• OFFSHORECRACY: A Study of How Offshore Regimes Act Architecturally
    Andrés Jaque & Bart-Jan Polman

Panama City as seen from the offices of the law firm Morgan y Morgan, 2018, Costa del Este, Panama City. Photo: Bart-Jan Polman

OFFSHORECRACY studies the emergence of a new socio-territorial architecture that is the result of the growing presence of global offshore regimes. As an architectural invention that originated in the institutions and financial practices of colonial peripheries, it now offers the possibility of cross-jurisdictional affiliations to specific people, networks, and environments—the “offshorecracy.” It mobilizes a heterogenous multitude in a planetary spatial, relational, and temporary enactment that affects a large set of domains ranging from taxation to genetics; from infrastructures to ecosystems; and from buildings to borderlines. At the same time, the dream of an offshore existence is an architectural invention that has fascinated architects from the constructivists to the “radical” groups of the 1960–70s, preparing the way for the mobilization of architecture as a momentous actor in the attempt of global finance to advantageously unground itself, disengaged from the costs of inequality and other planetary social and environmental challenges.

Andrés Jaque holds a doctorate from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM), was awarded the Heinrich Tessenow Medal by the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S., and is a professor of professional practice at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he directs the Advanced Architectural Design program. He works at the intersection of science, politics, and design. Jaque was awarded the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts, the Silver Lion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, the Dionisio Hernández Gil Award, and was winner of the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP). His work IKEA Disobedients (2011) is the first architectural performance ever included in The Museum of Modern Art’s collection, and is part of a series of inquiries into architecture’s political dimension. Other works include PHANTOM: Mies as Rendered Society (2012–17), in the collection and permanent exhibition of the Art Institute of Chicago; Sales Oddity (2014), and Pornified Homes (2016). Jaque’s books include Superpowers of Scale, Transmaterial Politics (Columbia University Press, 2020); Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool (REDCAT, 2013); and Everyday Politics (Ediciones de Arquitectura, 2011).

Bart-Jan Polman is an architect, curator, and doctoral candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the architecture of the postwar Western-European welfare states in the context of increasingly integrated global markets. He cocurated the Bernard Tschumi retrospective at the Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2016), Liquid La Habana at Princeton University (2018), and was a consulting curatorial research specialist for The Museum of Modern Art in New York (2019–20). Polman holds degrees from Delft University and Columbia University, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He has taught at Princeton University, Columbia University, Delft University, and Pratt Institute. His work has been shown at the Istanbul Design Biennial (2016) and his writing has been published in VOLUME magazine, The Avery Review, and most recently in Sylvia Lavin’s Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernization Effects (Spector Books, 2020) published in conjunction with the exhibition organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.