Sanz Serif, a makeshift nickname earned as a result of my typographic likes, is the umbrella under which I present the diverse facets of my work: academic research on architecture and urbanism, design speculations, graphic design, curatorial and editorial work, and writings developed individually or collaborately, in institutional settings or independently.

Current focus: Workscapes.


Office / Automated Landscapes opens at the Dutch Pavilion, Venice Biennale

#Office, at Dutch Pavilion WORK, BODY, LEISURE. 16th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, FREESPACE. Photo: Daria Scagliola

With the title WORK, BODY, LEISURE, the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th Venice International Architecture Biennale addresses the spatial configurations, modes of living, and notions of the human body engendered by disruptive changes in labor ethos and conditions. The project, commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut  includes contributions by a group of architects, artists, designers, historians, musicians and theorists selected by the curatorial team and through a number of open calls. This collaborative endeavor seeks to foster new forms of creativity and responsibility within the architectural field in response to emerging technologies of automation. With #OFFICE, Marten Kuijpers and myself are presenting our research on Automated Landscapes.

 More than forty years after Constant’s New Babylon, the architecture of full automation is currently being implemented across the Netherlands, from the country’s main port in Rotterdam to its productive hinterlands. If in New Babylon there was only play, the territory of the Netherlands could be seen as its counterpart: a productive Cartesian landscape, designed for unprecedented efficiency. Behind this apparent banality, a machinic, data-filled beauty reveals itself—but only on screens in the control rooms inside the contemporary office, from where automated spaces are controlled and monitored.

The Dutch Pavilion at the 16th Venice International Architecture Biennale
May 26–November 25, 2018 

Dutch Pavilion at the Venice International Architecture Biennale 

Spatial Planning Seminar: Planning and Technology in the Port of Rotterdam [Lecture]

On April 24, I presented our research on Automated Landscapes as part of the Spatial Planning Seminars organized by the Chair of Spatial Planning in the Department of Urbanism at the TU Delft. Below you can read the abstract of my presentation:

Victor Muñoz Sanz (TU Delft)

Automated Landscapes: Planning and Technology in the Port of Rotterdam

The increasing use of robotization and computer algorithms in industrial processes seem to indicate that we are heading to a future of workspaces without workers. Economists and technologists are registering the phenomenon, and offer roadmaps to guide society to the new paradigm. So far, however, little research has delved into the wider transformations that the generalized adoption of automation technologies may directly or indirectly cause in the planning and design of built environments. By looking at the recent planning history of the Maasvlakte II area in the Port of Rotterdam, this presentation will examine intersections between spatial planning, technology, and sustainability around the shift from labor-intensive industries and services to capital-intensive ones by adopting digital technologies and related platforms.

Since 2015, robotic cranes and automated guided vehicles do the work in the container terminals in Maasvlakte II, the latest expansion to the west of the port of Rotterdam. For the Rotterdam Port Authority, automation technologies were a synonym of efficiency—efficient use of land, time and energy—and therefore their implementation was integrated in the planning of Maasvlakte II and strict demands were imposed on companies aspiring to get a concession to operate there. In turn, these companies have made of Maasvlakte II a model workplace of an automated future. In these terminals, the machines follow instructions of a Terminal Operating System, while being supervised by humans in control rooms. On the surrounding logistical landscape, physical barriers and security checkpoints separate the realm of human bodies from that of semi-autonomous machines. 

Photo: Marcin DabrowskiThe presentation will show how any radical planning vision driven by technology comes together with new challenges—in Maasvlakte II in particular labour conflicts, and the vulnerability of these infrastructural systems to cyber attacks. In defining through planning visions how territories are managed and organized for work, new modes of spatial segregation, inclusion, and vulnerability appear, calling for developing new forms of anticipatory planning and resilience. This presentation builds on research being developed at the Department of Urbanism at TU Delft and Het Nieuwe Instituut focused on revealing full automation’s hidden spatial production and that will be presented in the Dutch pavilion in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.




"Researching Automated Landscapes" in Work, Body, Leisure [book chapter]

Work, Body, Leisure, is a book published in conjunction with the Dutch Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2018. It includes my new essay about methodologies for researching automated landscapes, among amazing texts by a dazzling set of contributors: Amal Alhaag, AMO, Pier Vittorio Aureli & Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Jonathan Beller, Beatriz Colomina, Silvia Federici, Ayesha Hameed, Femke Herregraven, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Markus Krajewski, Egbert Alejandro Martina, Francesco Marullo, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Simone C. Niquille, Henk Ovink, Paul B. Preciado, Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, Ekim Tan, Nathalie de Vries, Mark Wigley, Annemarie de Wildt, and Marina van Zuylen. Edited by Marina Otero and Nick Axel.

The book will be available in May 2018, and can be preordered at the website of Hatje Cantz

See LOU / Lights Out!, APM / FutureLand, and ALA / Automated Landscapes.


Automated Landscapes in 'Logistical Nightmares' [lecture]

On February 21, I will be lecturing on behalf of the research team at Het Nieuwe Instituut on 'Automated Landscapes' in the PhD/MA roundtable Logistical Nightmares organized by Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University London and Sonic Acts Academy Amsterdam.

Launched by the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University London, 'Logistical Nightmares' is a year-long programme of events, workshops, pedagogical experiments, and field investigations that explore the increasing ubiquity and prominence of logistics as a mode for organising social life and politics. Organised by Lorenzo Pezzani and Susan Schuppli at Goldsmiths University of London, in collaboration with Sonic Acts Academy, Netherlands



Release of Off:Re:OnShore [audio documentary]

Road sign in Batanagar, India, 2012. Photograph by Nouman Malik

Today I have the pleasure to announce the launch of “Off:Re:OnShore”, an audio documentary conceived and developed during my residence at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) as 2015–2016 Emerging Curator, and produced by the CCA. The documentary explores the legacy of industrial offshoring, the effects of corporate actions on the built environment of labour, and the role of architecture in bringing closer ideas of work and the good life. How might architecture and planning reassert the value of human work?

Featuring Keller Easterling, Rosey Hurst, Sarah Labowitz, Rahul Mehrotra, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay, Raúl Cárdenas Osuna, and Wouter Vanstiphout.

Listen to Off:Re:OnShore