Five Points Towards an Architecture On/In-Formation

Kousoulas, S. (Keynote speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a workshop, seminar, course or other meeting


Invited lecture by Stavros Kousoulas for the TU Delft Datapolis MSc2 Studio Spring Semester 2021.

The lecture is based on the introduction for issue #28 "All is in Formation: Architecture, Cybernetics, Ecology" of Footprint Delft Architecture Theory Journal . The issue is edited by Stavros Kousoulas and Dulmini Perera.

While there have been significant discussions on the relevance of cybernetics within architectural and urban studies, focus was mainly placed on computing and digital practices. Since its emergence in the post-war period, cybernetics — in both its first and second-order versions — introduced to architectural discourse systematic design methods and practices, as well as tackled issues of reflexivity and complex problems. The aim of this lecture is to reposition cybernetics neither as an outdated way of thinking nor as computational practice alone, but as a discourse that continues to offer possibilities for architectural theories and practices.
To this end, I will approach cybernetics as the study of information, an account that has little to do with machines and digital logics, unless one wants to pursue that special case. Conversely, I will consider processes of cybernetisation as a generalised ecology that has to do with life and the production, exchange and consumption of meaning. Therefore, cybernetisation can set the foundations for a relational account that examines how signs are communicated and how meaning is produced and experienced within systems. This third-order cybernetics extends beyond the original scope of living organisms and their environments in order to include ecologies of ideas, power, institutions, media, etc. In this sense, cybernetisation is radically environmental, positing the primacy of relations over fixed terms, binary oppositions and linear logics, making it high time for architectural and urban studies to take into consideration its ground-breaking potentials.
Period21 Apr 2021
Event titleDATAPOLIS 21 Lecture Series: Complex Projects Design and Research Studio
Event typeCourse
LocationDelft, Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionInternational