Machines are always pretending to do more than they were programmed to do. It’s their nature. The blur between what they are supposed to do, as perfect alienated and domesticated creatures, and the anthropomorphic psychology we intentionally project on to them, creates a spectrum of potentiality, both interpretative and productive.

Machines are a vector of narration, generators of rumour and directly operational, with an accurate efficiency of production. These multiple disorders could be considered a tool for reopening processes and subjectivities, for re’protocolising’ indeterminacy and uncertainties. In this way, they become agents of blur logic, of reactive and re-programmable logic.


Francois Roche is a French architect, educator and provocateur; founder of a practice that has changed names several times and was until recently known as R&Sie(n).  Francois is the UTS Masterclass instructor for Autumn 2012.

The lecture will take place on Level 5 of UTS Building 6, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building. Wednesday 14 March, 6:00pm.  All welcome.


R&Sie(n) unfold their protocols through the re-staging of different kinds of contemporary relationships: aesthetical, machinist, computational, organics, biological and even artificial. They employ speculations and fictions as operative strategies to un-alienate operative modes and infiltrate “media culture” in order to subvert its conventions. They consider architectural identity as emanating from uncertainty principles defined through provisional processes and forms in which animism, vitalism and mechanism become vectors of dynamic mutations.

They critically engage contemporary technology in experiments alchemically mixing contradictory forces to develop deliberately ambiguous scenarios that fuse realities that would seem not miscible.  “Their synthetic devices works out possible somewhere between attractions and aversions, simultaneously mixes of obstacles and possibilities, waste material and efflorescence, threats and protections, mechanical powers and natural forces. Here everything is intertwined and knotted, in the process of becoming, in a movement in becoming. Let yourself slip through their work and feel its silky and strange texture as terrifies and caresses you.”

This group works simultaneously through the architectural practice R&Sie(n) and the “new-territories” research organization. It also leads architectural research labs such as the Advanced Studio at Colombia University-Gsapp in New York. Web site:

Among the teaching positions held by R&Sie(n) and François Roche over the last decade are  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 and currently Columbia (research professor position), since 2006.

Their architectural designs have been show at, among other places, Columbia University (New York, 1999-2000), UCLA (Los Angeles, 1999-2000), ICA (London, 2001), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2004), Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2003), MAM / Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris, 2005, 2006), the Tate Modern (London 2006) and Orléans/ArchiLab  (1999, 2001, 2003). Work by R&Sie(n) was selected for exhibition at the French pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennales of 1990, 1996, 2000 and 2002 (they rejected the invitation that year), and for the international section in en 2000, 2004 and 2008, and they have been selected in the last one, International Pavilion, in September 2010.

Their works are organized on three sets of themes : Research as Speculation, Fiction as Practice, and Practice as Lifespan (H&N) :

-Here & Now / A fragile architecture which negotiates with the arrow of time, with the transitory one or what seems the being. An architecture which expresses the action to produce in real-time, and that this moment indicates the fragile moment which negotiates with the arrow of time, with the transitory one or what seems the being in order to give an account of the strategies of interventions like as much of negotiation with the constraints and the economies.

-Fiction / (from Latin fictio as “a making to form, mold, shape…”) / An architecture which expresses the action to produce in differed and altered time : Simultaneously operative and fictional, it tries to re-scenarize the relation with a situation, an environment, an industrial innovation like a capable fiction to become a vector of reality, a principle of capable expertise of transforming this same reality.

-Speculation / An architecture which expresses the action to produce in a speculative time, and which works out devices between robotics, mathematics, neurobiology and biochemistry, in order to take the risk of a critical, political and esthetic emission. The investigation of the new technological tools opens lines of thoughts which nourish and nourish the imaginary ones. R&Sie (n) tries through manifest exposures to give an account of the field of these possible, but also of their projection and uncertainties, mishearings and misunderstandings… and through academic Lab(s) research and teaching at Gsapp/Angewandte/USC…