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Rendering systems visible for design: Synthesis maps as constructivist design narratives

Jones, Peter and Bowes, Jeremy (2017) Rendering systems visible for design: Synthesis maps as constructivist design narratives. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 3 (3). pp. 229-248. ISSN 24058726

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sheji.2017.12.001


Synthesis maps integrate research evidence, system expertise, and design proposals into visual narratives. These narratives support communication and decision-making among stakeholders. Synthesis maps evolved from earlier visualization tools in systemics and design. They help stakeholders to understand design options for complex sociotechnical systems. Other visual approaches map complexity for effective collaboration across perspectives and knowledge domains. These help stakeholder groups to work in higher-order design contexts for sociotechnical or human-ecological systems. This article describes a constructivist pedagogy for collaborative learning in small teams of mixed-discipline designers. Synthesis mapping enables these teams to learn systems methods for design research in complex problem domains. Synthesis maps integrate knowledge from research cycles and iterative sensemaking to define a coherent design narrative. While synthesis maps may include formal system modeling techniques, they do not require them. Synthesis maps tangibly render research observations and design choices. As a hybrid system design method, synthesis maps are a contribution to the design genre of visual systems thinking.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access funded by Tongji University and Tongji University Press
Uncontrolled Keywords: Systemic design; Synthesis map; Gigamap; Constructivism; Social systems; Systems thinking; Visualization
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 20:42
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 18:32
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2131

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