The conflict of urban synchronicity and its heterotemporalities:

by Rodrigo Delso Gutiérrez and Atxu Amann y Alcocer

the Asynchronous Citizenship.

Eighteen or sixty-five years old, fifty years contributions, three months maternity leave, three years degree, forty hours a week, eight hours a day, two hours data download, fifteen minutes away or five hours far from the city. Time, in this context, does not only appoint the dissected measure of seconds, minutes or years but provides the syntaxes where contemporary architecture and urbanism structure the specific spatio-temporalities of cities, buildings, inhabitants and their ways of living. Consequently, the increasing desynchronization of space and an ongoing synchronization of time are shaping a process that erodes the diversity of our lives and simultaneously expanding the differences between ones and the “others”, who cannot share the market velocity.

In the following article, the conflict of synchronicity will be visibilised within contemporary cities through its notions of heterogeneity –chronopolitics-, power –syncropolitics-, repetition –rhythmpolitics– and speed –acceleratiopolitics-, as an emerging field of action to be explored by architects, artists or designers. Also, the notion of “asynchronous citizenship” will be explored referring it to all those strategies that claim for alternative forms of urban synchronization and fight, consciously or not, against actual temporal dynamics within cities.


Rodrigo Delso Gutiérrez became a chronopath long time ago and is always implementing the temporal parameter in every project he is involved: artistic, architectural, pedagogical, sociological, political or urban. He is an architect from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (2012) that currently works at the same university as a researcher and teacher. He graduated with Honours with a final project titled “Time Micro-City” (http://nodopfc.blogspot.com.es/2012/10/microciudad-de-tiempo.html) that has been awarded and exhibited in several events and competitions. He also graduated with Honours from the Master in Advanced Architectural Projects of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (2012) with his Master´s Thesis “Disperse Variables around Global Time: Architecture and the Temporal Citizen”. His formal training was complemented at the Illinois Institute of Technology (2008) and with a Master in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University (2013) thanks to La Caixa scholarship to develop his ongoing PHD titled “ChronoPolis” (http://chronomad.tumblr.com/) that has been also awarded in the national competition Arquímedes (2014) for young researchers of Spain organized by the Ministry of Education and in the international competition Connecting Cities with its subproject “ChronoPolis in streaming” (http://chronopolis.ddns.net/).

Atxu Amann y Alcocer, doctor architect and urban planner woman, is professor at Madrid School of Architecture from 1990, where he teaches different subjects concerning design in grade and postgraduate studies. In 2009 he got the Educational Innovation Award by the Polytechnic University in Madrid due to new pedagogies linked to experimental workshops including time, gender and action as key issues that are produced in her innovation group, where different urban actions have been generated and executed in public spaces in Madrid. Currently she is the responsible of the research group “Hypermedia” that develops projects to study and produce mappings of complexity focusing in space-time conflicts existing in urban environments and introducing gender and social considerations. Activities linked to both research and teaching are well known through the participation in congresses and courses in different European Universities. Besides, she works with her partners in “Extreme Temperature Architects”office that they created in 1988, having got numerous awards and recognition for their projects that have been widely published and exposed worldwide. Mother of four children, she conciliates her professional and personal tempos, making this circumstance visible as a gender and politic action about time.