Tag Archives: Gordon Pask

Conversation Theory in One Hour

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Gordon Pask at his desk in the late 1980s. Photograph (c) Paul Pangaro.

I was invited to give a presentation about Gordon Pask and his Conversation Theory at the annual conference of the American Society for Cybernetics in June 2016. My great friend and colleague, Jude Lombardi, has kindly produced and edited a video of my hour talk, which begins with an introduction to Pask as an experimentalist and “maker”. From this foundation Pask built a scientific theory of how conversation works, including a detailed formal “calculus of cognition.” He also offers the principle that consciousness is conserved in the same sense that physics says that matter and energy are conserved. Read more…

Workshop on Modeling Conversation

To understand conversation is to understand how we learn about the world and how we communicate and collaborate with others. Products and services can benefit from a better understanding of conversation. Designers benefit from understanding conversation better, because they can design for better conversations.

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Conversation Model by Minsun Mini Kim, SVA IxD MFA Grad. Click for full view.

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How cybernetics connects computing, counterculture, and design

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Quite a mouthful, that title, but it’s an excellent summary: The connections across those domains are so rich and with so many shared influences, it becomes clear that the history of interaction design—and also its future—is bound up in systems and cybernetics, cultural politics and personalities.

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A Model of Conversation

We converse every day—so why would we need a model of conversation? (First, you might want to review something about models.)

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Conversation diagram, after Dubberly Design Office

If you want to improve something—that is, engage in an act of designing—then it’s extremely helpful to understand well what it is your trying to improve. So, if you’re trying to improve conversation—whether in an organization or team or service or app—then it’s useful to have a model of conversation.

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What makes for a compelling interaction?

When we talk about “interaction” and “interaction design”, there is a presumption or a hope that the interactions will be valuable, interesting, engaging—maybe even stronger than all that: that the interaction will be compelling. What can make an interaction compelling? It may be helpful to look back at historically important interaction designs, so we’re not blinded by the amazing technology we have today.

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