Interview with S/he (by way of François Roche) for Arch2o

Pleased to have had the opportunity to interview S/he, principal of New-Territories, by way of François Roche.


This is the latest in a series of interviews which delve into the work and philosophy of a handful of contemporary architects who are actively re(de)fining not only architecture proper, but what it means to be an architect today and, perhaps, in the future.

"What else can we do but to oppose this system’s obscenity, the obscenity of our pathologies … generated by this very system, affected by an impossibility to the world, facing these multiple disorders … to say, to make-say and make-know … that we as well are pathogen elements … of this very disorder, but in a critical mode, activist, solitary … to produce with this repulsion … this rejection … in a metabolized loop … constitutive of the obscene chain … of these little tales. (...) Yes, we are only left with obscenity in order to say, to make, to make-say and make-know. (...) This is what we offer here … our pathologies as paranoid-criticism … the obscenity is not so much the subject than the voyeurism apparatus which forces us to look at it, frontally … In front of the miserabilism of cretinous niches with their hypocritical formulas, we have to re-evaluate what we used to call “Design” as a process of synesthesia of knowledge … crossing the multiple conflicts and embarrassing waste of ideology, criminal positivism, voluntary ignorance, per formative cynicism … To secrete from its ambiguity, ambivalence … even non sense… absurdity … "

New-Territories (R&Sie(n) / [eIf/bʌt/c]) has exhibited its work at, among other places, the Centre Pompidou, SF MOMA, the Tate Modern, Barbican London, the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) Montreal, has been selected 8 times for participation in the Venice Biennial, in national and international Pavilions – last showing at the Chicago Biennial of 2015, the Istanbul Biennial of 2016 – and a recent major solo exhibition at the Frac Centre, Orleans, France entitled “s/he would rather do FICTION MAKer”.

….. Although it already understood the full potential of digital technologies as early as 1990, New-Territories never stopped revealing their disorders and limitations. In its own words: “Architecture is not a matter of projection, but a matter of ‘distortion of reality’.” In “s/he would rather do FICTION MAKER”, the public is  invited on a “paranoiac odyssey” through a series of historic projects (most of which are part of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire collection) and “anthropotechnic” scenarios, (including New-Territories’ latest venture : M4 -mindmachinemakingmyths). New-Territories is a polymorphous architecture organization. Founded in 1993, it has embraced different labels, names, strategies and purposes.” 

‘S/he’, an androgynous, trans-gender avatar, is the principal of New-Territories. Created in 1993, ‘S/he’ authorized François Roche to write, talk and teach on his/her behalf, as a PS / personal secretary, an Ariadne’s wire of his-her ectoplasmic system and paranoiac mind … François Roche is based in Bangkok [eIf/bʌt/c], Paris, R&Sie(n), NY with M4, all part of the New-Territories network. Recent work by MindMachineMakingMyth (M4), described as a studio of ”contingent scenario’’, seeks to articulate the real and/or fictional geographic situations and narrative structures that can transform them, with technology, robotic and human natures – both physiological and psychological.

In 2017, ‘S/he’ got her-his first position in Vienna at ‘The Academy of Fine Arts’. Among the teaching positions held by his-her P.S. François Roche, over the last decade, is guest professor at the Bartlett School in London in 2000, the Vienna TU in 2001, the Barcelona ESARQ in 2003-04, the Paris ESA in 2005, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 2006, the Angewangde in Vienna in 2008, the USC-Los Angeles in 2009-10-11-12-13, from 2006 to 2013 at Gsapp, Columbia University, in 2013-14 Upenn, Philadelphia and this last four years at RMIT, Melbourne.

The full interview can be found here: