36th AESOP Annual Congress 2024 Paris, France
“GAME CHANGER? Planning for just and sustainable urban regions”

Event Evening 02

TIME/LESS: Sensing, Designing, Planning


  • Robin A. Chang, Chair of Planning Theory & Urban Development, Faculty of Architecture, RWTH Aachen University
  • Fabio Bayro Kaiser, Chair and Institute of Urban Design, Faculty of Architecture, RWTH Aachen University
  • Stefano Cozzolino, ILS-Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development

Time is too often a peripheral element in planning discourse. However, everything comes to life, evolves, transforms, and sometimes even repeats itself over time, often in complex and hardly comprehensible ways. What if we make time the central focus of our investigation? This special session seeks to deepen our understanding of intricate socio- spatial  transformations, especially those emerging un/intentionally and through self-organising processes of change, and the enduring impacts they leave. It emphasises the exploration of dynamics and methodologies characterised by strong temporal sensitivity, seamlessly integrating them with innovative analytical, design, and planning approaches. We invite scholars with interdisciplinary interests to delve into innovative analytical methods (e.g., Spatio-Temporal Analyses, 'Rhythmanalysis', Event Sequence Analysis, TJ-QCA) and conceptual frameworks that incorporate time into design and planning processes. These explorations aim to empower us to shape, examine, and enhance urban and regional environments across various scales. 

Possible avenues for submissions to illustrate the influence of complexity thinking on spatial and temporal changes include: Sensing: This encompasses various dimensions of 'sensing' such as corporeal, cognitive, mediated, and technological aspects. We aim to grasp how to capture and conceptualise diverse socio-spatial rhythms,layers, and  processes of change that give rise to distinct and recognisable patterns. We explore the points of convergence among diverse perspectives and approaches, the representation or  mission of whose sensing, and the implications for sensing and sense-making. 

Designing: Design processes that prioritise time must navigate the delicate balance between efficiency (providing optimal solutions) and complexity (addressing the challenge of predicting future dynamics and changes). We are interested in unravelling the time-sensitive tensions that affect design logics and potential aesthetic implications. We ponder the kind of design framework that can accommodate complexity while addressing temporal challenges, and to what extent current methodologies in academia and practice perpetuate limitations in our
understanding of the temporal dimension in design. 

Planning: Rooted in longstanding practices, planning is often driven by contemporary urgencies and directed towards speculative future scenarios. The special session aims to investigate how planning processes, practices, and tools bind our past, present, or future selves to historical, present, or future ideals. We inquire about the constraints and capabilities that encourage reflection on the strengths and weaknessesof planning knowledge, scholarship, and practice. Additionally, we seek to explore the levels of theorising that remain underdeveloped or insufficiently addressed in the context of the temporal aspects of planning.