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Design Systems and Models: Cybernetics with Hugh Dubberly

Posted on by Keta Patel

An Introduction to Systems and Cybernetics in a week long workshop

During the twentieth century, design focused largely on the form of objects. In the twenty-first century, design is focusing largely on the behavior of systems. Other disciplines have developed a body of knowledge about systems. Yet most designers are unfamiliar with this work.

Learning Objectives

Tools For Understanding Context and Taming Complexity:
A Whole Systems Approach to Design

Summarize major systems theories and show how they are relevant to emerging design practice. Introduce language, models, and principles from a range of perspectives:

  • Formal Systems: information structures and network topologies

  • Dynamic Systems: stocks + flows, resource cycles, lags + oscillations, explosion + collapse, dynamic equilibrium + homeostasis

  • Control Systems: feedback + stability, goal-action-measure loops, requisite variety

  • Living Systems: self-organizing, dissipative systems, autopoiesis, positive deviants, co-evolution +drift, bio-cost

  • Conversation Systems: observing-understanding-agreeing, learning-coordinating-collaborating, goal- task ladders, bootstrapping, ethics+responsibility 

All photos by Paul Sheetz

All photos by Paul Sheetz