The architectural relevance of cybernetics
ABSTRACT 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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ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study a series of exchanges between cybernetics and the arts, focusing on Pask's lifelong envisioning of the so-called information environment (I.E). It follows the author's previous PhD dissertation which was concerned with the exchanges between systems research and architecture; Gordon Pask et al.; and a couple of outstanding architectural projects related to systems and computation. Design/methodology/approach – This paper was mainly supported by archival research of Gordon Pask's Archive (held at the time by his daughter) and Cedric Price's Archive (held at the Canadian Centre for Architecture); supplemented with interviews and bibliographical research (research was made possible by a FCT grant – POCI 2010). Findings – The paper details and discusses exchanges between the fields of cybernetics and the arts; and it focuses on Pask's lifelong exchange with architecture and the manifestation of his ideas in this field. One highlights, among others, Pask's exchanges within the British milieu and the AMG during the 1960s and 1970s; the seminal manifestations of his main C2 achievement – the Conversation Theory – in the field of architecture; and his later architectural performance. Research limitations/implications – The previous primary archival research conducted at Pask's daughter house, is being expanded by the author through use of new material. Originality/value – This paper is intended for historians of sciences and the arts. It briefly overviews Pask's well-known main works and, in addition, it includes reference to some rare little-known materials.Kybernetes 01/2009; 38:1317-1331. · 0.32 Impact Factor
- American Behavioral Scientist 01/1971; 14. · 0.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Similarities can certainly be found between systems research and computational sciences, and architecture and design. The first pair deals with information, complex dynamics and organizations; the second pair is often understood as synthetic and systemic. Postwar history recalls a sequence of exchanges between these fields; the aim of this paper is to highlight the relevance of some exchanges and their contemporary legacy. In this connection, the first part briefly outlines the meaning and history of the former disciplines, highlighting the strict circular models and how first-order cybernetics evolved towards a second order. The second part points to some exchanges between systems research, computational sciences and art forms, as well as to its architectural legacy. To a large extent, the current architectural interest in new sciences of emergence and complexity is rooted in the early systems research approach. Both areas are possible root sources of a future, effective built environment.Nexus Network Journal 14(1). · 0.08 Impact Factor