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.

Text To Speech

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