According to the dictionary, a system is “a group of interacting, interrelated, interdependent elements forming a complex whole.” There are many types of systems: human, behavioral, natural, technological, mechanical, mathematical, political, social, financial, transit, etc.
In this make, we invite you to document, analyze and reflect on the variety of systems that influence your life personally and/or professionally. Use your creativity to document an existing system, access your ingenuity to improve an existing system or use your imagination to develop a unique new system and design a novel way to explain it.
- How can you document a system that serves a function in your life?
- Can you add inflow to an already existing system in order to make it function more effectively?
- Can you re(media)te a system in order to improve it?
- What about a hack? Can you hack a system or “the system” to make it work for you in interesting new ways?
- Can you create a new system to take the place of one that is no longer useful or has become obsolete?
- Can you design an entirely new system for something that has yet to be imagined?
Systems can be explained using a variety of medium. Take a photograph, draw a diagram, create an infographic, draft a story, write a song, do an interpretive dance, create a recipe, make a “how to,” develop a prototype, continue to play with games….The possibilities are endless!
Below you will find some additional ideas to help you get started:
- Brainstorm and organize ideas (Popplet, Inspiration Maps Lite, Inkflow)
- Make a diagram (Creatly, Gliffy, Lekh Diagram, Graphio Lite)
- Design an Infographic (infogr.am, piktochart, canva)
- Develop a screencast (Educreations, ShowMe)
- Create a presentation (Powtoon, Flowvella, ShadowPuppet, Adobe Voice)
- Make a video (Videolicious, Magisto, Animoto)
- Upload a photo, drawing or diagram and record your voice (Fotobabble)
- Create a collage (PicCollage, BeFunky, ClipStitch)
- Make a slideshow (Haiku Deck, SlideStory, slide.ly, Google Slides)
Additional Resources on Systems
- Systems Literacy from PBS LearningMedia
- Forget about setting goals. Focus on this instead.
- TEDx—Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how to make toast.
- Questions to Ask About Systems
- The Imaginary Factories Inside Our Gadgets
- Real and Imaginary Transit Maps‑Fantasy Map Connecticut Metro
- The Origins of Good Ideas
Share what you make here by posting an example or share a tutorial “how to.”