social infrastructures for
complex service systems.

Item Type: Conference/Workshop Item (Other)
Divisions: Faculty of Design
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Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2017 18:20
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 16:18
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1922

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