© 2014

Social Systems and Design

  • Gary S. Metcalf
  • Summarizes and compares the ideas of a number of systems theorists who incorporated design principles into their work through the latter half of the 20th century

  • Provides current thinking about systems design theories by the original authors and other professionals who worked directly with them

  • Demonstrates how systems design is being applied to projects around the world, creating democratic and sustainable structures in organizations and communities


Part of the Translational Systems Sciences book series (TSS, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Gary S. Metcalf
    Pages 1-36
  3. Kenneth C. Bausch
    Pages 129-145
  4. Thomas R. Flanagan
    Pages 147-166
  5. Yiannis Laouris, Kevin M. C. Dye, Marios Michaelides, Alexander N. Christakis
    Pages 167-183
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 233-238

About this book


We live in the worlds that we help to create every day. Every activity either supports an existing system or effects some change, however small. But is it possible to consciously create the worlds in which we want to live?

This volume brings together systems theorists and practitioners who have worked on that question for decades. It explores connections between design and systems ideas to explain why some efforts have been more successful than others, and what is needed if we are to move forward. It offers reflections on early and large-scale attempts at impacting societal systems, as well as proposals for taking those ideas into the future. Examples date back to the Club of Rome in the 1960s and look forward to the creation of ecologically sustainable systems in the future. They address the need for collaboration and inclusion in settings from communities to corporations. And while theories are presented as support for the examples, they are explained in practical ways meant to be accessible both to students and to general readers.


Design Organizational design Social systems Systems theories

Editors and affiliations

  • Gary S. Metcalf
    • 1
  1. 1.InterConnections, LLCAshlandUSA

Bibliographic information

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