Beyond service design: understanding complex challenges on a systemic level


  • André Santos
  • Helena Sustar



service design, systemic approach, complexity, rural fires


Traditional user-centred design methodologies are no longer adequate for addressing the new way of thinking required by today's global challenges, considering the systemic complexity that service design has now reached. This paper addresses how a systemic approach can support service design practices to understand, map and represent complex challenges such as rural fires. The research methods include a systemic design approach that provides an in-depth view of the system and the institutional structure by identifying the actors and their relationships and unpacking the current issues. Moreover, this paper identifies intervention areas and suggests recommendations: more involvement and collaboration between the different actors and the fire prevention system can prevent and mitigate the risks of rural fires more efficiently. The study indicates that service design can benefit from a systemic approach by investigating the actors, roles, and interdependencies and identifying challenges and strategic intervention areas in complex systems.