Last year I took part in an ASC Conference for the first time (at Asilomar) and it was a very enriching experience, especially in regard to the diversified background of participants. That led me to decide that I would make an effort to participate in the following ASC conferences. My interest in attending this particular conference in Bolton is due to the fact that the discussion about acting, learning and understanding connects directly to my concerns as a professor of architecture. Ana Paula and I teach a course that seeks to make a transdisciplinary introduction to the practice of architecture, with subjects ranging from electronics, art, design process to contemporary digital culture.
Thus, our contribution to the conference will be to present and discuss the results of an experience of almost two decades of ‘teaching’ based on the paradigm shift from teaching to learning. In recent years the course has evolved and became grounded in second-order Cybernetics, which allows a structure open to organizational indeterminacy aiming at the autonomy of students. However, the balance between curriculum determination and the development of students’ autonomy is something difficult to negotiate. We hope that the discussions at the conference can help us on this matter.
In other words, we see the conference as an opportunity to present the results of the work we are doing and at the same time to discuss the limitations we have reached, in the hope that a diversified group of people can shed light on possible Cybernetic strategies for dealing with the interplay between determination and openness.