At the time Salvador Allende became president and socialist ideas were changing the structure of Chile organization ( nationalizing key assets and production ), direct government and “real time” feedback assisted by technology started becoming an important feature in Chile agenda.
Stafford Beer was contracted to design and achieve the hard task to transform radically the way of government and the economy of an entire country: the idea was to create Cybersyn.
Beer was fashinated by Norbert Wiener ideas about cybernetics: the science of control and information transmission within machines and living creatures. He wanted to apply to companies’ organization the same principles. Computer, connected machines, control rooms to manage real time feed of information.
Cybernet was a network of teleprinters connected with farms and the famous Opsroom, the futuristic computing room whose goal was to elaborate all the feedback coming from outside and let the government people take the best solution in terms of available resourses and efficiency!
The Opsroom hosted 7 chairs arranged in a circle and screens all around the walls.
The chairs, designed by Gui Bonsiepe, had buttons, an ash tray for cigars and glass pots.
People in this room would have been able to be creative in a luxurious and relaxed environment.
Alongside Cybernet and Opsroom, Cybersyn provided a sort of primordial Facebook, Cyberfolk was called.
The idea was giving the chance to all people watching TV to express their approval or deny for political choices after a presidential speach for example.
A sort of electrical Agorà.
Unfortunately Allende was removed from a coup headed by Augusto Pinochet and Army in 1973 and the Opsroom destroyed. All Cybersyn project was abandoned but remain in its glorious intentions!