A Poetics of Designing

In Thomas Fischer & Christiane M. Herr (eds.), Design Cybernetics: Navigating the New. Springer Verlag. pp. 233-245 (2019)
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Abstract

The chapter provides an overview on what it means to be in a world that is uncertain, e.g., how under conditions of limited understanding any activity is an activity that designs and constructs, and how designing objects, spaces, and situations relates to the (designed) meta-world of second-order cybernetics. Designers require a framework that is open, but one that supplies ethical guidance when ‘constructing’ something new. Relating second-order design thinking to insights in philosophy and aesthetics, the chapter argues that second-order cybernetics provides a response to this ethical challenge and essentially it entails a poetics of designing. //// 'A Poetics of Designing' is part of the first book-length collection of texts in Design Cybernetics. It introduces the subject from the point of view of aesthetics. Importantly, the chapter argues that second-order cybernetics circumvents the necessity for a muse inspired artist or genius as a mediator between higher spirits and life, in favour of artists and designers who have true agency. //// Cybernetics is often associated with AI, which is, however, only one of the branches that developed on the basis of the interdisciplinary research begun in the 1940s and entitled cybernetics. I hope the chapter contributes to a better understanding of the second-order cybernetics that has been conceived in close relationship with art and design from the late 60s onwards.

Author's Profile

Claudia Westermann
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China

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