Click here to see the video from the talk. Click here to download the PDF of the slides.
Cybernetics is often confused with robotics and AI, chip implants and biomechatronics, and more. Don’t want to disappoint you but cybernetics is none of those things (though it has a lot to say about all of them). Cybernetics is not freezing dead people, neither. (I’m hoping that’s less of a surprise. Maybe not.)
Worlds Fair Nano – March 2018 – San Francisco
Hoping to clear up all that confusion in 20 minutes, I gave a talk on Saturday, March 10th, 2018, at 2pm at Worlds Fair Nano in San Francisco.
To speak about the future of cybernetics (as in this short video) is to speak about its past and present (requiring another short video). In an era that vacillates between rampant AI utopianism and rampant AI dystopianism, what does cybernetics have to offer our future? Continue reading
To “design our world” has been the goal of every human generation. Every day we wake up to an invitation to become whom we wish to become. I believe the role of design is to help all of us to achieve that goal for ourselves — that is, to be designers of our own world.
Ambitious, I realize. As is trying to tame wicked problems through design.
But what is “design” anyway? Why isn’t “design thinking” enough? And what’s this got to do with cybernetics, anyway? I offer viewpoints in my Heinz von Foerster ’17 Lecture, entitled Designing Our World: Cybernetics as Conversations for Action. See the abstract, video, and supporting materials here.
Despina Papadopoulos @ChangeModel is visiting CCS and on Friday she delivered thesis crits and portfolio reviews for @CCSMFAIXD.
Steve Stavropoulos, second-year MFA IxD student, presented his design for a service that would allow users to flag repeating issues in their neighborhood, anything from stray dogs or crime, dangerous streets or broken street lights. These concerns would then come to the attention of community groups such as schools, businesses, and churches. Despina advocated for a few foundational shifts. Continue reading
Mai and Heinz von Foerster in Pangaro’s 1970 Citroën DS21 in Pescadero, California, in the early 2000s (Photograph: Paul Pangaro)
Heinz von Foerster was born 105 years ago today. He was a major figure in the beginnings of cybernetics
from the middle of the 20th century, and through to its flowering as second-order cybernetics
. His ideas can be magical and one of his papers is still a favorite
and voted the favorite of students in cybernetics + design courses
year upon year. His wife, Mai, also magical in her clarity as well as succinctness (a trait not shared by Heinz), once said to me, “Heinz has a mind like a crystal.” He demonstrates this so well in his “Ethical Imperative”, a cybernetic koan worthy of contemplation and action: Continue reading
Say you want to eat somewhere and you ask for my recommendation. I say, “Sure, I’ve got the best place for you: Luigi’s Pizza, on the corner of First & Commerce.”
You say, “Great, thanks—but why do you recommend Luigi’s?” What if I replied… Continue reading
Thesis Project by Amirhossein Nouri, CCS MFA IxD, Class of 2016
Everyone knows we have thousands of interactions every day — with physical objects and products, digital devices as well as other people. But not everyone knows about interaction design, a new field that is focused on, that’s right, designing those interactions.
After its opening run at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia” has moved to its second location, Cranbrook Art Museum. Curated by Andrew Blauvelt, this installation has focus and intensity.
Congratulations to our graduating students 2016!
Robert Beyer Thesis – ‘In Flight’
Fan Huang – Brand Studio – LUSH
Sophia Park – Thesis
Team Collobarate – Haworth Studio
Materials Palette – Haworth Studio
Eunice Kim – Thesis
Stacy Evans – Thesis ‘Provenance’
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.
The paper “Cybernetics and Design: Conversations for Action” [PDF] has recently gone to print in a peer-reviewed journal. It offers a rationale for the position that design is conversation; perhaps a surprising idea, but the logic in the paper is rigorous. Cybernetics offers a foundation for 21st-century design practice, here is the core of it: