New Lecture: Reflections? Reflexivity! & the joy of second order observation

The past decades brought major changes in planning and design practices as well as in the scientific reflection on these practices. Within the planning and design disciplines, the positivist belief in objective, value free knowledge enabling governmental actors to steer spatial organization, is gradually replaced by approaches in which planning and design processes and practices themselves have become objects of scientific investigation. We argue that planning and design cannot tackle these issues without a deeper and more systematic self-reflection, a second order observation, on the disciplines, and on the role of planners and designers in society. We will show how research and outreach can play a transformative role in the development and delivery of planning and design curricula. A stronger focus on reflexivity in planning and design is desirable because this can contribute to the sharper delineation of art, science, and mere accepted practice.

Key words: roles of knowledge | reflexivity in planning and design | Luhmann | Fuchs

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Felder, M., Duineveld, M., & Van Assche, K. (2014). Absence/presence and the ontological politics of heritage: the case of Barrack 57. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 16.

Fuchs, S. (2001). Against essentialism: a theory of culture and society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. C1 and 2

Luhmann, N. (1993). Deconstruction as Second-Order Observing. New Literary History, 24(1), 763-782.