Paul Pangaro

Conversations for Design + Design for Conversations

From a background that began in computation, AI and human/computer explorations at the Architecture Machine Group (predecessor to the MIT Media Lab), Pangaro has evolved aviewpoint on design processes based in constructivism and language-making. Without new language —novel distinctions and relations in a shared belief system embracing goals and values— innovation is limited to improvements upon existing processes. But all our unmet business, industrial, technological and societal challenges will not surrender to incremental change. These complex challenges bridge “systems of systems” across multiple domains and individual vocabularies. By their nature, they require the invention of new language for them to be reframed and, possibly, to be tamed.
But how does new language emerge? How can it be fostered when deep innovation in systems of systems requires design collaboration across diverse prior languages? Can we do better than optimistic but undisciplined approaches such as “randomized diversity”, “hyper-connectivity”, and “open innovation”? In response to techniques in vogue, Pangaro will present conceptual frames and project examples that propose a conversational methodology of innovation by design.

Paul Pangaro

Chief Technology Officer, Cybernetic Lifestyles

Paul Pangaro is based in New York City and works at the intersection of theory and practice, combining his background in computer science and the cybernetics of conversation, research and development, product roadmaps and innovation methodologies. He consults to startups and product groups, mobile device companies and research organizations. Recent clients include Alcatel-Lucent (Paris), Samsung, Nokia, Citigroup, Intellectual Ventures, Poetry Foundation,
Instituto Itaú Cultural (São Paulo) and Ogilvy & Mather. He has published in Interactions Magazine/ACM, Cybernetics of Human Knowing, Journal Kybernetes, International Journal of General Systems, and Systems Research. He has lectured in São Paolo, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and in the US.
Pangaro was awarded a B.S. in Computer Science and Humanities from MIT, earning the Stewart Award for his contribution to the Drama Program. He worked with Jerry Lettvin on models of neural transmission at the Research Lab of Electronics and became a member of the research staff at Negroponte’s Architecture Machine Group, where he first met Gordon Pask and who became his thesis advisor for a Ph.D. in Cybernetics from Brunel University (UK). Pangaro currently teaches the language of cybernetic models at the School of Visual Arts in the interaction design department, and he co-taught the same approach for 6 years with Hugh Dubberly in Terry Winograd’s Human-Computer Interaction program at Stanford University.