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Deleuze's philosophy and its usefulness to planning: a case study of BRE assessments

Abrahams, Gareth 2015. Deleuze's philosophy and its usefulness to planning: a case study of BRE assessments. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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A number of established planning theorists have sought a connection between Deleuzian philosophy and planning to create new practices and tools to increase the effectiveness of [the discipline]’ (de Roo et al, 2012: 20; Hillier, 2007, 2011; Van Wezemael , 2010; Mark Purcell, 2013). This Deleuze-planning link introduces a number of unique considerations, not least because it must account for theoretical as well as practical concerns, and explore processes of analysis as well as processes of engagement. To date these efforts remain tentative, exposing such studies to Forester’s critique that most planning theorists use philosophical concepts to ‘deconstruct’ rather than ‘reconstruct’ methods of engagement (Forester, 2007). This study responds to this gap by showing how some of Deleuze’s most abstract philosophical concepts can be translated into a new, practicable assessment tool useful to actors working in development and regulatory processes. It shows what is needed to make this transition, and when such tools might usefully contribute to ‘real’ situations. This thesis explores this experimental line of enquiry through two research stages. The first stage focuses on developing a Deleuze-inspired alternative to the Building Research Establishment’s ‘universal method’ for assessing the sustainability of a given building or urban design. This proposal is constructed on the basis that all assessments should be undertaken within the design process; by those responsible for making these design decisions; and based on their speculations about what might become of the scheme. The study goes on to test the practicable viability of this proposed method, termed the ‘Speculative and Immanent Assessment Method’ (SIAM), through a series of interviews with professional actors working in design, development, assessment and regulatory roles. The results of these two research stages suggest that Deleuze’s concepts can be made useful to practice, but doing so demands that the researcher adapts, re-creates and expands Deleuze’s concepts to meet the specific, practical demands of the field.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Deleuze; Realism; Essentialism; Speculative; Immanent; Planning theory; Assessment Methodology; BREEAM; Sustainability;
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:03

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