In 1969, English researcher Gordon Pask published an article named “The Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics”, defining a theoretical framework concerning a cybernetic theory of architecture. Throughout the 1970s, the Cambridge Research Group designed the Autonomous House, a self-sufficient dwelling in terms of energy and food. Part of the Cambridge group approach relates to cybernetics. However, the group did not regard several aspects of cybernetics described in the theoretical framework of Pask. Through a literature review primarily focused on 1970s architectural magazines, this paper analyses which cybernetic aspects were not regarded in the Cambridge Autonomous House and other similar houses as case studies. Through an innovative analytical method, it demonstrates that some limitations of the house design, such as the main focus on costs and technologies, could have been reduced if aspects of cybernetics had been more incorporated. Using cybernetics as a lens represents a method which can be beneficial also in analysing today’s examples of sustainable and autonomous architecture.
- autonomous house
- sustainable architecture