Five Points Towards an Architecture In-Formation


  • Stavros Kousoulas Delft University of Technology
  • Dulmini Perera



While there have been significant discussions about the relevance of cybernetics within architectural and urban studies, the focus has mainly been on computing and digital practices. Since its emergence in the post-war period, cybernetics – in both its first and second-order versions – has introduced to architectural discourse systematic design methods and practices, while also tackling issues of reflexivity and complex problems. In this introduction, we examine the relation between cybernetics and architecture by focusing on a problem they both share. To this end, we approach cybernetics as the study of the production, consumption and flow of information, an account that has little to do with digital logics, unless one wants to pursue that special case. Therefore, cyberneticisation 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 and so on. In this sense, cyberneticisation 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. By introducing five short points on the relation between architecture and cybernetics, we aim to assist in this endeavour.

Author Biographies

Stavros Kousoulas, Delft University of Technology

Dr. ir. Stavros Kousoulas is Assistant Professor of Architecture Theory in the Faculty of Architecture of TU Delft. He has studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and at TU Delft. He received his doctoral title cum laude from IUAV Venice participating in the Villard d’ Honnecourt International Research Doctorate. He has published and lectured in Europe and abroad. He is a member of the editorial board of Footprint Delft Architecture Theory Journal since 2014.

Dulmini Perera

Dulmini Perera is Assistant Professor at the Chair for the Theory and History of Modern Architecture at Bauhaus University Weimar. She works at the intersection of architectural history and theory, systems research and design methods studies. Her research and writing focus on the wicked and complex relations between ecological questions and questions concerning technology. In her teaching and design practice, she uses second-order cybernetics both as discourse and as a method to rethink how the process of designing can be reframed in the context of contemporary wicked problems.


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