Relating Systems Thinking & Design Symposium


Information on the program, registration & fees can be found at


Welcome to RSD10, the 10th Relating Systems Thinking & Design Symposium, which will be hosted by Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. RSD10 offers a platform for discussing ongoing work with peers and presents the state-of-the-art in the systemic design field. The theme of this year’s symposium is Playing with Tensions.  

Nov 2 — Nov 6 2021

Delft, The Netherlands

Theme: Playing with Tensions

Embracing new complexity, collaboration and contexts in systemic design

The fate of all complex adapting systems in the biosphere – from single cells to economies – is to evolve to a natural state between order and chaos, a grand compromise between structure and surprise.

Stuart Kauffman, At Home in the Universe

Complex systems do not lend themselves to much simplification. Systemic designers have no choice but to embrace complexity, and in doing so, embrace opposing concepts and the resulting paradoxes. It is at the interplay of these ideas that they find the most fruitful regions of exploration.

The main conference theme explores design and systems thinking practices as mediators to deal fruitfully with tensions. Our human tendency is to relieve the tensions, and in design, to resolve the so-called “pain points.” But tensions reveal paradoxes, the sites of connection, breaks in scale, emergence of complexity. Can we embrace the tension, the paradoxes as valuable social feedback in our path to sustainable and just futures?

We invite you to come and play with tensions in systemic design at the forthcoming Relating Systems Thinking & Design (RSD10) symposium. This hybrid symposium will take place 2-6 November 2021 and will be partially on-line and partially happening at Delft University of Technology.