Marcos Cruz is an architect and Professor of Innovative Environments at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. He is the Director of the BiotA Lab and also co-founder of Syn.de.Biowhere he has investigated design that is driven by advances not only in computation, but also in bio-technology and synthetic biology, fields that he believes are radically changing the future of architecture. Cruz research has focused for many years on the design and creation of innovative environments. He has developed a people-centric approach by reconsidering the contemporary body and its broader social, aesthetic and technological dimension in architecture. He has also taught and worked on many projects that utilize living matter in buildings, most of all the utilization of bacteria and algae.
Cruz was the Director of the Bartlett between January 2010 and January 2014, having been responsible for a major transformation of the school in terms of its current internationalization and uncontested reputation as the number one school in the UK. His varied teaching activity as an investigator, tutor and critic has been carried out in numerous international universities, including the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (current), University of Westminster and University California Los Angeles (UCLA), but most of all at University College London where he runs MArch Unit 20 for over 14 years. In collaboration with Marjan Colletti and Richard Beckett, this unit continues to be one of the most emblematic and forward-thinking at the Bartlett, with great emphasis on the application of novel digital technologies and environmentally-sensitive solutions to building design. He is also regularly invited as an advisor to academic institutions as well as a jury member of International competitions.
Cruz studied at the Escola Superior Artística do Porto (ESAP) from where he graduated in 1997, while frequenting courses at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB/UPC) where he was an exchange student in 2003-04 and 2005-06. After moving to London he gained a master’s degree with distinction in Architectural Design at the Bartlett in 1999 and started a PhD by Design research sponsored by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), which he finished in 2007. His investigations about Neoplasmatic Architecture won the RIBA President’s Research Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis in 2008.
In 2000 he was part of the design team with Peter Cook and Colin Fournier for the Kunsthaus Graz competition (first prize). In the same year Cruz also co-founded the atelier marcosandmarjan, whose work has been extensively exhibited, including the Venice and Sao Paulo Biennales, along with two major solo exhibitions in Hamburg and Braunschweig. marcosandmarjan also designed the 75th Lisbon Book Fair, several winning competitions and, most recently, an experimental pavilion commissioned by the London GLA on the occasion of the London Olympics. Their work was featured in major international publications, includingDigital Architecture Now (Thames and Hudson 2008), Chernikov Prize (ICIF / Tatlin 2011),Futuristic – Visions of Future Living (DAAB Media 2011) and Archilab – Naturalising Architecture(FRAC 2013).
Cruz is the author of marcosandmarjan – Interfaces/Intrafaces (SpringerWienNewYork, 2005), The Inhabitable Flesh of Architecture (Ashgate, 2013) and Sobre El Cuerpo Habitable de la Arquitectura (FARQ 2014). He is also editor of Flesh and Vision (Forum da Maia, 2000), Unit 20(University of Valencia/ACTAR, 2002), AD – Neoplasmatic Design (John Wiley & Sons, 2008),PhD Research Projects 2009 (Bartlett UCL, 2009), and three annual Bartlett Books (Bartlett UCL, 2012/2013). His work was also published in the monograph Unpredictable Flesh (Mimesis, 2004).