Deleuze and the City

Hélène Frichot, Catharina Gabrielsson, Jonathan Metzger

Project Period: 2014-2015
Type: Senior research project
Program Area(s): Material Conditions, Critical Projections


As the perhaps ultimate social construct, the contemporary city constitutes an increasingly complex ‘site’ for architectural practice and theory. The purpose of this project is to investigate the conditions for reconceptualising the ‘social’ in architecture through widening the framework of reference to the level of the city. This city, the question of urbanity, and notions of ‘urban conditions’, are under severe re-configurations today in view of the massive modes of urbanisation occurring across the globe and the concurrent sets of crises – political, social, economic and
environmental – all societies are facing. In alignment with emergent scholarship on relational, new materialist and ecologist architectural theory, this project centres on rethinking the city from the basis of the ontology and the conceptual apparatus established by Gilles Deleuze, not least through his collaborations with Félix Guattari. It takes the form of an edited research anthology, forming part of the Deleuze Connection series published by Edinburgh University Press, with whom we’ve already had a positive response. The editorial process commenced in the autumn of
2013 with a call for essays from selected scholars and authors, asking for abstracts on concrete problems or situations to lay the stress on processes of becoming in and of the city, as well as for any radical revisions that might be brought to bear on the hegemonic vision of global cities and their connections. The book will be structured by four sections – tentatively entitled agencement, haeccities, multiplicities and affectivities, dealing with urban models, processes of subjectification, politics and affect, respectively – with approx. four chapters in each, ranging from outsets across the fields of architecture, art, planning theory, cultural geography, philosophy and sociology. We are currently in the process of revising abstracts and working out a detailed book proposal in view of formalizing an agreement with the publishers.

Researcher(s) Bio and Publications