The architectural relevance of cybernetics

Faculty of Art and Design, University of Ulster at Belfast, York St, Belfast BT15 1ED, UK
Systems Research 01/2007; 10(3):43 - 48. DOI: 10.1002/sres.3850100307


Abstract — This title is taken from an article by Gordon Pask in Architectural Design September 1969. It raises a number of questions which this article attempts to answer. How did Gordon come to be writing for an architectural publication? What was his contribution to architecture? How does he now come to be on the faculty of a school of architecture? And what indeed is the architectural relevance of cybernetics?

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    • "The argument rested on the idea that architects were " first and foremost system designers who had been forced to take an increasing interest in the organisational system properties of development, communication and control " . Gordon identified a significant vacuum in architectural theory and claimed cybernetics as " a discipline that fills the bill insofar as the abstract concepts of cybernetics can be interpreted in architectural terms (and, where appropriate, identified with real architectural systems) to form a theory (architectural cybernetics, the cybernetic theory of architecture) " (Pask, 1969). "
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    Systems Research 01/2007; 11(3). DOI:10.1002/sres.3850110307
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