Heinz von Foerster Congress
Session Abstract, Video Submission, and References

Contributions to the Viennese Archive of Gordon Pask:
Origins, Entailments, Applications

Heinz von Foerster Congress 2011
by Paul Pangaro, Ph.D.
University of Vienna
November 13th, 2011

pask montage from pangaro archive


This year's congress in celebration of Heinz von Foerster's contribution to science and cybernetics included a session called "The Viennese Archives of Heinz von Foerster and Gordon Pask: Current Status, Future Perspectives", with Albert Müller and others participating.

Included in the session was a video submission by Paul Pangaro, in three parts:

1. Origins of Pangaro's collection of Paskian materials and artifacts, starting from the day he met Pask through Nicholas Negroponte at the MIT Architecture Machine Group, predecessor to the MIT Media Lab, both research organizations founded by Negroponte.

2. Entailments of association and collaboration on contracts for the US Army Research Institute and the UK Admiralty, whose core was Pask's conversation theory.

3. Applications of conversation theory to teaching design, designing team processes, and developing software that supports agreement.


Video of the Presentation on Vimeo, produced and edited by Tom Harman and Michael Yap


Paskian Artifacts Video

Prior paper on the Gordon Pask North American Archive

Paper on Heinz von Foerster, Gordon Pask, Humberto Maturana

PDFs of Papers of Gordon Pask

Design for Conversation

Additional content by Pangaro on Heinz von Foerster


Thanks to CJ Maupin, Albert Müller, Karl Müller, Bernard Scott, and Ranulph Glanville



Paul Pangaro is based in New York City and works at the intersection of theory and practice, combining his background in computer science and the cybernetics of conversation, research and development, product roadmaps and innovation methodologies. He consults to startups and product groups, mobile device companies and research organizations. Recent clients include Alcatel-Lucent (Paris), Samsung, Nokia, Citigroup, Intellectual Ventures, Poetry Foundation, Instituto Itaú Cultural (São Paulo) and Ogilvy & Mather. He has published in Interactions Magazine/ACM, Cybernetics of Human Knowing, Journal Kybernetes, International Journal of General Systems, and Systems Research. He has lectured in São Paolo, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and in the US. Pangaro was awarded a B.S. in Computer Science and Humanities from MIT, earning the Stewart Award for his contribution to the Drama Program. He worked with Jerry Lettvin on models of neural transmission at the Research Lab of Electronics and became a member of the research staff at Negroponte's Architecture Machine Group, where he first met Gordon Pask and who became his thesis advisor for a Ph.D. in Cybernetics from Brunel University (UK). Pangaro currently teaches the language of cybernetic models at the School of Visual Arts in the interaction design department, and he co-taught the same approach for 6 years with Hugh Dubberly in Terry Winograd's Human-Computer Interaction program at Stanford University.


© Copyright Paul Pangaro 2011.