Posts by Paul Pangaro

Jan 24, 2019

Making sense in the data economy

We perpetually interact with our technologies. On the one hand they serve us, and on the other hand they control us.1 Computers, smartphones, and the infrastructure surrounding them now mediate much of our communications, affecting not only whom we can reach and who can reach us but also what we can say and what we […]

Jun 20, 2016

Distinguishing between control and collaboration—and communication and conversation

In their paper “from Autonomous Systems to Sociotechnical Systems: Designing Effective Collaborations,” Kyle J. Behymer and John M. Flach remind us “the goal of design is a seamless integration of human and technological capabilities into a well-functioning socialtechnical system.”1 Recent trends—the sensor revolution, big data, machine learning, and intelligent agents, for example—make their reminder timely.

Nov 1, 2015

Cybernetics and Design: Conversations for Action

Working for decades as both theorist and teacher, Ranulph Glanville came to believe that cybernetics and design are two sides of the same coin. Working as both practitioners and teachers, the authors present their understanding of Glanville and the relationships between cybernetics and design. We believe cybernetics offers a foundation for 21st-century design practice. We […]

Oct 23, 2015

How cybernetics connects computing, counterculture, and design

Written by Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro. Originally published by the Walker Art Center in the catalog for the exhibit Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia. “Man is always aiming to achieve some goal and he is always looking for new goals.” — Gordon Pask[1]

Apr 21, 2011

May 1, 2010

Reframing health to embrace design of our own well-being

Written for Interactions magazine by Hugh Dubberly, Rajiv Mehta, Shelley Evenson, Paul Pangaro. Editor’s Note: Improving healthcare is a wicked problem [1]. Healthcare’s many stakeholders can’t agree on a solution, because they don’t agree on the problem. They come to the discussion from different points of view, with different frames. Wicked problems can be “solved” […]

Jan 1, 2010

Bio-cost: An Economics of Human Behavior

Written for Guest Column in ASC / Cybernetics of Human Knowing Much of human behavior is directed toward goals: finding food, selling services, curing cancer, making meaning. Achieving goals requires action. Action requires effort. Effort requires energy and attention applied over time. Effort overcomes obstacles. Obstacles tax our patience, sap our resolve, and cause us […]

May 1, 2009

What is conversation? How can we design for effective conversation?

Written for Interactions magazine by Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro. Interaction describes a range of processes. A previous “On Modeling” article presented models of interaction based on the internal capacity of the systems doing the interacting [1]. At one extreme, there are simple reactive systems, such as a door that opens when you step on […]

Jan 1, 2009

What is Interaction? Are There Different Types?

Written for Interactions magazine by Hugh Dubberly, Usman Haque, and Paul Pangaro. When we discuss computer-human interaction and design for interaction, do we agree on the meaning of the term “interaction”? Has the subject been fully explored? Is the definition settled?

Jan 19, 2007

Cybernetics and Service-Craft: Language for Behavior-Focused Design

Written for Kybernetes by Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro Abstract Argues design practice has moved from hand-craft to service-craft and that service-craft exemplifies a growing focus on systems within design practice. Proposes cybernetics as a source for practical frameworks that enable understanding of dynamic systems, including specific interactions, larger systems of service, and the activity […]