Gordon Rowland

Retired Professor, Strategic Communication


Throughout my career I practiced as well as taught about design in a variety of ways. Here is a sample:

• I created a new character called the quemma, which is a question mark with a comma at the bottom. It denotes a question that leads to another, hopefully better, question. You can read about the quemma and other characters that grew from it in this blog post.

• I developed a tool for enhancing inquiry systems called EDISYS. I continue to revise and improve this with the help of my students in STCM 45000 Critical Issues in Organizations. You can read about this in a book chapter:

Rowland, G. (2014). EDISYS: A tool for enhancing design inquiry systems. In B. Hokanson & A. Gibbons (Eds.), Design in educational technology: Design process, design thinking, and the design studio. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Press.

• My colleague Jason Hamilton and I came up with the concept of over-the-edge thinking, which we believe to be a more accurate description of the creative thinking that leads to actual innovation than “out of the box.” You can find a paper about this at JSTOR.

• I came up with the name for a professional journal that I helped found, the International Journal of Designs for Learning.

• I developed a model of planned change called CHRIIS. You will find a brief paper about this in the Proceedings of the 2019 RSD9 Conference.

• I coined the term homeopoiesis to mean ‘making with others,’ in contrast to allopoiesis, ‘making for others,’ and autopoiesis, ‘making within.’ Making within, for example, a group designing for itself, is most ethical, but it depends on the group developing design competence and a design culture. As a step in this direction, homeopoiesis brings design expertise to the group in a way that honors and respects its members’ needs and desires.

• I designed many courses, including STCM 12300 Systemic Design and STCM 44500 Performance Improvement. And I co-designed the four ICIC mini-courses, and created dozens of class and workshop learning activities.