Why design cybernetics?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


In this chapter I review the intimate relationship between cybernetics and design, drawing on the work of Ranulph Glanville and Gordon Pask. The significance of each of these fields for the other follows from the mutualism between them, such that cybernetics can be understood in terms of design as well as vice versa. The full value of this can be seen in the assistance they offer each other in building support from within. Design may serve as an example for how cybernetics can be practiced cybernetically, i.e. in accordance with its own insights and principles. In turn, cybernetics may help design understand itself in its own terms, in contrast to the way that it can become distorted by theories imported from elsewhere. Moreover, this mutualism connects design research to the vast array of topics with which cybernetics is concerned. Recalling its origins as a transdisciplinary project, cybernetics may help mediate diverse concerns within design, while also enabling cybernetic processes in other fields to be explored through the insights and methods of design research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign cybernetics
Subtitle of host publicationNavigating the new
EditorsThomas Fischer, Christiane M. Herr
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International
ISBN (Electronic)9783030185572
ISBN (Print)9783030185565
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameDesign Research Foundations
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Electronic)2366-4622


  • Design research
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Cybernetics
  • Conversation


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