Forensic Architecture: Hacia Una Estética Investigativa

Named by the New York Times as one of the ten non-fiction books that have marked 2017

Exhibition catalogue from Forensic Architecture: Towards an Investigative Aesthetics

Edited by MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona) and MUAC (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo)

Contributors: Ferran Barenblit, Yve-Alan Bois, Michel Feher, Hal Foster, Rosario Güiraldes, Adam Lehner, Cuauhtémoc Medina, and Eyal Weizman



Softcover, 176 pages, 22 x 16 cm, 110 illustrations

ISBN: 978-84-92505-87-6


“En el excelente catálogo de la exposición…se puede acabar de entender su pensamiento gracias a las preguntas que le formulan Yve-Alain Bois y Hal Foster. Su estética es un método que se apropia de los mecanismos forenses para aplicarlos a la arquitectura y el urbanismo, y en vez de colaborar con la policía y el Estado, trabaja en su contra: los corrige, los denuncia, los desmiente.”
—JORGE CARRIÓN, The New York Times, 9 July 2017


In 2010 a group of architects, artists, filmmakers, journalists, scientists, and lawyers founded Forensic Architecture (FA), a research agency that investigates state and corporate violence, especially when it impacts upon the built environment. To do this, they produce evidence files comprising building surveys, models, animations, video analyses and interactive cartographies, and present them in forums ranging from the general media to international courts, truth commissions and citizen tribunals.

This publication features six of its recent investigations and it includes an introduction by Cuauhtémoc Medina and Ferran Barenblit, a conversation between Eyal Weizman, Yve-Alain Bois, Hal Foster and Michel Feher, and a postface by the curator Rosario Güiraldes, who highlights the necessity to embrace an engaged aesthetic practice that combines both a critical understanding and tactical use of facts.

This book is only available in Spanish.

Download a PDF of the catalogue here.

Forensic Architecture

Violence at the Threshold of Detectability

By Eyal Weizman

Published by Zone Books
Distributed by The MIT Press

April, 2017
Hardcover, 368 pages, 7.5 x 9 inches, 100 colour illustrations

ISBN: 9781935408864

£32.95 / $39.95

“In a world where environmental crimes are increasingly linked to human rights violations, Forensic Architecture has become an essential practice. Weizman and his team have understood how the tools of science and architecture can influence and transform the juridical system.”
Baltasar Garzón, former Spanish investigating judge and president of the human rights foundation FIBGAR

In recent years, the group Forensic Architecture began using novel research methods to undertake a series of investigations into human rights abuses. Today, the group provides crucial evidence for international courts and works with a wide range of activist groups, NGOs, Amnesty International, and the UN. Forensic Architecture has not only shed new light on human rights violations and state crimes across the globe, but has also created a new form of investigative practice that bears its name. The group uses architecture as an optical device to investigate armed conflicts and environmental destruction, as well as to cross-reference a variety of evidence sources, such as new media, remote sensing, material analysis, witness testimony, and crowd-sourcing.

In Forensic Architecture, Eyal Weizman, the group’s founder, provides, for the first time, an in-depth introduction to the history, practice, assumptions, potentials, and double binds of this practice. The book includes an extensive array of images, maps, and detailed documentation that records the intricate work the group has performed. Traversing multiple scales and durations, the case studies in this volume include the analysis of the shrapnel fragments in a room struck by drones in Pakistan, the reconstruction of a contested shooting in the West Bank, the architectural recreation of a secret Syrian detention center from the memory of its survivors, a blow-by-blow account of a day-long battle in Gaza, and an investigation of environmental violence and climate change in the Guatemalan highlands and elsewhere.

Weizman’s Forensic Architecture, stunning and shocking in its critical narrative, powerful images, and daring investigations, presents a new form of public truth, technologically, architecturally, and aesthetically produced. The practice calls for a transformative politics in which architecture as a field of knowledge and a mode of interpretation exposes and confronts ever-new forms of state violence and secrecy.


Truth Construction | n+1 32 p. 162-172, September 2018

Anyways Elastic | Review 31, August 2018

Springerin, Issue 1/2018

Between visible and undetectable violence | Radical Philosophy 2(02), June 2018

Contre-enquêtes sur des crimes d’Etat | Mediapart, 15 March 2018

Journal of Visual Culture 16(3) p. 392-395, January 2018

Best books of 2017: Art, architecture, and cinema | Financial Times, 1 December 2017

Forensic Architecture: How to make right state wrongs | New Scientist, 6 September 2017

Praise for Forensic Architecture

“As the director of Forensic Architecture, Weizman has invented a new academic discipline, perhaps even a whole new science, a committed, engaged, citizen science. . . . Weizman has found a way to harness our everyday digital diversions, for a fierce, moral purpose.” —Wired

“This forensic process—what Weizman calls ‘architecture in reverse’—shows how the analytical and presentational skills of architects can be deployed in graphic, damning detail, in circumstances that extend way beyond the comfort zone of the drawing board.” —Guardian

“Eyal Weizman is pioneering the art and science of ‘forensic architecture’ to reveal the true extent of state-sponsored violence.” —New Scientist

“In many respects Forensic Architecture is the current reincarnation of Soviet Russia’s Factography, a collective enterprise that, in the 1920’s and 30’s, was geared towards the construction of facts, as opposed to merely documenting them. The difference between both endeavors, each similarly brazen in taking advantage of unprecedented advances of media technology, is that the facts that Forensic Architecture wishes to (re)construct are for the most part acts of state violence that the perpetrating state deliberately conceals. Those facts are registered in buildings (or traces thereof), which Weizman and his team equate both to photographs (sensors) and to tools for decoding other sensors (such as the clouds of smoke hovering over a bombed city). Analyzing the vast bank of images provided by social media in conflict zones through a computation of differential parallaxes, Forensic Architecture is fast becoming the most efficient visual machine against the suppression of evidence by the authors of crimes against humanity. Recent history tells us that its work will be evermore needed.” —Yve-Alain Bois

“The investigative work of Eyal Weizman and his colleagues at Forensic Architecture is truly remarkable, breaking novel theoretical ground while actively supporting struggles for justice. Again and again, landscapes of power, violence, resistance and ecological stress are transformed in stunning new ways. Among the many revelations in these pages is a new mapping of the connections between climate-change, drought, drones and armed conflict. These are powerful analytic tools that will be indispensable to the construction of a new human rights framework.” —Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine