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.


Fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude 2017-2019

I am happy to announce that I have been selected as one of the 2017-2019 fellows in Architecture of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, by the international jury around the jury chairman Kaiwan Mehta.

6,600 artists and scientists from 158 countries have downloaded the application form for the selection of the sixteenth generation of Solitude fellows and among them 1,900 candidates from 106 countries finally applied. All in all 64 fellows (34 female and 30 male) from 27 countries were selected by the jury. 461 months from a total of 542 months have already been granted. The fellowship amounts to 1,150 Euro per month. The fellowship program of Akademie Schloss Solitude is thereby largely settled until the end of 2019.

 Fellows belong to the following disciplines: Architecture (design, landscape architecture, urban planning), Visual Arts (including performance art), Performing Arts (stage design, dramatic texts, dramaturgy, musical theater, performance, direction, drama, dance), Design (fashion, costume, product and furniture design, visual communication), Literature (essay, criticism, poetry, prose, translation), Music/Sound (interpretation, sound installation, sound performance, composition), Time-based Media (including video, video installation, documentary and fiction film) and Web-based Media (web design, web development/coding, web art and digital journalism). Furthermore, scholars, scientists and professionals from the disciplines of the Humanities, Economy/Economics (Urban Policy) and History & Social Sciences (its practices of writing and politics in the contemporary) were invited to apply.

The sixteenth generation will also be the last one under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Joly, founding director of Akademie Schloss Solitude who has been running and developing the program for almost 30 years and who will retire in March 2018. The name of the future director who will take over in April 2018, will most likely be announced in fall 2017 by the Ministry for Research, Science and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg.



Welcome to Futureland - Automation in the Port of Rotterdam, in Volume #49

My article 'Welcome to FutureLand" has been published in issue 49 of Volume, 'Hello World.' 

'Welcome to FutureLand' explains the economic, political, and planning rationale behind the automated containers terminals in the area Maasvlakte 2 in the Port of Rotterdam. The article explains the reasons why automation technologies were embraced, and their impact in the organization and design of infrastructures, territories, and architecture.

Read the full article here.

More information on Volume #49 'Hello World'


Volume #49: Hello World!
Editor in Chief: Arjen Oosterman
Designed by Irma Boom and Julia Neller
128 Pages
Soft-cover binding
ISSN 1574-9401
ISBN 9789077966495


Lights Out! - proposal on automation, honorary mention call for fellows of Het Nieuwe Instituut

Image: APM Terminals

My proposal Lights Out: Emerging Spaces and Territories of Non-human Labor received an honorary mention of the jury of the 2016 International Call for Fellows of Het Nieuwe Instituut. The jury appraised it as "is a timely and solid proposal that analyses the production of space for and by fully-automated industry. Lights Out! reveals how economic decisions and industrial processes function as key factors in the development and direction of spaces and entire territories." 

The proposed case studies are the Philips production centre in Drachten, the automated greenhouses for flower production and the Maasvlakte II in the Port of Rotterdam. Lights Out wishes to reveal full automation’s hidden spatial production.

More info here and in the jury report.


Emerging Curator 2015 - Canadian Centre for Architecture

I have been selected as the 2015-2016 Emerging Curator at the Canadian Centre for Architecture witht he project: “Off:Re:On-Shore." The project will develop a communication strategy about on-shoring—that is, architecture, urbanism, landscape, and infrastructure as tangible and enduring ways to empower and improve the living standards of workers and communities in emerging markets.
Increasing automation, populist protectionist measures, and South-to-South competition are challenging a once thought safe path to development, and therefore putting more pressure on the conditions of workers offshore. This project seeks to look at the built environment of production offshore and to discuss the possibilities and limitations for transformative change of a renewed engagement of business with society through architecture and spatial practices.
The Emerging Curator Program offers the opportunity to propose and curate a project at the CCA related to contemporary debates in architecture, urban issues, landscape design, and cultural and social dynamics. The project is to be developed during a residency of three months at the CCA.

More info on the CCA Emerging Curator program here.

SPS Seminar 12 May – Victor Sanz: Planning a global network of industrial communities: The architecture and urbanism of the Bata Shoe Company industrial satellite cities [Presentation]


Today I presented the progress of my doctoral research at one of the SpatialPlanningSeminars organized by the Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy at the Department of Urbanism of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft. I really enjoyed the questions and discussions after the talk, great feedback! Thanks to Marcin Dabrowski for the invitation!



From its humble beginnings as a small workshop in 1874, the Bata Shoe Company became a gigantic industrial concern in the 1920s, built on the principles of scientific management and welfare capitalism. The growth of the company engulfed Zlín (Czech Republic), its hometown, and transformed it into a modern industrial garden city satisfying the needs of both a growing industrial population, and those of the company itself. As a reaction to the aftermath of the crisis of 1929, the enterprise began a strategy of decentralization and international expansion characterized by the design and construction of a series of modern industrial towns that replicated the model of Zlín around the globe (including The Netherlands).

This study is an exhaustive survey of these cities, their design, and their postindustrial conditions; it is a comparative work that has used field trips, photography, interviews, and archival material to explain the rationale behind Bata’s project, to document the design and implementation of the model to multiple contexts and geographies, and to evaluate of the urban legacy of this undertaking. With that, this research aims to explore the question of what can the design disciplines and other parties involved learn from a comprehensive assessment on the history and urbanism of the Bata satellite cities with regard to the re-imagination and sustainability of industry-sponsored interventions in developing countries today.