Wealth to Wellbeing 

A systems exploration in imagining alternatives within housing in Norway





The Norwegian housing market has systemic tendencies to create long-term vulnerabilities within citizens who’re unable to climb the ownership ladder.


In face of future risks and uncertainties, how can we create systemic conditions to create well being instead of vulnerability?

 This independent master’s thesis project ran for 18 weeks during Autumn 2019 at Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

The project takes a Systems Oriented Design (SOD) view on the challenges of housing. Using a multi-disciplinary lens, it explores SOD’s potential to articulate and materialise community centred notions of care and wellbeing when exploring alternative futures within complex systems.

This work was presented at the 9th Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium, NID Ahmedabad (Online), October 2020.

The Master’s thesis was delivered at Oslo School of Architecture and Design in January 2020.


The thesis presents a Design-Analysis Framework offering a multi-level nuanced approach for attempting systemic issues of large scale and complexity.

The Framework analyses systems in their present form, digging deep into underlying logics to reveal embedded mindsets and values. It uses metaphors to explore how flipping core narratives might support exploration of alternative systemic logics, there by opening up the present to plural futures.
The Framework helps raise questions about the nature of urban housing, and the practices of dwelling in context of community-centric wellbeing. The Framework was used to explore an alternative near-future concept in form of a speculative housing model. Using service design tools and methods, the model was materialised in form of design artefacts and user-situated scenarios.

The Three-Horizon’s model was used to position this in time and bring stakeholders into discussion - on transitions, unintended consequences and what it means to be prepared in the face of future risks.



Knowledge Contribution:
Design Analysis Framework


A 9 minute video presenting the framework, how it was used and its contributions in systems exploration of wicked problems


Open Access Documentation:
Read thesis here.



Metaphor cards workshop for working with mutli-stakeholder complex systems. Read original research paper here. For more information, contact author.



Role of Metaphor within Systemic Design work: Original Research

A short paper presenting original research on metaphors and dialogue session in collaboration with Dan Lockton was presented at the 10th Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium, TU Delft (Hybrid)  November 2021.






Sarah Prosser presenting my project at The Housing Festival, Oslo. February 2020. Photo Tom Davies

“Learning how to take care ahead of time has begun to appear as one of the most challenging features of 21st century global life.”




Process glimpse

Mark