Exploring the potential of a participatory systems design method to overcome multi-stakeholder challenges in cultural preservation


  • Pieter de Vries 4TU Centre for Engineering Education, Delft University of Technology
  • Gerdje Pijpe Van der Wal Transport, Nijverheidsweg
  • Pieter van Langen Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management
  • Özgür Turan Artlite Mimarlık, Sahrayicedit, Istanbul
  • Frances Brazier Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management

Parole chiave:

Participatory systems design, method, multi-stakeholder, socio-technical systems, business networks, cultural heritage conservation


The purpose of this paper is the introduction of a participatory systems design method to find solutions for multi-stakeholder challenges. This method, called Participatory Systems Design (PSD), aims to improve collaboration by increasing trust, engagement, and empowerment of people from different organizations and organizational levels, operating in a socio-technical setting. Participants collectively explore the challenges in their relation, define the values related to these challenges and create a continuous process of self- organization to fulfil their mission. In this way, participants increase their ability to communicate, collaborate and improve their performance.

The PSD method is problem-oriented and consists of three steps to improve business relations in a business network. Following PSD, stakeholders work together on solving complex issues in business processes, resulting in more trust, engagement, and empowerment and an increased ability to collaborate at all organizational levels. The dynamic alignment of business processes leads to a better business relation, more joint business, cost savings, and sustainable solutions. The preservation business networks share a multi-stakeholder context that correlates with the specifics of a participatory design approach and could benefit from applying the PSD method. The introduction of this method allows to have a closer look at the opportunities and limitations for the application of PSD in preservation networks. This will need further research and this paper is an attempt to initiate an uptake using a well-researched case study in another domain as an important reference.