Skip to main content
Course Director: Argyris Arnellos
co-lecturer: Thomas Spyrou
Course Code: 4053
Educational Units: 4
ECTS Units: 6
Type: Compulsory (C)
Semester: 02 (Spring)
Hours: 4 hours lecture

The course introduces students to the systemic way of thinking with the primary goal of providing theoretical and conceptual tools and applied models of non-reductive approach, study, analysis, description and explantion of systems. Emphasis is placed on the necessity of systems theory and thinking in the design process.

  • Introduction to the general concept of system: closed / open systems, supersystem / subsystem
  • The 'system' concept and how it relates to the design process.
  • Descriptive states and the structure of a system: states, discrete and continuous systems, state spaces, variety and constraint, entropy, information, system dynamics, probability, macro-state, negentropy, causality, circular causality, self-reference, goal-directionality, purpose / goal
  • Systemic approach - Analytical / Mechanistic approach [complexity, complication / perplexity, reductionism, repeatability, theory refutation, systemic discrimination], the concept of the observer, First-Order Cybernetics, 2nd-order Cybernetics, Constructivism
  • Control, Control Mechanisms, Control Hierarchies, the Law of Requisite Variety
  • Organization, self-organization, homeostasis, dynamic self-regulation, non-linearity, principle of selective conservation, principle of auto-catalytic development
  • Emergence, downward causation, evolution, adaptation fit

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand systems thinking, its concepts and principles especially in the area of Design.
  • Know the systems theory, methodologies and tools that can be used in various areas and in particular in the design process.
  • Understand the importance of key theoretical and practical concepts related to the course subject.
  • Analyze, manage and explain problems and complex phenomena when reductionist practice is proved not sufficient, especially in the design process.
  • Recognize, explore, analyze and understand key dimensions of the systems complexity where human interaction prevails, such as in the design process.
  • Develop significant theoretical and practical tools and skills that are necessary to support the accommodation of complexity in the design process.
  • Jackson M. C. (2019). Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity. Wiley
  • Μαυροφίδης Θ., (2018). Κοινωνία και Σύστημα: Εισαγωγή στη σύγχρονη συστημική θεωρία, Πατάκης: Αθήνα
  • Mingers J. 2014. Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy: A Confluence of Ideas. Routledge: New York.
  • Willke, H. (1997). Εισαγωγή στη συστημική θεωρία. ΚΡΙΤΙΚΗ