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.

APM / FutureLand: Automated Container Terminals in the Port of Rotterdam

Photo: Víctor Muñoz Sanz

FutureLand is the first installment of 'Lights Out!: Emerging Spaces and Territories of Non-Human Labour'. Published in the form of two texts in Volume magazine, this research explores the spatial conditions and implications of automation by looking at the automated container terminals of APM in the Port of Rotterdam.

Since 2015, robotic cranes and automated guided vehicles do the work in the container terminals in the Maasvlakte II area in the port of Rotterdam, its latest expansion to the west. 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, and new modes of spatial segregation, inclusion, and vulnerability appear.

For further reading:

"Captives in FutureLand", in Volume 51, November 2017, pp. 38-41.

Welcome to FutureLand: Automation Takes Command in the Port of Rotterdam”, in Volume 49, September 2016, pp. 33-38.


See also: PAR / Platform ArchitecturesLOU / Lights Out! and ALA / Automated Landscapes.