Horst Rittel, one of the first to formalize a theory of wicked problems, cites ten characteristics of these complicated social issuesRittel, Horst. “Dilemmas in a. Horst Willhelm Jakob Rittel taught design and architecture for over. 30 years, yet he never designed a building or otherwise practiced as an architect. (We might. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Authors; Authors and affiliations. Horst W. J. Rittel; Melvin M. Webber. Horst W. J. Rittel. 1. Melvin M. Webber. 1. 1.

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I could not have found a livelier, more stimulating and resourceful place in the world. Developed in the middle of the s, Ritgel was designed as a non-quantified problem structuring method PSMwhich results in an inference model which strives to represent the total problem space, and as many of the potential solutions to the given problem complex as possible Ritchey, How I got here.

The causes of a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways. This process is political.

This is seldom the case with stakeholder groups working with wicked problems. A problem rigtel solution requires a great number of people to change their mindsets and behavior is likely to be a wicked problem. He always acknowledged how their thinking had influenced his own; he considered them to have been the pioneers of the idea that design and planning are most important subjects of scientific inquiry.

That specific blog post led to a back-and-forth exchange in the comments section between Thor and myself. Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems. While traditional circles of entrepreneurship focus on speed and agility, designing for impact is about staying the course through methodical, rigorous iteration.


For only communicable processes can be taught, and only explicitly formulated processes can be critically scrutinized and improved upon. Rittel was born in Berlin.

He is survived by his wife, Anita; a son, David, and a daughter, Caroline. Some host that we are wiser today, and less susceptible to the belief that complex social planning problems can be “solved” by linear methods akin to engineering solutions.

So-called second order consensus is when stakeholders in a group learn to accept each other’s specific stakeholder positions – on the basis of understanding the reasons for these positions. There is always more than one explanation for a wicked problem, with the appropriateness of the explanation depending greatly on the individual perspective of the designer. They are difficult to classify, because they are scattered in the professional journals of disciplines as disparate as chemistry and law, computer science and hors science, or architecture and information science.

An introduction to problem structuring methods”. Thanks for pulling it together. It is optimistic, perhaps futile, but worth trying. In more recent times Horst was involved with what he termed natural intelligence-enhancement.

Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving – Wicked Problem

On the Structure of its Problems. Thus dittel is not penalised for making hypothesis that turn out to be wrong. October 17, at 7: In GMA we call this “remaining in the mess”, i.

The notion of wicked problems led Rittel to a radically new conception of design and planning processes and of methods appropriate to their resolution. Core Ritfel Sep 9, Unpacking Paradigms, Bridging Universes Part 1 of 2 “.

Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but better or worse. Before his premature death, Rittel was working on a general theory of technology, that is the description, analysis, and theory of instrumental knowledge.

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Horst Rittel

Rittel, a pioneering theorist of design and planning died of lymphatic cancer on July 8, in Heidelberg, Horts. West Churchman — Coevolving Innovations Oct 14, 6: The logic of issues, the eittel of IBIS, and their rules of operation are outlined. Adapted from a lecture given at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Indeed, it is just such hypothesis generation that is a primary motive force behind scientific development Ritchey, Based on these characteristics, not all hard-to-solve problems are wicked, only those with an indeterminate scope and scale.

He hoped these systems might also make both the design process and the political process more transparent.

He was asking how we might hotst effectively trace the consequences of applying a technology, and how we might construct a combination of technologies in pursuit of desired results without also generating unforeseen and undesirable side- and after-effects, the nightmares of designers. Identifies organizing the discourse during the planning process as its central issue. Convergent problems are those for which attempted solutions gradually converge on one solution or answer.

Also emphasizes that improvements entail political involvement in contrast to the cherished neutrality of traditional science. The Marketization of Education Jul 11, 8: