POSTSCRIPT | Evocative Planning

Posted on 25/10/2009


As an aside, I wanted to introduce an idea that I have been considering as an extension of Young’s proposition to ‘culturise planning’. In reading his work, the idea of ‘evocation’ had come to mind and given rise to a notion of ‘evocative planning’. Can planning be evocative? I think it can because it attempts to lay a framework for things that are yet to happen – it needs to be expressive and inquiring. For some, that might be more prescriptive than evocative. However, ‘evocation’ might become a powerful method in a planning and design activity that is reflexively grounded in culture. Evocation is a quieter and more subtle process of raising possibilities and eliciting response. It puts plan and planner in relation with others. Perhaps that’s where some part of planning needs to be situated, the work it needs to do in the field of imagination and the sensory – as story, as map, as image.

For the sake of convenience, I might situate my thinking about site specific and urban engaged art projects in this space of evocative planning. Art and design can connect interdisciplinary methods of knowing and making cities. The projects I have mentioned in Placing to date – including Blast Theory’s Rider Spoke and the Home Loan exhibition – could be considered a form of planning, or at the very least a form of planning critique or research, that cuts away (jump cuts?) from the all encompassing masterplan.

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