Systemic design for territorial enhancement: An overview on design tools supporting socio-technical system innovation


  • Amina Pereno Politecnico di Torino
  • Silvia Barbero Politecnico di Torino


The sustainable transition of the regional and urban systems in which we live represents a crucial challenge for our societies and requires a new integrated vision of the social, environmental, cultural, political and economic dimensions. Territorial systems can be considered as socio-technical systems, made up of a complex network of infrastructure and facilities and also of human interactions and activities. So far, the sustainable innovation of socio-technical systems has often been concerned with the introduction of sustainable technological solutions, but today it is clear how specific solutions must be framed from a systems perspective. The paper aims at providing a comprehensive analysis of the design tools able to support this systemic transition, starting from the analysis of the macro-strategies developed by the transition studies, in particular the Multi-level Perspective model. Through a cross-analysis with the main design fields related to the systemic design domain, four types of tools are highlighted, which aim at (i) establishing learning processes;(ii) building multi-stakeholder networks; (iii) sharing foresight visions; (iv) enhancing green niche innovations. The comparison of the different tools enables pointing out the contribution of systemic design to territorial enhancement, stressing the contact points and potential synergies between different design approaches.

Author Biographies

Amina Pereno, Politecnico di Torino

Department of Architecture and Design

Silvia Barbero, Politecnico di Torino

Department of Architecture and Design






Relating Systems Thinking and Design: Systemic Design and co-creation processes for territorial enhancement