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#NewMacy ACT II Studios

Pille Bunnell, Carlos Castellanos, Damian Chapman, Kate Doyle, Xiao Zoe Fang, Tim Gasperak, Mikal Giancola, Michael Lieber, TJ McLeish, Paul Pangaro, Eve Pinsker, Larry Richards, Eryk Salvaggio, Fred Steier, Mark Sullivan, Claudia Westermann, and Daniel Wolk

Royal Roads University | Rochester Institute of Technology | Kingston University | Rutgers University—Newark | Zhejiang University | Strange Attractor LLC | Independent | University of Illinois Chicago | Independent | Carnegie Mellon University | University of Illinois Chicago | Indiana University East| Rochester Institute of Technology | Fielding Graduate University | MSU Museum / CoLab Studio | Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University | Independent

Adopting a structure of themed and design-led Studios as framings for conversations for action, #NewMacy aims at enabling deep participation through activities such as prototyping, play, exploration, enactment, and improvisation. At RSD11, six #NewMacy Studios created opportunities to engage with interdisciplinary approaches to systemic design through conversations for action: Radiant Circles—Cybernetic Musings on Resonant Forms; Pandemic of Today’s AI; Art as Steersmanship; Panarchy as a Sensemaking Tool; Cultural Premises, Conscious Purpose, and Design; Prototyping Conversation.

KEYWORDS: Pandemics, wicked challenges, second-order cybernetics, systemic change, ontological security, conversation, ontogenetic resilience, recursive feedback.

About #NewMacy@RSD11

RSD11 and #NewMacy present a track dedicated to catalyzing conversations for action across disciplines, geographies, and generations through systemic principles, processes, and communities. #NewMacy creates conditions for enacting productive responses among individuals and communities that bring about change in the near term while planning for and committing to the timespan required to effect lasting change. The current focus is a new framing for “ontogenesis,” specifically that of developing new ways of becoming. To survive in a changing world, we must embrace resilience in lieu of security, interpreted as constancy. Hence, #NewMacy substitutes ontogenetic resilience as the framing intention — and Cybernetics as key.

#NewMacy website

Radiant Circles—Cybernetic Musings on Resonant Forms

Eryk Salvaggio, Claudia Westermann

Through resonance, works of art and design are centring. In openness to expansion, they grant agency. They create closure and consummation but never stasis. They are circular. This session explores how Gordon Pask’s ‘conversation’ as aesthetic experience initiates ontogenetic resilience via processes that devalue established hierarchies of oppression. In the process, new ecological values are instigated and cultivated.

Pandemic of ‘Today’s AI’

Carlos Castellanos, Xiao Zoe Fang, Paul Pangaro, Eryk Salvaggio

So much of today’s tech manipulates and distorts the world we share. Yet ‘Today’s AI’ could swing back toward our biological roots by presenting analogue interactional frameworks as countervailing examples. Novelty and choice, transparency and conversation can become new design patterns in a collection of concepts and working prototypes that inspire positive change. These exemplars in the form of interface designs and underlying algorithms are offered to designers, students, teachers, and entrepreneurs as more humane and richly rewarding alternatives to today’s online experiences.

Art as Steersmanship

Mark Sullivan, Fred Steier

As Maxine Greene showed, art looks at openings to alternative realities, makes the petrified world speak, sing, and dance, creates places for perceiving the unexplored, and thinking of things as if they could be otherwise. We invite a discussion of intimations of more desirable and multisensory social orders. In particular, we bring Maxine Greene’s idea of seeing things as they might be otherwise to systemic approaches to the design process – particularly with its importance to taking need-finding (as developed by Rolf Faste) seriously as ways of seeing new possibilities and seeing what is not there as critical to design.

“Panarchy” as a Sensemaking Tool

Mikal Giancola

With the added complexity of the results of the anthropocene, models like the adaptive cycle are used to orient discussion and action on the intersection of ecosystems and social systems. The Studio includes the application of real-world scenarios.

Cultural Premises, Conscious Purposes, and Design: Conversing with the legacies of Gregory Bateson and Vern Carroll

Tim Gasperak, Mikal Giancola, Michael Lieber, Eve Pinsker, Fred Steier, Daniel Wolk

Analytically identifying “cultural premises” (which Carroll developed from Bateson’s “epistemological premises”) is a way of stating what goes without saying, the shared assumptions or ways of parsing the world and construing context that are socially learned, usually unconscious, embedded in stories as well as embodied in interaction, and shared in varying degrees in wider communities. This Studio shares cases from both ethnography and design practice to discuss the relationship between identifying cultural premises and dialogic explorations of ‘sense-making’ and, furthermore, whether incorporating cultural analysis in innovation research methods can serve the larger purpose of designing beneficial social interventions, bearing in mind Bateson’s warnings against narrow notions of conscious purpose.

Prototyping Conversation

Damian Chapman, Kate Doyle, TJ McLeish

This studio is a cybernetic workshop in which participants explore new modes of constructing conversation. The (adaptable) goal is to provide participants with vocabularies and processes of prototyping—experimenting, improvising, and playing with expressive forms as means of interaction, observation, and feedback. Participants can expect to journey toward a destination determined only by their continuous adaptation of traces marked in sound, gesture, and image. We propose that, by prototyping new modes of conversation, participants become aware of the experience of navigating “wicked challenges,” thus allowing a greater variety of identities and ideas to emerge.




Citation Data

Author(s): #NewMacy
Year: 2022
Title: #NewMacy ACT II: Studios
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 027
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 10 October 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404