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  • Carlijn Vis / SINTEF

Doctoral defence of CCSDI member Manuela Aguirre

“The Ripppling Ecosystems” - by Aguirre Ulloa, 2020

The CCSDI network congratulates dr. Manuela Aguirre Ulloa with the successful defence of her PhD thesis. On the 5th of June, Manuela defend her PhD thesis "Transforming Public Organizations into Co-Designing Cultures - A study of capacity-building programs as learning ecosystems".

Manuela's supervisors were Birger Sevaldson and Andrew Morrison, both from the Institute of Design at AHO.

The committee that assessed the thesis consisted of:

  • Per-Anders Hillgren, Professor, Malmö University

  • Alex Ryan, Executive-in-Residence, Rotman School of Management, Toronto.

  • Maja van der Velden, Associate Professor, Institute of Informatics, UiO

Due to covid-19, the trial lecture and defence took place as a zoom webinars. The webinars have been recorded by AHO. You can find the video of the defence here.

The topic of the trial lecture was: How can Bela H. Banathy’s ideas of pervasive co-design culture be understood in relation to Participatory Design and issues of power? The video of the trial lecture can be watched here.

Abstract of Manuela's thesis

This thesis explores how public sec​tor organizations introduce new ways of working, such as co-design methods and mindsets, and examines the interactions between emerging co-designing cultures and dominant public sector cultures. This research contributes to the field of design, with a focus on culture change in public sector organizations.

Through s​ystems oriented design, two large capacity building programs were studied using participatory design approaches: Fifth Space in Canada and Experimenta in Chile. The experiences from these two cases were coupled with literature reviews and gigamapping, where theory and practice were connected iteratively leading to the development of the Ripppling model and the Ripppling ecosystem.

These two frameworks highlight the importance of the physical, practice, and paradigm dimensions in intercultural relations, and support the analysis of the cases. The findings from this thesis are critical for designing lasting transformation in public organizations, by taking into account the complex, dynamic, multi-scaled, and multi-layered relationships that exist within and across cultural co-designing groups.

Abstract of the trial lecture:

Manuela’s trial lecture explores the fairly unknown field of Social Systems Design by Bela H. Banathy (1996) and positions it relation to Scandinavian Participatory Design. During her talk, she exemplifies both fields, outlines their key principles, and critiques how they address issues of power.

About Manuela

bilde av Manuela

Manuela Aguirre Ulloa works as Associate Professor of Service Design at AHO and leads Systemic Design at Designit. Before starting her doctorate study, she worked at Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, epicenter for using design to transform healthcare experiences. She holds a Master of Industrial Design from AHO, completed in 2012 with the award-winning project Designing for Dignity, recognized for pioneering the use of Systems Oriented Design for multi-sectorial co-creation.

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