Introducing systems thinking in undergraduate industrial design education

Bayraktaroğlu S.

11th International Conference on Business, Technology and Innovation , Priştine, Kosovo, 29 - 30 October 2022, pp.76

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Doi Number: 10.33107/ubt-ic.2022.76
  • City: Priştine
  • Country: Kosovo
  • Page Numbers: pp.76
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


In the mid-twentieth century, general systems theory and cybernetics influenced the development of numerous approaches, including systems thinking. As in other disciplines, systems thinking engaged in design processes during the design methods movement. Following to the rise of environmental concerns globally, especially studies on circular design education point out vital role of systems thinking along with design thinking for investigating environmental and technical interconnectedness of design decisions. In this study, systems thinking denotes the way of observing, analyzing, and intervening in the world as if it contains open, complex yet purposeful wholes. The research reviews the literature to highlight the evolution of systems thinking approaches in design and presents the case of the 'Systems Thinking' course aimed at introducing the topic to the first-year industrial design students at Kadir Has University in 2020. Twenty-one students worked in teams to identify a potential leverage point for systems associated with different everyday products assigned to each group. The results highlight the facilitative role of systems thinking in learning design research at an early stage of industrial design curriculum, and in identifying four orders of design as potential points to intervene in a system.