Architecture lecturer Ben Sweeting's contribution recognised.
02 Sep 2014
University of Brighton College of Arts and Media lecturer Ben Sweeting has received the 2014 Heinz von Foerster Award from the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) for his contribution to the ASC's 50th Anniversary Conference "Living in Cybernetics" at George Washington University in Washington DC.
Cybernetics, as the ASC practices it, has been called “a way of thinking”. It is both a field of study and a way of acting. It takes as a central point circularity—in its many forms that include circular causality, feedback, recursion, self-reference, designing and so on. As a way of thinking it can change how we understand the world and our part in it. It is a subject we can live in, not only as observers, but in how we act and the understanding we create of our world, and our place in it.
The award is made to the young person who, in the view of the judging panel, has made the most significant and richest contribution to any and all aspects of the conference and comes with $500 towards attendance at next year’s conference, remittance of the fee for that conference, and a year’s free membership of the ASC.
The award celebrates Heinz von Foerster, who was one of the founders of the ASC and of second order cybernetics, who founded and ran the Biological Computer Laboratory of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and whose contributions to cybernetics, both public and academic, are considered to be outstanding and also beautiful.
Von Foerster is also one of Ben's main reference points in his research, including in his recently completed PhD thesis and in his conference paper from Washington, "Cybernetics of Practice".
Ben will be working with Glanville, Dai Griffiths and Philip Baron as part of the editorial team for the conference proceedings which will be published in 2015 in the journal Kybernetes.