Volume 11 · Number 1 · Pages 74–75
Can Conversations be Designed?

Christiane M. Herr

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Open peer commentary on the article “Designing Academic Conferences in the Light of Second-Order Cybernetics” by Laurence D. Richards. Upshot: Richards’s article presents a well-argued discussion of conversational conferences, with a particular focus on the design of such conferences. Richards bases his discussion on many years of personal experience with conversational conferences, primarily those organized by and for the American Society for Cybernetics. I particularly appreciate that Richards writes not only on cybernetics, but also in a cybernetic manner. As I find the article comprehensive and thorough, I mainly add further depth and discussion to some aspects of Richards’s article in the following sections, such as Richards’s distinction between conventional academic conferences and conversational conferences, conversation theory in relation to design, and the question of how conversational conferences can be designed.


Herr C. M. (2015) Can conversations be designed? Constructivist Foundations 11(1): 74–75. http://constructivist.info/11/1/074

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