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PHD-DESIGN  February 2015

PHD-DESIGN February 2015

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Subject:

Re: Beer's Viable Systems Model

From:

Alejandra Poblete <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 8 Feb 2015 15:00:32 -0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (452 lines)

Dear all, in order to collaborate with the main issue: "the way Viable
Systems Model can be used for the design field as a whole" I am sending a
link where you can view (and also download) a very good document about the
work done by S. Beer in Chile, sponsored by president Salvador Allende in
the period 1971-1973, called CYBERSYN
(Synergy/Cybernetics-Multinode/Metagame).

Unfortunately this plan was abruptly interrupted due to the militar coup.

here is the link:
http://mediatecalibre.cl/wp-content/files_flutter/1310486753catalogocybersyn.pdf

best wishes

...........................................
Alejandra Poblete P.
COMUNICACIÓN VISUAL
of: 223251239
móvil - whatsapp: +56996896490

2015-02-06 18:39 GMT-03:00 Ken Friedman <[log in to unmask]>:

> Dear Terry,
>
> Your reply is long. To me, it seems somewhat confused. It leaves me with
> the same questions I had earlier.
>
> First, let me clarify a mistake concerning an assumption you mistakenly
> attribute to me. You [Terry Love] write, "you [Ken Friedman] assume this
> can only be done through the formal organisations such as IASDR,
> universities and design organisations, I see otherwise."
>
> This is not my assumption. I was responding to your earlier post. You
> [Terry Love] wrote about Beer’s VSM with respect to organisations,
> discussing “the level of IASDR and international strategic planning about
> design practices, research and education.” This is your phrase, not mine.
> Strategic planning takes place within organisations.
>
> In responding to your statement, I explained that IASDR is not the kind of
> organisation that can address these issues. You raised the issue of
> organisations and international strategic planning. Beer designed his model
> for this kind of organisational use. The problem is that it doesn’t work
> for an entire field.
>
> You state that Beer’s Viable Systems Model can be used for the design
> field as a whole. You do not state how. I asked you to explain “how.”
>
> My seven questions were 1) How are we to use Stafford Beer’s Viable
> Systems Model to solve the problems of the design field? It would help to
> have a few clear definitions along with way. 2) What is Stafford Beer’s
> Viable Systems Model as you see it? I have a sense of what Beer meant by
> VSM in The Brain of the Firm, but he applies his model to coherent, bounded
> organisations. I can’t see how to apply VSM to a system that has no
> managerial function or governing system. Perhaps you can define Beer’s VSM
> in a way that explains how to apply it to the design field as a field. 3)
> What do you mean by the proper noun [D]esign as distinct from the design
> field? 4) Which agencies or organisations are responsibility for
> “international strategic planning about design practices, research and
> education”? 5) How do you propose that these organisations apply Beer’s
> VSM? 6)  Or, to put it another way, what do you (Terry Love) see as the
> “specific cultural and organisational failings or organisational illnesses”
> of the design field? 7) How can we use Beer’s VSM to change this situation?
>
> You apparently do not believe that it is necessary to answer questions 4
> and 5. You say that it is possible to apply Beer’s Viable Systems Model to
> the field of design. Please explain how this is to be done.
>
> If you drop the questions about formal organisations, I’d welcome an
> answer to the remaining five questions: 1) How can we use Beer’s Viable
> Systems Model to solve the problems of the design field? 2) Please define
> Beer’s Viable Systems Model as you see it. Using undefined terms from the
> model transforms Beer’s ideas into jargon — for example, “ elements 2, 3,
> 3*, 4 and 5." It would help if you define Beer’s VSM in a way that explains
> how to apply it to the design field as a field. 3) What do you mean by the
> proper noun [D]esign as distinct from the design field? 6) What do you
> (Terry Love) see as the “specific cultural and organisational failings or
> organisational illnesses” of the design field? 7) How can we use Beer’s VSM
> to change this situation?
>
> Yours,
>
> Ken
>
> Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The
> Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Elsevier in
> Cooperation with Tongji University Press | Launching in 2015
>
> Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and
> Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University
> Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne
> University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia
>
> Email [log in to unmask] | Academia
> http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On 2015Feb06, at 21:24, Terence Love <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Ken,
> >
> > Thanks for your clarification and questions.
> >
> > There are many difficulties in exploring and planning using in the realm
> of high-level views over the dynamic picture of design activity in the
> world as it evolves.
> >
> > Part of this problem is in language as Klaus and others might point out.
> Most of the language and concepts relating to design activity are aimed at
> lower more practical realms of human behaviour and cognition of individual
> designers, small groups, and the properties of design outputs.
> >
> > One way of seeing things is this traditional emphasis in the design
> discourse on the small-scale has hijacked many terms and concepts to that
> end, making it harder to see and discuss the larger-scale because the
> terminology has become interpreted as if only refers to the smaller-scale
> (designers and designs). Focusing only on trees makes it hard to see the
> forests, mountains and oceans
> >
> > When focusing on the larger-scale, there are other problems that get in
> the way. One is the assumption that dynamic behaviours in realms of
> activity can only be shaped by formal organisational institutions.
> Concomitant with this is the assumption authority and management of change
> is solely vested with formally defined organisations that have agreed
> arrangements for authority and interaction supported by power of law. With
> these assumptions, it makes sense to ask as you did, whether particular
> design institutions exist to be able to dictate the pathways of development
> of design fields.
> >
> > I suggest there is a bigger view that is both more accurate and more
> useful and that enables us to go beyond the limitations of what is possible
> through and by formal organisations.
> >
> > The development of design activity over time can be seen in terms of a
> bigger picture that includes all and everything that influences how design
> activity is undertaken.
> >
> > This bigger picture includes much more of human activity in the world
> than the formally-defined institutions of design (design organisations,
> design businesses, design education programs, design research groups,
> government design policy institutes, design standards institutes etc.). It
> also includes many activities not directly associated with design that
> influence future directions in design. For example, lowering of energy
> costs can result in more money being available for design activity. Whilst
> much of this kind of picture is at the *level* of operation of
> organisations such as IASDR or ASME, it doesn’t assume that it is these
> organisations that *must* do the work. Instead it draws attention to how
> improvements can be made outside such formal organisations.
> >
> > Different kinds of concepts and theories are needed to explore this big
> picture of the dynamic factors inside and outside the design arena that
> influence the future of design activity. The concepts and tools specialised
> for
> >
> > Some time ago, I coined the term 'design infrastructure' to help address
> this issue of language for research and meta-analysis when taking a larger
> national and international view of design activity. Even this big concept
> of 'design infrastructure' is insufficient, however, when taking a larger
> scale view of design activity that includes the abstract conceptualisation
> of the dynamics of human relationships, organisational structures and other
> factors that shape how design activity emerges and is developed in the
> world, with its outputs(designs) and outcomes (consequences in the world of
> those designs).
> >
> > As you commented, it is difficult to manage discussion using the
> existing language of design. It needs very precise and careful use of
> language to avoid the drift into interpreting concepts as being
> small-scale. You were right, I wasn’t as careful as I should have been in
> my last post.
> >
> > One way of addressing the language problem of the larger scale picture
> of design is though the language of ecology. The simplest big picture of
> design activity, perhaps, is to see the overall situation involving design
> activity as a large eco-system of different forms of dynamically changing
> organisations (some formal and some not) in which some of the activity of
> the different eco-system elements influences how design activity occurs.
> >
> > A PART of this eco-system is the world's design businesses, design
> schools, design research groups, design policy and standard making
> institutions, design research and business organisations such as DRS, ASME,
> ICOGRADA, IED, design journals and conferences, and any organisation of any
> sort with design in its name.
> >
> > A perhaps larger part consists of all the other factors (with their own
> forms of organisation) that act to influence how design activity occurs and
> dynamically develops over time, in a variety of ways in different contexts.
> >
> > Taking the above together leads to three questions:
> >
> > Q1. How do we best represent this large complex picture of the factors
> acting and influencing the dynamic development of design activity?
> >
> > Q2. How can we influence this large complex picture of the factors
> acting and influencing the dynamic development of design activity? In
> particular, how do we appropriately influence the majority of factors that
> are beyond the scope of the formal design organisations?
> >
> > Q3. How do we predict the consequences of interventions in this large
> complex picture of the factors acting and influencing the dynamic
> development of design activity so that what we do results in better rather
> than worse outcomes?
> >
> > From this questions and this big picture viewpoint it seems obvious that
> individuals in any position can act in many ways to provide influences to
> improve future development of design activity (phd-design is an example). I
> suggest necessarily such influences mostly occur outside the existing
> formal organisations related to design practices, education and research.
> >
> > It is in this latter context that theories and tools such as Beer's VSM
> become useful.
> >
> > You asked how I envisaged Beer's VSM to be used in “international
> strategic planning about design practices, research and education”.
> >
> > Whereas you assume this can only be done through the formal
> organisations such as IASDR, universities and design organisations, I see
> otherwise.
> >
> > Anyone, anywhere and anytime can map any realm of design activity onto
> Beer's VSM, identify the pathologies and act to influence improved
> development of design in that realm by acting to reduce those pathologies.
> >
> > I described in the earlier posts how mapping various realms of design
> activity showed a general pattern of weakness in design organisations in
> systems elements 2, 3, 3*, 4 and 5 of Beer's VSM.
> >
> > There are many actions and activities one can undertake as a result of
> identifying such issues. For example, taking leadership to act to raise the
> issues and promote integration of technical and non-technical design would
> be acting to improve the viability of design by improving Beer's system
> element 3.
> >
> > Developing new strategies to provide information from the different
> technical and non-technical streams of design practices to provide
> information to the business managers of design organisations would assist
> with developing and strengthening systems element 3*.
> >
> > Working to gather information from outside of design realms and analyse
> its potential for improving how design activity might be undertaken or
> improving design outcomes would provide new information to guide
> strategy-making and business development. That is, it would strengthen
> system element 4 in Beer's VSM.
> >
> > Ditto for other activities to strengthen system elements 2, 3, 3*, 4 and
> 5 in Beer's VSM.
> >
> > Beer's VSM provides a very clear visual representation for designers of
> what is needed for highly complex situations to be viable, including the
> combination of formal and informal organisational structures that deliver
> designs.
> >
> > I suggest Beer's VSM is a tool that can be used by almost anyone to
> identify ways of improving design outcomes and the viability of their
> design-related organisation, and acting to improve the viability of that
> organisation.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > Terry
> >
> > --
> > Dr Terence Love
> > PhD (UWA), B.A. (Hons) Engin, PGCE. FDRS, AMIMechE, MISI
> >
> > Honorary Fellow
> > Institute of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development
> > Management School
> > Lancaster University
> > Bailrigg, Lancaster, UK
> >
> > Love Services Pty Ltd
> > PO Box 226, Quinns Rocks Western Australia 6030
> > Tel: +61 (0)4 3497 5848
> > Fax:+61 (0)8 9305 7629
> > [log in to unmask]
> > --
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ken Friedman
> > Sent: Friday, 6 February 2015 11:58 AM
> > To: PhD-Design
> > Subject: Beer's Viable Systems Model
> >
> > Dear Terry,
> >
> > Thanks for your post. This is a corrected post — I hope that I have
> removed all typographic errors and infelicities. This new thread is not
> about “automated image rhetoric and user characteristics assessment.” It
> deserves a new header, I am replying under the header of your new topic.
> The topic is Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model (VSM).
> >
> > Carlos did not suggest that VSM lacks use or value. Rather, his post
> asked what exactly you propose. How can we make Beer’s VSM useful in the
> design field? (It may be an editor’s eye, but proper nouns refer to a
> specific individual or organisation. Proper nouns that do not refer to a
> specific individual or organisation confuse me. I understand that you
> propose Beer’s VSM as useful for the design field. I do not understand what
> you mean by saying that VSM is useful for “Design” with an upper-case [D],
> a proper noun. This seems to be something new and different from the verb
> design, and from the common noun design as you have written about it in the
> past.
> >
> > There is some confusion on how this is to work “at the level of IASDR
> and international strategic planning about design practices, research and
> education.” IASDR is the International Association of Societies of Design
> Research. It is an organisation for membership organisations in the field
> of design research. The member societies are the Chinese Institute of
> Design, Design Research Society, the Design Society, the Japanese Society
> for the Science of Design, and the Korean Society for Design Science. IASDR
> is a mechanism for shared communication between and among the five member
> societies. IASDR holds a conference every two years in the off year to the
> biennial conferences of the other societies.
> >
> > How precisely should Stafford Beer’s Variable Systems Model work for a
> society comprised of membership organisations that has no direct function
> in strategic planning? Who is to do “international strategic planning about
> design practices, research and education” using Beer’s VSM? How are they to
> use and apply it?
> >
> > I might be wrong, but I think that this is what Carlos’s questions ask
> by implication.
> >
> > While I am aware of Stafford Beer’s work in management and such books as
> The Brain of the Firm, Beer’s proposal seem to work for organisations,
> social systems, nations, or entities that have some organised basis of
> interaction for their constituent parts and units. I can see that
> individual organisations might be able to apply Beer if they have on-going
> functions. IASDR’s one main functions is a single conference every two
> years, and each conference is organised by a different host organisation. I
> do not understand how you propose to use Beer to solve the problems of an
> entire field.
> >
> > For those who wish to see Beer speak or read Beer’s work for themselves,
> a commemorative site provides useful links to other sites and links to
> Beer’s books on Amazon.
> >
> > http://ototsky.mgn.ru/it/beer_menu.html
> >
> > Perhaps you — or some other list member — can explain the issues you
> raise in a discussion-list post rather than a comprehensive article. I’d
> welcome the explanation for which Carlos implicitly asks.
> >
> > How are we to use Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model to solve the
> problems of the design field? It would help to have a few clear definitions
> along with way.
> >
> > What is Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model as you see it? I have a
> sense of what Beer meant by VSM in The Brain of the Firm, but he applies
> his model to coherent, bounded organisations. I can’t see how to apply VSM
> to a system that has no managerial function or governing system. Perhaps
> you can define Beer’s VSM in a way that explains how to apply it to the
> design field as a field.
> >
> > What do you mean by the proper noun [D]esign as distinct from the design
> field?
> >
> > Which agencies or organisations are responsibility for “international
> strategic planning about design practices, research and education”?
> >
> > How do you propose that these organisations apply Beer’s VSM?
> >
> > Or, to put it another way, what do you (Terry Love) see as the “specific
> cultural and organisational failings or organisational illnesses” of the
> design field? How can we use Beer’s VSM to change this situation?
> >
> > Stafford Beer was a genuinely interesting thinker. Nevertheless, his
> work does not seem to apply to the design field. It is hard to see how to
> apply VSM to the eco-system of an international profession with hundreds of
> thousands of practitioners for which no one organisation has responsibility
> or even licensing capacity.
> >
> > There design field has no unified forum for research or for education,
> either. There are at least 20,000 organisations, universities, colleges,
> design schools, publishers, member societies, museums, archives, and the
> like in over 100 nations that deal with some combination of design
> education, design education and design research, or design research. Hardly
> any of these communicate in any significant way with more than a few others.
> >
> > How is one to use Beer’s Viable Systems Model in this situation?
> >
> > Yours,
> >
> > Ken
> >
> > Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The
> Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Elsevier in
> Cooperation with Tongji University Press | Launching in 2015
> >
> > Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and
> Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University
> Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne
> University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia
> >
> > Email [log in to unmask] | Academia
> http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn
> >
> > —
> >
> > Terry Love wrote:
> >
> > —snip—
> >
> > I was suggesting something different - that Beer's work gives a
> different kind of insight into how to improve Design. This is at the level
> of IASDR and international strategic planning about design practices,
> research and education, rather than concerns of individual designers, but
> it has potential implications through the professional design network
> >
> > Beer's work indicates there are specific cultural and organisational
> failings or organisational illnesses that emerge over time for eco-systems
> such as Design if they do not appropriately contain all the elements of the
> Beerian Viable Systems Model. The VSM  is considered a well established
> approach in organisational systems field, with Beer himself having a
> substantial reputation in that area
> >
> >
> https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Anthony_Stafford_Beer.html
> >
> > Beer's VSM seems useful in developing the Design field as a whole as it
> offers a sort of checklist of what might be missing, how to check whether
> the missing bits cause the problems, and what to do to fix the situation.
> >
> > —snip--
> >
> >
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------
> > PhD-Design mailing list  <[log in to unmask]> Discussion of PhD
> studies and related research in Design Subscribe or Unsubscribe at
> https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/phd-design
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------
> >
>
>
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> PhD-Design mailing list  <[log in to unmask]>
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