Spreadsheet Architectures is a research project to document and reflect on the intricate financial formulas, incentives, and protagonists behind the designs of present-day buildings, cities, and landscapes. Financialization has introduced financial and legal complexities into the capillaries of society, obscuring what and where design interventions have exponential outcomes. From idiosyncratic Excel sheets to greedy algorithms, their architectures are often intangible and invisible, yet constitute the blueprint for built forms. A series of investigative reports into selective present-day case studies across the Netherlands, will expose the denominators that increasingly define the financial, social and cultural values of cities, and with that the access to it.
The Algorithm of Speculation
25 March 2021
From smooth Excel sheets to greedy algorithms, financial instruments and their agents are often intangible and invisible, yet increasingly constitute the blueprint for built forms. In the first iteration of Spreadsheet Architectures, the recent €289 mn sale of the Groot Handelsgebouw served as point of departure to trace flows of capital, identify anonymous proprietors and unpack revenue schemes and legal constructions. The event reflected upon their ramifications with experts and protagonists, including Ewald Engelen, Michelle Provoost and Wendy Verschoor. Excerpts from the programme are available on this page.