2019 Annual Conference of the American Society for Cybernetics
Special Conference Event: An Afternoon at the Fun Palace
During the 1960s, theatre director Joan Littlewood, architect Cedric Price, and cybernetician Gordon Pask, along with a host of other collaborators, developed a proposal for a ‘university of the streets’. The project blurred the boundaries between education and leisure, in much the same way as the rest of Pask’s career, with the aim of creating a radically new form of education leading to social change. Both the content and the architectural structures that held it could be reconfigured, adapting to different uses while also prompting new possibilities.
Despite being unrealised, the Fun Palace is regarded as a seminal architectural project and has been a major influence on architecture and architectural discourse in the decades since. While the project is less well known outside of architecture, it can also be understood within the histories of cybernetics, avant garde theatre, and radical approaches to education.
Inspired by the legacy of the Fun Palace, and taking advantage of facilities available at UBC, the ASC invites proposals for interactive events (“playshops”), performances and artefacts of all kinds. At our disposal will be a 60 seat black box studio theatre with lighting grid, a large studio/classroom with green screen and video projection capabilities, one large rehearsal studio with lighting grid, and two small rehearsal studios: one with mirrors and ballet bar.
There are other ways to present a performance, “Playshop” or “Lively Artefact” at the conference but if you’ve got an inspired idea for something that is interactive and can repeat a number of times over a 3 hour period, please consider participating in our Afternoon at the Fun Palace!