A black-and-white portrait of KenKen ZinserMake sense and make better

System thinking for designers

A Medium post from Fjord on systems thinking and its importance in designing amid the complexity of today. I’ve had this one on my reading list for awhile. Here are a few quotes and passages that stood out:

“Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static ‘snapshots.’”

Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline


When we shift our mindset towards system thinking it becomes easier to accept ‘good enough for now’ because you are striving less for experience perfection and more for knowledge.


We can see from these design questions that complexity will be the new constant for designers (and if you think we’ve always tackled complexity, think of this as complexity 2.0). To respond we need to take the dual approach of looking at problems from the bottom-up and top-down. Systems thinking will more and more become a necessary extension to our design thinking practice.