Carlos Teixeira, IIT Institute of Design faculty member and PhD program coordinator, is the guest editor of the new issue on “Transforming Design Matters” for She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation. The topic is the result of conversations started in 2016 among scholarly researchers and practitioners in the United States and Canada who share an interest in design as a force for intentional change. The group has a common interest in transforming and improving artificial systems by investigating material and symbolic interventions that shape future livelihoods. Unlike natural systems, artificial systems—including health care, urban mobility, food security, tourism, social media, automation, energy, sustainable development, social justice, and education—are human-made, and are primarily responsible for shaping contemporary society. Design has been fundamental to shaping artifacts—such as products, services, and communication tools—and environments in all these systems. The new frontier in design is to explore artificial systems and multi-systems integration, with the goal of envisioning alternative futures and the infrastructures yet to be designed to support those futures. This theme issue aims to present original work that can help delineate the theoretical and practical boundaries of what might become design research and practice of artificial systems.

Included in the journal is an article written by ID faculty member Laura Forlano who developed a comprehensive literature review on posthumanism and design. In addition, ID PhD students Peter Hodges, Jaime Rivera, Robert Faller, Amanda Geppert, in collaboration with former ID faculty member Stan Ruecker and visiting scholar Celso Scaletsky who present an analysis and reflection of discussions from the past 50 years on norms for studying and building theory in the design field.

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