The following is, in addition to being the skeleton for a larger paper I am working on currently (you can think of this as the preview of coming attractions!), a final research paper I recently finished up. I’ve edited the citation style and added images to make it more conducive to web viewing, but the content is unaltered. In the paper, I argue that a neutral and mundane view of space is inaccurate and that space has been changed by human forces, becoming increasingly striated as powers change the world for their own ends. I also argue that urban planning as a discipline is not neutral either, but is subject to vested interests and corruption ultimately creating what some scholars have coined “the dark side” of planning. Finally, I propose two modes of resistance to the attempt to control populations via planning; a phenomenological escape, and a discursive escape.
Although I mentioned it above, it’s worth reiterating that this is significantly longer than my usual posts (as it is a building block for a much larger paper I am working on this summer). I would appreciate any and all feedback and I hope you enjoy it!
Update: The full version of the paper, “PLANNING AND SPATIALITY: THE SPATIAL CREATION OF URBAN LANDSCAPES”, is available here.
Preface: This is a post I’ve been writing in chunks because I only have the ability to write it at various times. The overlap between motivation and level of depressiveness has to be just right in order for me to function in the proper state of mind to think this way while still being able to write. Some parts may sound as if they are stream-of-consciousness and that is because I opted not to change what I originally wrote during the editing process because I felt as if it captures the experience as best as words can. Finally, the tone may vary from section to section as my mood is the controlling factor in when I write certain parts of this post and seeing as that changes constantly, the tone likely will as well.
If you’ve ever talked to me personally or know me with some intimacy, it’s easy to see that I’m a restless and unsettled individual. I fidget, flip pens, tap my feet, or look at the floor. When I’m alone, my mind takes over and runs where it may…typically to dark places. All of this is because I have generalized anxiety disorder and depression. The former manifests itself as over-thinking or blowing things out of proportion, the latter as totalizing numbness and lack of motivation, and it is the depressive side that I wish to explore. Where other depressives write in a journal or keep a diary, I thought that the best way to confront the issue of depression and the change in mental attitude that it brings would be to analyze it. Specifically, in what follows I will attempt to provide a phenomenological account of how depression affects my interactions with the everyday life-world1)The everyday life-world being a term of art used by the sociologist Alfred Schütz to mean “…that province of reality which the wide-awake and normal adult simply takes for granted…”: Alfred Schütz and Thomas Luckmann, The Structures of the Life-World: Volume 1 (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1973), 3. and how that change might be a radically new mode of interaction with the world that is often glossed over, if not ignored entirely, in the major phenomenological works of everyday life.
The everyday life-world being a term of art used by the sociologist Alfred Schütz to mean “…that province of reality which the wide-awake and normal adult simply takes for granted…”: Alfred Schütz and Thomas Luckmann, The Structures of the Life-World: Volume 1 (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1973), 3.
I recently had the pleasure of going of out to see the new Johnny Depp film, Transcendenceand despite the film’s lack of flair, its critique of technology and the technocratic future which some welcome can be examined through the lens of German philosopher Martin Heidegger.
Specifically, Heideggers concepts of bestand (standing reserve)and gestell (enframing, for lack of a better word) serve as perfect tools for analyzing Dr. Will Caster’s transformation and subsequent interaction with humanity and his workers.