New-Territories / François Roche (et al.), Pierre Huyghe et al.


May 02, 2018

The following will be the culmination of a series of (increasingly) mythomaniacal experiments conducted by New-Territories through their many avatars between 2014 and 2019. The information herein was kindly shared with LapsusLima by them and fellow artist Pierre Huyghe, and constitutes an exclusive first glance at what will be their contribution to next year’s Okayama Triennial.

Okayama, 1946. Photo by Bryn Jones-Walters. Any and all other graphics and illustrations © New-Territories, 2018.


Site: Okayama, Japan, 2018 / Architect: New-Territories / M4 (Thailand) / Artist: Pierre Huyghe / Creative team: François Roche, Pierre Huyghe, Yorgos Hussen, Vongsawat Wongkijjalerd / Area: 500 m2 / Client: Foundation Ishikawa, with Taro Nasu

In the hours between June 28-29, 1945, 487 B-29’s flew four missions against strategic secondary cities near Hiroshima, Japan. One of them, Mission 234, had 138 B-29s attacking Okayama—a hub for education and transportation the size of Long Beach, built largely out of wood and paper—with incendiary bombs, destroying 2.13 square miles, or nearly 70% of the city.

Premise  ⁄ A simple hotel room in the middle of Okayama, in a global program of ten such rooms disseminated through the urban tissue, using the extant city as its corridors, hotel facilities and services.

Provisions  ⁄  001. Scanning 500m2 of the underground with ground-penetrating radar. 


// 002. Developing a rubber-fiber concrete to assume a soft geometry and elastic behaviour.


/// 003. Analysing the underground signals in real-time to disrupt the nozzle trajectories of the 7-axes robots by extruding a continuous line of rubber concrete, like an Ariadne’s thread.

//// 004. Mirroring the substructure’s landscape through this seismographic condition amidst the vibrations to develop a glass slump house that is an echo-of-the-echo (of said underground, a mise en abime of the time reverb).

///// 005. Revealing a glitch / uncertain past-future that is able to trigger architecture as shapeless emergence.
/ the signal doesn’t specify the origin of the obstacle which is traced on the 3d-sectional report, sustaining the indistinctness between a trash sedimentation, a samurai’s helmet or a residual bomb from World War II /// The slump glass’ double-curved surface should be understood as indicative.

The final topological geometry used as a glass-mould will be extracted from a laser scan onto an emerging seismographic output, upside down, such that the glass will face its opposite rubber concrete wall –a mirroring mise en abime, a glitch in the glitch.


François Roche is a French architect and theorist who trained in mathematics before graduating from the School of Architecture in Versailles. He has held numerous visiting appointments and taught at Columbia University from 2006 to 2013. Roche has been associated with a number of progressive studios over the years, including R&Sie(n), [eIf/bʌt/c], and M4.

As president of the research laboratory New-Territories, which includes the various incarnations of R&Sie(n) and [eIf/bʌt/c], Roche describes the theoretical stance of these groups, and their design work, as being organised around three concurrent themes: research as speculation, fiction as practice, and practice as lifespan (here & now), resulting in works that are highly speculative—and eerily plausible. Through New-Territories, Roche has published a number of monographs, among them Corrupted Biotopes (2004), “i’ve heard about” (2005), Spoiled Climate (2006), Fiction Scripts (2007), and BioReboot (2010).

Pierre Huyghe is one of the world’s leading artists. He creates porous and contingent environments, complex systems in which living and non-living, real and symbolic agents evolve.

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