ChangeLabs design principles

Design principles are the basic concepts that guide the lab sessions. As design is such a broad and all encompassing activity we cannot specify all the types of challenges and questions that we may be presented with. What we can do is create a set of general principles that will guide us in our approach.

These principles should derive from the nature of the systems we are designing; they should be aligned with what we consider as desired outcomes. Complex systems are fundamentally different from simpler systems. Just as we have a whole new area of science-based upon new principles to understand them, likewise, design requires a new set of design principles that are aligned with these basic characteristics and dynamics of complex systems.


We want a design approach that is holistic in considering all relevant factors rather than partial.


Does not concentrate inwards and create dependency on centralized nodes but pushes outward engaging the end-user in the creation of the solution.


Design that works with the full systems lifecycle to create systems that are circular, regenerative and evolutionary rather than linear and degenerative.


We need systems that are connected, accessible and integrated rather than siloed due to borders and boundaries.


We want to develop systems that are open involving the contribution of the many rather than closed to only the few.