Vanessa Sodl (2018)


RaumplanerInnen bei der Arbeit. Körper, Affekt & Raum

Abstract   This thesis confronts the self-understanding of spatial planning with approaches of affect theory based in cultural studies and social sciences, and tries to dissolve supposed dichotomies, e.g. objectively – subjectively, rationally – emotionally, planning – everyday life. A theoretically-reflected, empirical-experimental approach is used here, by means of methodological exploration with research partners of the so called “Gebietsbetreuung” (Urban Renewal Management Agency) of the 10th Viennese district (GB*10) whose staff contributed to testing empirical methods on their applicability in regard to researching affect as well as affect in the area of spatial planning. This approach starts from „thinking through the body“ approaches, spatial theories about body & space, and an understanding of affect, which sees affect not as separated from the cognitive dimension. On the basis of ongoing changes in the planning concept, reasons for the dominance of the rational planning model are presented in practice and self-understanding as a planner furthermore, first contact points between spatial planning and emotions are shown. It is found that the affective theory provides a good starting point for enriching the understanding of spatial planning and working in practice. Regardless of the scope as a planner, the work is based on its own subjectively perceived body, on the basis of which expertise is enriched by other forms of knowledge and affect influencing the making of decisions. For the self-understanding as a planner, the inclusion of affect is an impetus for the reduction of hierarchies, the strengthening of the relevance of one‘s own person and a possibility to design the concept of objectivity as openness in a nearer and more practical way, which generates added value for one‘s own work. The individual person as an essential part of the work becomes visible, results are thereby more transparent and better comprehensible. The “affective value“ as a complementary category in evaluating the work emphasizes the importance of interpersonal and intrasubjective components and dimensions that are often hidden or ignored (subjective, intuitive, unconscious, etc.). Finally, the approach of an affect-based planning is presented and possible applications in planning practice and study are shown.
Submitted   at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning
Supervision   Assoc. Prof. Dr. phil. DI (FH) Sabine Knierbein