The creation of architectural projects is stuck in a mode of simulation and repetition rather than ideation and experimentation. Although the architect’s tools are as expansive as never before, we are limiting our means to produce objects which are, if at all, just good enough and instantly obsolete. Furthermore, the world of electronic informational media involves all of us at once and no detachment is possible. Content is irrelevant and it is time to look at formats as framing devices in the production of knowledge, architecture and identity.

Format is essential to creating the little order which protects us from chaos. In the projection from ideas to drawings and translation into buildings, architects combine single impressions into an imaginative whole. It is a subjective process and objective product. Every step in their thinking consists in understanding the relations between disparate narratives and objects by taking them out of and deconstructing and reconstructing new contexts. This process constantly challenges the notion of originality in order to create new myths. But more importantly, the architect is constantly altering between ways of seeing and ways of arranging the cultural and physical world. He shapes his own identity through his relation to the objects by formatting them in a constant negotiation between opening up or framing them as content. The architect can now misuse the techniques of a linear narration and dualistic oppositions in order to exceed the epistemological frameworks imposed by history in favor of his own, more intuitive, fictional truths. He is reading and assembling figures on and as ground, presenting a sequence of events within a vertical plane and a constellation of images on a horizontal plane. He is creating a living reciprocity between the act of knowing and the object of knowledge, which approximates the message and the medium.

Format Factory is therefore seen as a project which could stand for an epistemic model which allows us to dissolve obsessive frameworks, bridge the abyss of non-meaning and face reality as it may be for youth today. The process of subjectivation is fundamental for more autonomous architecture practices which will need to understand material and immaterial labour and an architecture beside itself in the age of allatonceness.


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Format Factory

“What is Format?”, felt pen on 1 of 200 self-stick notes, Post-it ®, 3M, recyclable paper, 70 gsm, 100 x 100 mm, Canary Yellow, Matte Finish


"Format as Content", post-it in box, paper and card paper, 1.4mm, 110 x 110 mm

The Future of the Image

After-Images: The Scrap Heap of the History of the Present

Contextual Voids

left (BLACK): Mnemosyne Atlas in the oval reading room of the Warburg library, Hamburg, 1926

right (GREEN): set-up of the Recon Project in the Green Room, AA School of Architecture, London, 2014

Chaos and Order

left: palimpsest of content in an overlay of 10 photographic plates of the Mnemosyne Atlas

right: No. 2, Mark Rothko, 1964

The Quarry

top: top view on the white marble quarry

bottom: site photographs uploaded to complement google streetview

On Site

top: insertion into a fictional scene and reenactment of Dominique Francon

bottom: movie stills of Fancon’s granite quarry in ‘The Fountainhead’, King Vidor (director), Ayn Rand (author), 1949

Sketching and Storyboarding

left: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe sketching, 1960s, photograph courtesy of Hedrich Blessing

right: Anouk storyboarding and formatting narratives

YOUTUBE TUTORIAL: White Marble Imitation

Format Factory: In this video you can see how to imitate raw cut marble through carving and painting techniques.

From the Quarry to the Gallery

left: raw cut marble block being prepared for export in the marble quarry

right: the gallery as a neutral container for nested formats, North Gallery, White Cube, original photograph by Ben Westoby, 2012

The End is the Beginning

left: The AF Online, 27 May 2015; Blog Available at: (note: 996px x 3377px)

right: Killing the beast!