MIT Media Lab & Design

I believe that by bringing together design and science we can produce a rigorous but flexible approach that will allow us to explore, understand and contribute to science in an antidisciplinary way. — Joi Ito

Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, is starting a new journal with MIT Press and MIT Libraries called Design and Science. His introductory post takes the stand that science suffers from narrow vocabularies that create silos of thinking and restrict rich collaboration.

He then references cybernetics as the original “antidisciplinary” discipline, operating in the whitespace created by the established vocabularies. He offers cybernetics as a way forward:

In many ways, the cybernetics movement is a model for what we are trying to do—allowing a convergence of new technologies to create a new movement that cuts across the disciplines. 

He is clear why we need cybernetics:

… by bringing the human into the system second-order cybernetics goes beyond the move from “objectivity” to “subjectivity” and makes the participants responsible for what they pay attention to and what they value. And if “cybernetics is the theory, design is the action.” (Ranulph Glanville)—for we are responsible for what we design.

Read here for more on Glanville, design, cybernetics, and conversation.