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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    ABSTRACT: Discusses the relation between cybernetics and architecture and pays tribute to Gordon Pask's role and influence. Indicates Pask's contribution to an increasingly environmentally responsive architectural theory that may lead to a more humane and ecologically conscious environment.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2001 · Kybernetes
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    Full-text · Article · Jul 1971 · American Behavioral Scientist
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    ABSTRACT: It is argued that creativity might be amplified through the co-operative sharing of brain power (in contrast to Ashby's amplification of intelligence by restricting attention to the problem). This argument is extended to the act of design (seen as the making of the new), where it is proposed that the nature of the computer is to encourage co-operative sharing because, by making perfect copies, it denies ownership. This, in turn, underpins the processes of collaging and transformation that so suit the computer. A means of using the computer is proposed in which both sharing and distortion are encouraged, so that the new may be made while the individual's sense of creation and of origination is respected. Possible questions and difficulties are raised. Some are resolved. 1 VARIETY Ross Ashby (1) invented the concept of Variety to help discriminate the number of states that a system takes from those that it might take. He showed that a control(ling) system, if it were to contro...
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2007 · Systems Research
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