Special Interest Group “Managing Structural Complexity”

The purpose of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Managing Structural Complexity is to bring together researchers focused on research and application of managing complex structures such as product architectures, process networks or organisational structures. The SIG focuses on how structural patterns can be recognised, modeled, analysed, improved and purposefully put into use in the context of engineering design.

The SIG is part of the Design Society.

Focus of the Special Interest Group 

In modern products, processes, organisations, and markets, complexity is ever-present. It is often seen as an obstacle to designing and developing successful products and services. Complexity is, in the context of this SIG, mainly understood as a highly integrated system consisting of different elements, the network structure of their relationships internally and to their environment, and the dynamics thereof. Managing the structure of a system as a means of complexity management tackles complex systems by looking into how a system is set-up internally, i.e. the constellations and typical patterns (=”structures”) of the elements and their relations. The aim of the SIG is to gain and mediate areas of competence with regard to the structural complexity management in all aspects of product development by consideration of different views onto a system, its elements and interdependencies, and its evolution and dynamics. Exemplary application areas are networks formed by interacting product components, process activities or organizational responsibilities as well as the interrelations between those different aspects


  • Dr.-Ing. Maik Maurer, Technische Universität München, Institute of Product Development 
  • Dr. David Wynn, Department of Engineering, Cambridge University