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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Research on, in, and for design Solving for Pattern Mar 18, 5: The definition of a problem is subjective; it comes from a point of view. The following annotations are for works which we will feel are most relevant to designers. This goes a long way in satisfying this seemingly incredible criterion. Wicked problems have no stopping rules. They tried to bring ideas and tools from operations research, the emerging computer applications and systems studies to bear on architecture and planning.

Horst Rittel

Core Laboratory Sep 9, He deemed this class […]. This is seldom the case with stakeholder groups working with wicked problems. Rittel and Melvin M.

His main focus for that was on architecture, of course, and the marvel of well packaged services that are the architectural ideal. As he said, he had the good fortune to participate in the development of the science of design from its beginning.

Where am I going? An Approach for Wicked Problems. Power Tools in use—wear safety goggles! Also asserts that design is subjective and that designers are responsible for their judgments. Designers attempting to address a wicked problem must be fully responsible for their actions. Of course, problems are “wicked” and “tame” only a potiori.


We literally build up an inventory of all possible solution concepts, in order to help us better understand what the actual problem is. This is a very interesting piece which helps us remember the uniqueness of these different approaches.

Horst Rittel – Wikipedia

Courtney, James F Note that there is no reference here to causality or probability, but only to possibility through mutual consistency. In Gass, Saul I. Because one person cannot possibly remember or keep track of all the variables of both existing and desired states in a wicked problem, taming wicked problems requires many people.

Due to the system qualities of these large problems, knowledge of science, economics, statistics, technology, medicine, politics, and more are necessary for effective change. Webber The search for scientific bases for confronting problems of social policy is bound to fail, because of the nature of these problems. Structuring Social Messes with Morphological Analysis”.

Extending Ackoff, Robert Horn says that “a Social Mess is a set of interrelated problems and other messes. Wouldn’t that have been nice? DeGrace, Peter; Stahl, L. Examining networks designed to tackle wicked problems in health care, such as caring for older people or reducing sexually transmitted infectionsFerlie and colleagues suggest that managed networks may be the “least bad” way of “making wicked problems governable”.

Elsevier Science Publishers B. Still I see him as more of a natural scientist searching for a new language, in architecture and elsewhere, for understanding patterns structures of natural design with emergent life giving properties. Views Read Edit View history.

Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving – Wicked Problem

Over the years he had developed an algebra of chemistry which allowed him to trace the outcomes of chemical reactions over as many steps as desired. Theorizing the Collapse of a Mental Health Setting”. For wicked problems, however, this type of scheme does not work. Finds these methodologies—and the 19th century view of science in which they are rooted—insufficient for innovation and design which are inherently political and subjective, rather than neutral and objective.


So somebody wants to reconcile those different perspectives? You need to be able to do fact research before getting to systems thinking. To tame a wicked problem, they have to agree on goals and actions for reaching them. IBIS for issue-based information system is the instrumental version of the understanding of design as argumentation.

Volume 23, Number 1, […]. First, let us look at what characterises hkrst tame problem. Perhaps, David, you rittfl learn how to check your facts.

The choice of explanation determines the nature of the problem’s resolution. Above all, WPs hotst about people as stakeholders: Often, new forms of wicked problems emerge as a result of trying to understand and solve one of them. Churchman was teaching in the Business School a few minutes down on the way to the center of campus. A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize.

I donated all my class notes to Prof. Werner Kunz and Horst W.

These paragraphs on IBIS were written in first person by Horst Rittel and adapted to third-person narrative by the Wikipedia contributor. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of owner. They were both teaching at the College of Environmental Design. Continue to the Next Chapter: Thus, when defining problems, irttel stake-holders, experts, and designers are equally knowledgeable or unknowledgeable.