The Operations Room
The Operations Room was a key element of Project Cybersyn. Symbolically, its design by Gui Bonsiepe reflected the forward thinking modernism that informed the project as a whole. The Operations Room was a nexus for the information that flowed in and out of the teletypes and mainframe computer. The design team was led by Bonsiepe—a German-born designer trained at the famed Ulm School of Design—who was working as a design consultant in South America during the 1970s. When the Room was up and running in early 1973, a small team of designers were also employed to design the data projected on the screens in real time.
Reflecting Bonsiepe’s training at Ulm, the Room was designed with a strict adherence to the principles of gestalt design—closure, proximity, similarity, continuity, perception, organization and symmetry. The seven swivel chairs allow the whole Room to be seen in a glance, and support intimate, egalitarian conversation.
The annotated images used in the video slideshow are a selection of drawings, diagrams and photographic documentation that offer some insights into the planning and design of Project Cybersyn.
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Slideshow produced for The Imitation Game exhibition, Gui Bonsiepe, Stafford Beer, et al., Project Cybersyn, Courtesy: Product Development Group, INTEC, Santiago de Chile. 1972/73 © Gui Bonsiepe