March 21 is the 55th monthly meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario.
Please RSVP at Eventbrite.

Systems Thinking on Product Design Ethics

As expectations on environmental sustainability and social equity have risen over recent decades, what are the standards by which product designers should be judged? Do product design methodologies sufficiently advocate and support practices that are responsible - for anything more, that is, than the immediate functional, economic and aesthetic dimensions of the object?  What types of measures would signal that the impact of product designs on our natural environment and/or social well-being are moving in the right direction?  In the career development of product designers, what conditions or situations might influence changes in behaviour?

Join Systems Thinking Ontario on March 21st  as we discuss these questions, share our experiences and inquire into the role of Systems Thinking in product design methodology and practice.

Sayeh Dastgheib-Beheshti will motivate our discussion with a summary of her research into these questions, which were central to her graduate work in Environmental Studies, at York University.  Sayeh is a professional designer responsible for numerous industrial and consumer product designs, internationally. She also teaches and mentors design students in sustainable practices, design process, technical drawing and computer aided design.  David Ing will then offer some contrasting perspectives and, with Sayeh, facilitate group discussions delving into these challenging, important, and sometimes controversial questions.


Suggested pre-reading: 

Holistic Design Education

Designers have an obligation to make sure their work is truly sustainable (The Guardian)


Time Activity Role(s)
6:30 Self-introductions (15 seconds each)
  • Introduce yourself and briefly tell us about interests, experiences or affiliations related to systems thinking.
  • How did learn about this Systems Thinking Ontario session?
Convenor:  TBD
6:45 The pre-reading (as an entry point)
  • What did the original author(s) say?
Sayeh Dastgheib-Beheshti
7:05 Commentary
  • How does the reading fit with my thinking on the theme of systems thinking and futures?
Commenter #1: David Ing
Commenter #2: TBD
7:20 Discussion breakouts
  • Break out in groups of 6 to 10 people, to improve active communications
  • Identify a reporter who will summarize the group findings
Parallel breakout groups of 3 to 5 people
7:50 Reports on discussion One designated reporter for each group
8:10 Process reflection
  • What went well in this meeting?
  • What should be discuss in the next meeting?
Suggestions welcomed
8:15 Adjourn
  • Optionally, join other attendees to continue discussion over dinner and/or drinks at a nearby restaurant
  • We prefer a venue that is quiet, reasonably priced and spacious enough for our continued conversations.
  • Typically, when we meet at 100 McCaul, we walk up to Baldwin Street; when we meet at 205 Richmond, we walk up to Queen Street West.
No host

Post-meeting artifacts

Bloggers are encouraged to write about their learning and experiences at the meeting. Links will be added to this page.