Who are you, FranНois Roche? is an attempt to grab a shadow, a ghost: François Roche. The book draws the portrait of an enigmatic character, a figure symptomatic of avant-garde architecture, per via di porre... As the notion of multitude plays such an important part in his work, it appeared significant to open the discussion to a variety of contributors. Cynthia Davidson, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sylvia Lavin, Jeff Kipnis, Chris Younès, Jerome Auzolle, Bruce Sterling, Greg Lynn, Bart Lootsma, Stéphanie Lavaux, Benoît Durandin and S/He all tried to answer the question - Who are you, François Roche?

The book takes a careful look at the themes running through a practice François Roche and his many friends developed over time: a synesthetic architecture, an ambiguous encounter between computation, biology, ecosophy, pathos and robots. His research, conceived within various Labs, is the expression of activities on non-standard structures. His architecture is a restless knit of maieutics and Deleuzian thinking, challenging notions such as infinitude, incompleteness, on an aesthetic-political plateau.

Why is such mode of thinking necessary?

Which of Douglas Coupland’s epigones is Francois Roche?

What part does he play as a part of and a voice for the numbed generation X?

Is he an illusion?

What are the reasons of his oblivion in France: are they structural or/and strategic?

Is his masochistic, combative and parrhesiac attitude an impediment to a work which already belongs to architectural History?

Or is it its origin?

If disgrace is necessary, how does it resist social conformism?

Contemporary architectural design is in danger, with him. It is understandable that, given his toxic behavior, the agents of power would shield themselves from him.

This book, this prerequisite portrait, questions the possibility of a new territory. Understanding Francois Roche is understanding a world of post: a post digital, post humanist, post technologist, post activist, post feminist, post queer world. Even though it is too late.

The book was released in november 2016, in the context of Francois Roche’s solo exhibition S/he would rather

do FICTION MAKER at FRAC Centre. It was published with the support of the Graham Foundation, the Canadia Center for Architecture and the FRAC Centre.

MarieVic (b. Paris, France) is a visual artist currently living and working in New York City.