Bi-relational design: A brief introduction and illustration

Raoul Adam


This paper introduces and illustrates Bi-relational Design (BD) as a general approach to (re)solving wicked problems. BD theorises oppositional, equipositional and para-positional approaches to problem-specific dyads (e.g., subjective/objective) based on a general consensus of research on epistemological development. These epistemic positions are used to inform a design process that includes six iterative and emergent phases: (1) identification, (2) organisation, (3) analysis, (4) evaluation, (5) synthesis and (6) experimentation. The paper illustrates these phases with the design of an interactive rubric to support pre-service teachers’ academic literacy during the transition to university. The paper concludes with a consideration of the applications of bi-relational design for problem (re)solution and resource development in contested or complex spaces.


design theory, design model, Binary-Epistemic Design (BED), academic literacy, higher education

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