Assemblage Thinking in Planning Theory


The Routledge Handbook of Planning Theory, Ed. by Michael Gunder, Ali Madanipour, Vanessa Watson

Van Wezemael. Abstract: In his analytical reading of the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari Manuel DeLanda established explicit connections between their philosophical work and complexity thinking. Recently, DeLanda’s «Assemblage Theory» has been drawn upon in planning theory in order to reconceptualize decision-making (e.g. in urban governance), but also to clarify the role of materiality and technology in spatial planning theory. Assemblage theory demonstrates how a collection of diverse elements may come together in «exterior relations» to constitute a temporary selective coding and territorialisation of elements. By bringing together Deleuzes philosophical concept with terms such as «emergence» or «non-linearity», assemblage theory proves to be especially productive to analyse, map, but also modulate superimposed and intertwined fields, to conceptualise this for planning theory, and to experiment with a wide range of concepts on an assemblage-based ontology.


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