The ethical implications of automated computation in design

dos Santos Cabral Filho Jose (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 11 November 2013



The paper aims to present a framework for discussing ethics and computational design.


The main propositions of computational design are presented, discussed according to different authors and contrasted with cybernetic principles.


The paper finds that with algorithmic and parametric procedures, architects are using computation to reach a hitherto unknown ease of modelling multiple iterations of a design, so they can expand their possible design scenarios and cope with the uncertainties of ill-defined tasks. However, this strategy faces an ethical limitation because they fail to extend this openness to the final segment of the design chain, the user in the act of dwelling.


The paper brings a cybernetic perspective for discussing the often-overlooked ethical implications of computational strategies in design.



The author would like to acknowledge Fapemig, Capes and CNPq for supporting the research that lead to this paper.


dos Santos Cabral Filho, J. (2013), "The ethical implications of automated computation in design", Kybernetes, Vol. 42 No. 9/10, pp. 1354-1360.

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