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.

BAT / Networked Utopia

 

From its humble beginnings as a small workshop established by Tomáš Baťa in 1874, the Bata Shoe Company became a gigantic concern in the 1920s, built on the principles of scientific management and welfare capitalism. The growth of the company engulfed Zlín (in today’s 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. 
This study is an exhaustive survey of these cities, their rationale, design, and their postindustrial conditions; it is a comparative work that has used field trips, photography, interviews, and archival material to explain the logics 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. Finally, the research explores the question of what can the design disciplines, and other parties involved, learn from a full synthesis on the history and urbanism of the Bata satellite cities with regard to the re-imagination and sustainability of contemporary industry-sponsored interventions in developing geographies.

 

Bata's Network Timeline; press "start prezi", and then the icon on bottom-right corner to go full-screen, and use the mouse to pan and zoom.


Research proposal awarded with the Druker Travelling Fellowship from the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD, May 2011.

PhD dissertation, Cum Laude, defended in February 2016 in the School of Architecture of Madrid, ETSAM

Promotor: Luis Fernández Galiano,

Committee: Prof. emer. Simón Marchán Fiz (UNED), Prof. José María Ezquiaga (ETSAM), Prof. Brent D. Ryan (MIT), Prof. Andres Lepik (TU München), & Prof. Ginés Garrido (ETSAM); external reviewers: Prof. Carola Hein & Prof. Han Meyer (TU Delft).

 

Awards: 

Anthony Sutcliffe Dissertation Award 2018 of the International Planning History Society (IPHS).

The award, created in honour of Anthony Sutcliffe (founding member of IPHS and Planning Perspectives), recognizes the best dissertation in the field of planning history written in English and completed during the two years preceding the IPHS biannual conference. There is no restriction on topic, but submissions that most directly and innovatively address the internationalism of the modern planning movement in line with much of Sutcliffe’s work were especially welcome

 

Published in:

(2015):“Globálne turbulencie a lokálne prístupy: rôznorodé životy Batových satelitných miest,” in Proceedings of Symposium Architektúra A Územné Plánovanie Koncernu Bata Ako Jeden Z Faktorov Modernizácie Slovenska.

(2016): “Beyond the Company: Intended and Unintended Legacies of Modern Industrial Urban Planning and Design. The Case of the Bata Shoe Company Satellite Towns (1929-2015),” in International Planning History Society Proceedings, v. 17, n. 3, June 2016, pp. 29-40. 

(2014): “Between global turbulences and local manners: the multiple lives of the Bata Shoe Company satellite towns,” in Marcolin, Paolo and Joaquim Flores, eds., Proceedings of the International Conference 20th Century New Towns: Archetypes and Uncertainties, May 2014, pp. 277-297.

“The parallel lives of a modernist imagination: the urban legacy of the Bata Shoe Company satellite towns,” in Atlantis: platform for urbanism 23.4, June 2013, pp. 28-21.

“Unfolding a Modern Palimpsest: Batanagar, 1934-2013,”in Domus [India] 27, April 2013, pp. 100-105.

“Batawa: the company town,” in On Site Review 27, spring 2012, issue on Rural Urbanism, pp. 32-33.

 

See also: CCA / OffReOnShore