François Roche

François Roche, Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at The European Graduate School / EGS.


François Roche (b. 1961) is a French architect and theorist. Born in Paris, François Roche was originally trained in mathematics before graduating from the School of Architecture in Versailles in 1988. Among other teaching positions, he has held visiting appointments at the Bartlett School in London, the Vienna University of Technology, the ESARQ School of Architecture at the International University of Catalonia in Barcelona, ESA in Paris, the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Alongside these appointments, he has also lectured extensively at international academic and cultural institutions, and taught at Columbia University from 2006 to 2013. He is currently a visiting professor at the Taubman College of Architecture at the University of Michigan, at RMIT University in Melbourne, and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

François Roche has been associated with a number of progressive studios over the years, including R&Sie(n), eIf/bʌt/c, and M4, based in Bangkok, New York, and Paris. In 1993, François Roche co-founded the architectural practice R&Sie(n), initially based in Paris, alongside Stéphanie Lavaux and Gilles Desevedavy. The studio has changed its name regularly since its inception and is now based in both Paris and Bangkok. R&Sie(n) have exhibited their designs at Columbia University in New York; UCLA in Los Angeles; the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Barbican, and the Tate Modern in London; the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo; the Centre Pompidou and the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris; and in Orléans/ArchiLab, as well as participating in exhibitions, installations, competitions, and other projects in numerous venues throughout the world. Work by R&Sie(n) was selected for exhibition at the French pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennales of 1990, 1996, 2000, and 2002, though the last invitation was rejected by the studio. Their work has also been chosen for the International Section and the Austrian Pavilion of the Biennale, as well as for Dark Side Curating, the Slovenian Pavilion and Writing Architecture in 2012, and Palazzo Bembo in 2014. In 2011, François Roche also co-founded [eIf/bʌt/c], a studio for 'Contingent Scenarios' based in Bangkok, together with Camille Lacadé. As president of the research laboratory New-Territories, whose scope includes the various incarnations and names over the years of R&Sie(n) and [eIf/bʌt/c], François Roche describes the theoretical stance of these groups, like the design work itself, as organized around three concurrent themes: Research as Speculation, Fiction as Practice, and Practice as Lifespan (Here & Now), making for works that are simultaneously highly speculative yet eerily plausible.

Through New-Territories, François Roche has published a number of monographs. These volumes are collections of research projects and exhibition catalogues of the New-Territories group, and include Corrupted Biotopes (2004), a contribution to the Design Document series of books, "i've heard about" (2005), Spoiled Climate (2006), Fiction Scripts (2007), and, most recently, BioReboot (2010). As well as having contributed to various journals of architecture and design, François Roche was guest editor of the architectural journal LOG #25, published in the summer of 2012 under the title Reclaim Resi[lience]stance. In 2014, a book dedicated to François Roche's work and his collaborations with New-Territories was published, entitled Francois Roche: Heretical Machinism and Living Architecture of New