Teaching Activity

Marcos Cruz is an educator with a extensive experience as a design tutor and critic in numerous international universities. He is currently the Programme Director of the MArch / MSc in Bio-Integrated Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, a unique 2-year cross-disciplinary design platform established conjointly with Dr Brenda Parker (co-programme Director MSc Bio-ID) to develop novel research in the field of architectural design and biochemical engineering. Cruz run MArch Architecture Unit 20 at the Bartlett for 19 years, as well as led the BiotA Lab/rC7 from 2014-18, while supervising numerous PhD research projects. His international experience includes a wide range of workshops and design tuition at the University of Westminster (2008 - 2010), University California Los Angeles (UCLA, 2010), and the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia where he is a Visiting Professor and leader of the C-Biom.A group since 2014.

Bio-ID / Bio-Integrated Design: .
The design of urban habitat today is being fundamentally shaped by the outcomes of two key revolutions, biotechnology and computation, and our exposure to the long-lasting effects of climate change. Bio-ID takes these life-changing phenomena as the foundation for radically new, sophisticated, yet also critical design solutions that help developing our future built environment. In this context, nature plays a central role that goes beyond being a simple environmental regulator, model or inspiration, it is in itself the medium of a multi-layered design approach that is biologically, materially and socially integrated.

Bio-ID embraces and merges a wide range of expertise, including high-end design and computation; biology and lab protocols; multifunctional materials and space; fabrication and environment. It combines in a unique way scientific methods with design experimentation, looking for new modes of simulation and production, and how advances in the field of biotechnology, synthetic biology and material science are leading towards a truly interdisciplinary design. The result is a new sense of materiality and emergent hybrid technologies that form innovative environments infused with natural and synthetic living form.

The work of Bio-ID is shared between design studios, science laboratories and fabrication workshops. Material testing, speciation and in-vitro propagation is done in parallel to the use of analytical modelling and self-generative tools. These provide feedback and data for the planning, fabrication and growth of small and large-scale bio-digital prototypes. The project outcomes vary from being grown objects, bioreactors, components and/or spaces, all of which emerge from the complex relationship between the environment, specific socio-cultural contexts and programs, and the interfacial properties of materials and organisms.

Bio-ID students come from a multitude of backgrounds, including architecture, landscape architecture, biology, biotechnology, art and engineering, who work individually and as part of multidisciplinary research groups that are connected with experts from within and outside UCL.

MArch Architecture Unit 20:
Unit 20 was run by Marcos Cruz and Prof. Salvador Perez Arroyo (1999-2003) and Marcos Cruz and Marjan Colletti (2004-2018). The unit investigated advances in architecture and a wide range of sciences and art, i.e. bio-technology, cyborg phenomenology, small-scaled intelligence, interactive environments, new materials, digital tectonics, as well as baroque - with the aim to create innovative conditions in building design and the city. Objects in our daily life were under reconsideration leading to an understanding of buildings and urban environments created by many different strata, scientific knowledge, artefacts, and micro-worlds; of architecture that was in its conceptual, spatial, and technological dimension multifaceted, hybrid and interdisciplinary. Additional tutors of Unit 20 including Hannes Mayer (2010-11); Richard Beckett (2012-14); Javier Ruiz (2016-18).

The work of Unit 20 was extensively published and exhibited and many projects awarded national and international prizes. In 2002 Cruz was co-editor of the book Unit 20 (eds. Salvador Perez Arroyo and Marcos Cruz), published by Universidad de Valencia / ACTAR, which presented a comprehensive documentation of the unit’s research. More recent publication included Unit 20 - poroCities (eds. Marjan Colletti, Marcos Cruz and Richard Beckett) - ListLAB 2014; and Unit 20 - Hyper-Articulated Morphologies (eds. Marjan Colletti, Marcos Cruz), ListLAB 2016.

BiotA Lab / rC7:
Teaching in rC7 of the MArch Architectural Design at the Bartlett was done in 2014-18 conjointly with Richard Beckett, Javier Ruiz, Chris Leung, and Shneel Malik. The work of the BiotA Lab has gained international acclaim and has been exhibited in international exhibitions, including Biofabricate in New York (2015, 2016), Ecobuild (2016, 2017), Supermaterials at the Building Centre, London (2017), Royal Society (2017), and Tallinn International Biennale (2017).

Student awards:
Hoda Eskandar Nia; Wei Ziwei Zhao; Mirella Eleni Dourampei; Yuan Huang (BiotA Lab/rC7) - BPro Gold Award 2017; Yi Li; Sung Min Rhee; Ciao Xiao; Mia Leyi Qi (BiotA Lab/rC7) - BPro Honourable Mention 2017Crystal Xinhe Lin, Yuxin Jiang, Andy Zhili Wang, Qungyue Zeng (BiotA Lab/rC7) - BPro Silver Award 2016; Bartlett ‘Sir Banister Fletcher Award‘, ‘RIBA Silver Medal nominee’, joint winner of ‘Hamilton Associates Prize’, 1st prize of ‘3D REID Award’, 1st prize of ‘TECU International Student Award’ Germany, and 2nd prize of ‘KPF/Architecture Foundation Public Space Travel Award’ - Sara Shafiei (2007); 1st prize of ‘2006 AIA London / UK Design Excellence Travel Award‘ AIA American Institute of Architects UK - Kenny Tsui and Masaki Kakizoe (2006); Bartlett ‘Sir Banister Fletcher Medal’ and ‘RIBA Silver Medal Nominee’ – Hui Hui Teoh (2003); Arch+ Prize Germany, Commendation in Design - Mark Mückenheim (2003); Bartlett ‘Sir Banister Fletcher Award‘ and ‘RIBA Silver Medal Runner-up’ - Lisa Silver (2002); Bartlett ’Ambrose Poynter Prize for Promising Student in Architecture’ – Natalia Traverso-Caruana (2002); Bartlett ’Liftschutz Davidson Award for Learning for Practice’ – Gwen Lee (2002); Bartlett ‘Archigram Prize’ - Kevin Chu (2001);

Unit 20 Awards:
Best Unit in Show 2017 (Cruz/Colletti/Ruiz) Bartlett Openers Prize, awarded by Ross Lovegrove
Best Unit in Show 2013 (Cruz/Colletti/Beckett) Bartlett Openers Prize, awarded by Claude Parent
Best Unit in Show 2007 (Cruz/Colletti) Bartlett Openers Prize, awarded by Lord Richard Rogers
Best Unit in Show 2006 (Colletti/Murray) Bartlett Openers Prize, awarded by Paul Finch
Best Unit in Show 2002 (Cruz/Perez-Arroyo) Bartlett Openers Prize, awarded by Thom Mayne

Exhibitions of student work included:
Hoda Eskandar Nia, Wei Ziwei Zhao, Mirella Eleni Dourampei, Yuan Huang (BiotA Lab/rC7) at BioTallinn / Tallinn International Biennale (2017); Julie Hagopian, Sanika Mohite, X.Zhou, H.Qian (BiotA Lab/rC7) at Biofabricate 2016; ‘Saraben’ at Deamspace Gallery, London (2007); Reid Gallery, London (2007); ‘AVATAR’ at the Bartlett, London (2005); ‘Unit 20’ at Feng Chia University, Taiwan (2005); 'Mladá Britská Architektura' at Jaroslav Fragner, Prague; Galeria Medium, Bratislava; Löffler Museum, Kosice (2004/05); ‘London Weeks’ at Innsbruck University (2004); ‘Bartlett Experiments’ at Tokyo Institute of Technology (2004); ‘Intimacy, Spot on Schools’ at Beyond Media Festival, Florence (2003); ‘Material Intelligence’ at Entwistle Gallery, London (2003); ‘Unit 20’ at Rotterdam Biennale, NAI (2003); ‘Bartlett Experiments of Architecture in Movement’ at Framework Gallery, Berlin (2003); ‘Actions re Form’ at CAPC, Coimbra and Architekturgalerie, München (2003); ‘Unit 20’ at University of Valencia (2002); ‘RIBA Silver Medals’ at RIBA, London (2002)

Publications of Unit 20 work include: (update 2007)
Wallpaper (UK, 2006, 2007); Building Design Magazine (UK, 2007); AD – Architectural Design (UK, 2006, 2008); Re-imaging Architectural Design Studios (Taiwan, 2006); Time Architecture (PRChina, 2006); Arq./a (Portugal, 2005); L’ARCA (Italy, 2004); Portable Architecture (Spain, 2004); Intimacy, Spot on Schools: Beyond Media Festival Catalogue (Italy, 2003); Arch+ (Germany, 2003); Rotterdam Biennale Catalogue (Holland, 2003); Mesh (UK, 2003); Landscape Design (UK, 2003); Unit 20 (Spain, 2002), Realms of Impossibility (UK, 2002); ICON (UK, 2002, 2007); aj (UK, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007).

PhD Supervision (current):
Johan Steenberg
Principal Supervisor: M. Cruz; Second Supervisor: Prof I. Papakonstantinou, UCL Electronic Engineering
Shneel Malik
Principal Supervisor: M. Cruz; Second Supervisor: Dr Brenda Parker, UCL Biochemical Engineering
Nina Jotanovic
Principal Supervisor: M. Cruz; Second Supervisor: Prof M-O Coppens, UCL Chemical Engineering
Malica Schmidt
Principal Supervisor: Prof M-O Coppens, UCL Chemical Engineering; Second Supervisor: M. Cruz
Niccolo Casas
Principal Supervisor: Prof Marjan Colletti; Second Supervisor: M. Cruz

PhD Supervision (past:
Pablo Gil (Secondary Supervisor) finished, VIVA 2014
Michael Wihart (Secondary Supervisor) finished, VIVA 2015
Alessandro Ayuso (Principal Supervisor) finished, VIVA 2016
Jaime Bartolome (Principal Supervisor) finished, VIVA planned 2017
Richard Beckett (MPhil Supervision until upgrading to PhD, 2017)

Academic workshops
2013 Tutor at tech-week, University of Newcastle, UK.
2010 Design tutor of workshop UCL/UCLA, University California Los Angeles, Los Angeles USA.
2010 Design tutor of marcosandmarjan workshop, Ecole Speciale d'Architecture, Paris France.
2009 Leader and design tutor of marcosandmarjan workshop, CITA/Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen Denmark.
2008 Leader and design tutor of marcosandmarjan workshop, Tunghai University, Taichung Taiwan.
2008 Leader and design tutor of marcosandmarjan workshop, Oslo University, Oslo Norway.
2008 Design tutor of International Winter School - Multipli-Cities, University of Liverpool, Liverpool UK.
2005 Leader and design tutor of marcosandmarjan workshop - FCU & Bartlett Digital Architecture Workshop, Feng Chia University, Taichung Taiwan.
1997 Leader and design tutor of international workshop, Kassel University, Kassel Germany.