Systemic Design for Second-Order Effects


  • Evan Barba Georgetown University Communication, Culture and Technology Program


Emneord (Nøkkelord):

Systemic Design, Sustainability, Instigator Systems, case studies


Second-order effects refer to changes within a system that are the result of changes made somewhere else in the system (the first-order effects). Second-order effects can occur at different spatial, temporal, or organizational scales from the original interventions, and are difficult to control. Some organizational theorists suggest that careful management of feedback processes can facilitate controlled change from one organizational configuration to another. Recognizing that skill in managing feedback processes is a core competency of design suggests that design skills are potentially useful tools in achieving organizational change. This paper describes a case study in which a co-design methodology was used to control the second-order effects resulting from a classroom intervention to create organizational change. This approach is then theorized as the Instigator Systems approach.


Evan Barba, Georgetown University Communication, Culture and Technology Program

Assisant Professor

Communication, Culture and Technology

Department of Computer Science




Hvordan referere

Barba, E. (2017). Systemic Design for Second-Order Effects. FormAkademisk, 10(1).

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