Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, and Associate Fellow at the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Her main research interests are the practices, skills and attitudes that are required to address complex societal challenges, often referred to as ‘social innovation’. Her expertise includes human-centred design, problem framing and systemic design, which she has gained, applied and shared as researcher, designer and educator. In her day-to-day work she studies the social innovation practices of professionals working in the public and social sector, contributes to the development of new innovation methods and practices, and shares this knowledge through publications, presentations and education.
Before joining TU Delft in 2019 she worked six years as Senior Lecturer at UTS, where she worked with various Australian public and social sector organisations to support them in tackling a complex societal issue, in particular in relation to mental health and wellbeing. At UTS she also contributed to the development and delivery of the successful transdisciplinary degree Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation.
As a designer she founded Rad Social Design, a Sydney-based social design agency aimed at supporting people who want to make a difference. She has published and presented her work in various academic journals and at international conferences, and for professional audiences in public lectures, workshops and in blog posts. Mieke holds a MSc in Industrial Design Engineering from TU Delft (cum laude), and a PhD in User Centred Design from the University of Twente (cum laude).
'Systemic design principles and practices – service design in a complex world'
Product and service designers are increasingly involved in projects and programs that are aimed at tackling complex societal challenges in areas ranging from public health and wellbeing, child protection, and social isolation, to poverty, crime and sustainability. Designers need to adapt their practice to this new context. As a result, a new practice is emerging that has been referred to as ‘systemic design’.
Mieke will share the results of her research into this emerging systemic design field. She will explain important systems thinking principles, and how these principles are integrated in the design process. The process includes practices of how designers perceive and frame complex challenges, how they explore and empathise with the system, how they approach design as an evolutionary process, and how they influence systems change through various systemic design principles. The practices will be illustrated with informative cases.