Topic “Spatial Cybernetics”

Jun 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: Spatial Cybernetics, Topics

Foto - Topic Spatial CyberneticsExtending the topic of Evolution, the logics of today’s spatial typologies need to be re-examined. The underlying notion is straightforward: in spatial developments, we are challenged by “auto-logics,” a term that refers to the emergence and the development of patterns that interact with one another. This phenomenon is best described through the notion of so-called ”feedback- and feed-forward loops” as they have been observed in the field of traditional Cybernetics. These loops are assumed to mould and shape the development of spaces and form through their interconnection causal networks, which in turn form new spatial configurations. Starting with the historical genesis of globalization and continuing to contemporary realities, the focus should be folding “auto-logics” into this discourse and their effects on the most diverse space typologies. This also includes where the emergence of these “auto logics” occur. The scope of investigation could therefore be widespread. It may range from space as territory to local space, or from a suspected ‘replacement’ of place by space to the destruction of space altogether. In addition, one may also incorporate the emergence of entirely new spaces – physical and mental ones, as well as those summarized under the term “Cyberspace”.

Based on the mentioned “feedback- and feed-forward loops,” the effects on globalization reveal then – upon closer examination – a recursive causality. That means, spatial effects, triggered by globalization, can be described through these “auto-logics.” They transform the overall appearances of various spatial configurations, but also the connections between them. If this assumption of causal network-generation is valid, then cybernetics is not an outdated issue confined to the more techno-optimistic days of a passed century or devoted to an ideology of control. Actually, the opposite is the case. These concepts of self-organization, spontaneous orders or other self-referential properties of complex systems that apply to socio-economic, socio-technical, cultural and conceptual spaces are as true as ever. They continually influence our present and at the same time are subjected to our past – to an evolution.

We would like to invite everyone who is interested, to examine these fascinating spatial developments, which we describe as “Spatial Cypernetics.” They seem to be the most suited to reveal these causal networks. A wide variety of spaces could be investigated, such as “classical” spatiality’s in the political realm, adopting the shape of spaces of power and control; social spaces in all of their diversities, being the subject of globalization, integration or disintegration; different cultural spaces, spaces of perception, or socio-technical spaces driven by technological impacts and other forces in their wake. That means space could either be examined in its morphology – the present state it is in – or combined, as a historical analysis unfolding the lines and connections, which led to the present state in question. Furthermore, spaces and developments could be compared, if they show morphological similarities in terms of development, as well as in terms of result. One can easily see how multi-faceted the opportunities of framing this topic are – ranging from specific case studies to general overviews. We would therefore like to invite you to participate and explore these different pathways of “Spatial Cypernetics.”

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KIT Scientific Publishing, Karlsruhe | Journal of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts | ISSN 1868-6648