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.


"Founder of Harvard University’s Druker Prize: "Bata is an amazing story" "--Druker Prize presentation featured in Bata World News [presentation] 

Harvard University honored Victor M. Sanz's research on Bata company towns at a Druker Prize luncheon held at Gund Hall on October 31.

About 50 guests attended, including Sonja Bata, chairman of the Batawa Development Corporation; Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design; Ronald M. Druker, founder of the Druker Prize; and Tobias Ehrenbold, Swiss historian and Bata consultant.

Sanz received the Druker Traveling Fellowship in 2011 for an application entitled "Networked Utopia: A Global Survey of the Urban Legacy of the Bata Shoe Company's Satellite Cities." At the luncheon Sanz summarized the results of his travels to former Bata towns in Canada, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, India, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland. He described his approach as “a comparative work that has used field trips, photography, interviews, and archival material to reveal the urban and architectural typologies of each one of these Bata towns.”

Sanz’s presentation was well received by the audience. Druker, who founded the prize in 1986, enthused on the Bata subject, “This is an amazing story.”

Batawa, a town Bata established in 1939 in Canada, was a stop on Sanz’s travels. Since 2005 the Batawa Development Corporation has been cooperating with residents to transform the former Bata town into a sustainable, well-designed community. Mrs. Bata met Sanz on several occasions over the past two years and accepted the invitation to be present at the Harvard University luncheon. She was curious to see the results of Sanz’s project: “Victor did his research very cautiously. It was most interesting to see the old plans for the Bata towns in his presentation. Today, we try to follow the Bata ideal of a sustainable and well-designed community in Batawa.”

For his research Sanz was also in contact with Ehrenbold, author of a book on Bata’s history in Switzerland. Ehrenbold is currently working on the Bata Archives Project and also attended the luncheon. He pointed out the growing interest in Bata’s history: “It is no surprise to me that the world-leading Graduate School of Design at Harvard University is interested in the Bata history. Academics all over the world are starting to realize the pioneering status Bata has in 20th century corporate history. I’m sure that the company can benefit from this public interest in various ways."

See the original article here.


Druker Prize Presentation Luncheon: Networked Utopia: A Global Survey of the Urban Legacy of the Bata Shoe Company's Satellite Cities [Lecture]

From the Harvard Graduate School of Design website.

Thursday, October 31, 2013 
12:00pm - 02:00pm


Stubbins (Room 112), Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Event Description

This event is no longer accepting RSVP's and is at capacity.

Presented by: Victor M. Sanz MAUD ’11
2011 Recipient of the Druker Prize

Following the spectacular growth of the Bata Shoe Company and the transformation of its home town, Zlín (Czech Republic) into a field of spatial and social experimentation, the enterprise began a strategy of decentralization and global expansion which lead to the replication of an urban and community model in a series of modern industrial towns founded between 1930 and 1945 around the globe.

‘Networked Utopia’ is an exhaustive survey of these towns and their postindustrial landscape: it is a comparative work that has used field trips, photography, interviews, and archival material to reveal the invariant and differentiating features in the urban form and architectural typologies of each one of these towns. The research has aimed to document the strategies of implementation of Bata’s urban vision to multiple contexts and geographies by constructing a comprehensive genealogy and evaluation of the urban legacy of this unparalleled undertaking. Furthermore, this project reflects on the need for re-imagining networked utopias and the role of design in achieving an integral and sustainable relationship between economy and urbanism.


PFC as case study for Research Project 'PHI Patrimonio Histórico + Cultural Iberoamericano' [Research]


My PFC (Graduation project) [2006] has been recovered as a case study for an international research group and network on Ibero-american cultural and historical heritage [PHI Patrimonio Histórico + Cultural Iberoamericano]

See the full case here or here

The PHI project, Latin-American Historic & Cultural Heritage, presents the development of an innovative global information system, based on the capabilities of the university world, permanently updated. A useful system, open and segmented according to the different foreseeable demands on the characteristics and the state of the built properties identified as heritage.

Its aim is to create a platform that serves to better understand the strategic value of Heritage and that allows for a more efficient management of this common legacy to activate its ability of planning the inhabited space.



“Unfolding a modern palimpsest” in Bata World News [Publication]

From Bata World News:

In the April 2013 issue of Domus, a most interesting article entitled “Unfolding a modern palimpsest”, written by architect and urban designer Victor Munoz Sanz (photos by Victor Munoz Sanz and Nouman Malik) highlights the singular nature of Batanagar, the Bata town in India....

More here


Batanagar in Domus [Publication]


"Unfolding a Modern Palimpsest", my article on Batanagar--the modernist Bata town built in the 1930's in Kolkata--available now in the April' 13 issue of Domus India. The text is illustrated with photos by Nouman Malik and myself. The text is included in the section "Contemporary museum for architecture in India", curated by Domus India's editor Kaiwan Mehta.

"The construction of Batanagar, the Bata town in India, helped to give a new scale to modernity. The streamlined ideals of Bata urbanism, its high modern utopia, transformed the region's existing systems of production and retail, while also engaging in community building and social change."

Contributors in the same issue include Pelin Tan, Suprio Bhattacharjee, Cybermohalla Ensemble, Ekta Idnany, Matthew Allen, Sam Jacob, Femke Bijlsma, Mustansir Dalvi, and James Bridle.

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