To read this content please select one of the options below:

Resonances of the unknown

Claudia Westermann (University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relevance of second‐order cybernetics for a theory of architectural design and related discourse.


First, the relation of architectural design to the concept of “poiesis” is clarified. Subsequently, selected findings of Gotthard Günther are revisited and related to an architectural poetics. The last part of the paper consists of revisiting ideas mentioned previously, however, on the level of a discourse that has incorporated the ideas and offers a poetic way of understanding them.


Gotthard Günther's conception of “You” is specifically valuable in reference to a theory of architectural design in the sense of an architectural poetics.


The research furthers the field of architecture by contributing to it a new theory in the form of an architectural poetics. It addresses questions of design with a procedural framework in which critical engagement is an intrinsic principle, and offers an alternative to existing discourses through a poetry of architectonic order that is open to the future.



Westermann, C. (2011), "Resonances of the unknown", Kybernetes, Vol. 40 No. 7/8, pp. 1189-1195.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles