From disciplines to disciplining

The ealier assembled empirical cases of transposing contingency and complexity into architectural production/urban design/planning problematise operational challenges in relation to the involved disciplines and their disciplinary approaches. Here, we propose to further develop operational challenges in knowledge production through the concept of disciplining mo(ve)ments. The concept is taken from Tom Holert and his writings on forms of cooperation in the project-based Polis1. Transposed into the problematisation of coproduction, disciplining mo(ve)ments occur through de-regulation and networking in the form of projects and become apparent when positionality is performed as countering viable modes of realising projects.
Working in interdisciplinary teams, or across any other theoretical divide, requires mutual understanding of disciplinary languages and the disposition to communicate. The operationalisation of such mutual understandings more often than not relies on trust and an acknowledgement of reciprocity in the process. What we glean from the above assembled examples from Ostrom, Crawford and Venturi and Scott-Brown is the recognition that the emerging as well as existing urban mo(ve)ments are ambivalent: While disciplines structurally enable coherent arguments and perspectives, these must not be mistaken with structure. What needs addressing may not always fall into the domains of existing disciplines, field of competencies and/or budgets of existing organisations and/or actors. Processing complex dispositions of actors and organisations does provide an educational challenge for current and future urban professionals.

  1. Holert, Tom, ‘Formsachen. Netzwerke, Subjektivität, Autonomie’, in: Christoph Menke and Juliane Rebentisch (Eds.), Kreation und Depression: Freiheit im gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus, Berlin 2012, pp. 129–148.