News / Events 2014

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The Bartlett achieves highest results in REF 2014 (Research Excellence Framework), UK.

The Bartlett has 46% of its REF 2014 research profile rated as 4* world-leading in quality -- significantly up from a combined average of 30% across the two RAE 2008 submissions -- and another 35% of its research profile is recognised as 3* internationally excellent. More than 80% of the Bartlett's profile is now in the two highest categories. It also means that Bartlett staff produced the largest quantity of 4* world-leading research outputs (156 items) of any university submitting to the same REF sub-panel. Altogether, The Bartlett has a very strong grade point average of 3.25, and also a very high number of 4* and 3* research, which when multiplied by the unparalleled number of our research staff, places it clearly as the top-ranking institution for the subject.

The Bartlett’s results in the REF 2014 exercise are among the very best within UCL, which was ranked 1st overall above both Oxford and Cambridge, for its research strength, returning a total of 2,750 scholars (c. 2,566 FTE) as 92% of the eligible staff in the university. UCL’s highly inclusive approach, as exemplified by The Bartlett, reflects its status as a genuinely research-intensive university where a supportive environment enables staff to live up to their potential as world-class researchers.

Source: Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment

December 2014
Book launch of book Sobre El Cuerpo Habitable de la Arquitectura, Montevideo Uruguay.
Author: Marcos Cruz
Introduction: Martin Cobas 
Publicsher: Facultad de Arquitectura, Universidad de la República (Colección conferencias)
ISBN: 978-9974-0-1161-8

Unit 15 Crits at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London UK.
Critics: Kristina Schenigger, Stefan Rutizinger, Maren Klasing, Jeffrey Lee, David Edwards, Marcos Cruz

BiotA Juries at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London UK.
Critics: Frederic Migayrou, Natsai Chiesa Audrey, Gyungju Chyon, John Sadar, Stephen Gage, Claudia Pasquero, Andrew Porter, Ruairi Glynn, , Richard Beckett, Javier Ruiz, Marcos Cruz

C-BIOM.A - computation, bio-materials and architecture 
Introduction of Thesis cluster for MAA 02, at Institute of Advance Architecture of Catalonia / IaaC, Barcelona Spain.
Introductions: Areti Markpoulou, Manuel Gausa
Various cluster presentations: Vicente Guallart, Lluis Viu & Jordi Pages, Marcos Cruz, amongst others

BiotA LAB / rC7 MArch Graduate architectural Design, Bartlett UCL, London UK.
Biotechnology and Architeture Lab 
Tutors of rC7: Marcos Cruz, Richard Beckett, Javier Ruiz
BiotA is a new and innovative design research lab that merges architecture, biology and engineering. The Lab explores new modes of production and simulation in architecture, as well as advances in the field of synthetic biology, biotechnology, molecular engineering and material sciences, and how these subjects are leading towards an ever increasing multidisciplinary approach to environmental design. The result is a new sense of materiality, new hybrid technologies and unprecedented living forms that are being integrated in our contemporary built environment.

BiotA Lab is part of an emerging network of international experts who develop bio-digital prototypes based on the novel use of advanced biotechnologies. Students plan and grow a series of systems that explore a new ecological model for architecture that respond to specific climates based upon the relationship between environmental conditions and the interfacial properties of materials with mircro-organisms. In opposition to the traditional complexities and highly costly ‘green architecture’, the use of such designed systems promote a new symbiosis between buildings and nature that is more computationally sophisticated, and far less costly for buildings in high-dense cities.

All work is produced between the studio and the laboratory where the application of these systems is designed using advanced computation through modelling and simulation. Organisms are grown and materials tested under real laboratory conditions providing feedback for rigorous iteration and data for advanced fabrication of prototypes.


BiotA Lab students and research affiliates have a unique set of skills that bridge innovative computational design, fabrication and laboratory protocols. Following their students at the Bartlett they collaborate in wide range of architectural practices and laboratories, with a particular focus on innovative bio-digital design. The cross-collaborative nature of this work allows BiotA students to work individually but also as part of greater teams that are exploring new environmental design agendas that respond to the increasing challenges in our cities.

UNIT 20 / MArch Architecture, Bartlett UCL
Incredible India - Liminal Geometries, Radical Materiality, Extreme Realities, Awesome Beauty
Tutors: Marcos Cruz, Marjan Colletti, Richard Beckett
India is one of the most incredible places on earth. With its amazingly diverse culture and history, deep spiritual dimension, social richness, as well as extraordinary landscapes, it forms a (sub) continent in its own right. India is growing and changing at a phenomenal pace, yet maintains great economic and infrastructural disparities. For example, medical facilities range from non-existent in rural areas to world-class in some cities and still only 60% of homes have toilets, whilst Bihar State authorities have unveiled a model of the world's largest Hindu temple... Similarly, the very latest machinery and IT skills may be used in some construction projects, whereby most workers do without mechanization on construction sites. Around 16% of the nation's working population depends on construction for its livelihood.

Additionally, increasingly extreme weather conditions are affecting India’s climate, which is leading to regular droughts and floods on unprecedented scale. In this context, Unit 20 will explore notions of the extreme, a phenomenon implicit to our times. Not only India, but also the world by and large is becoming more and more extreme and overcrowded, leading to unparalleled contrasts, scales and complexity, especially in what concerns our beliefs, habits and technological capabilities. The unit is interested in exploring the extreme geometric (form), material (perception), social (reality) and aesthetic (beauty) dimensions of architecture.

- Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process
- Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold
- Maximum, greatest, ultimate, supreme, paramount, acute, major, enormous, severe, exceptional
- Drastic, serious, forceful, desperate, dire, far-reaching, momentous, consequential, substantial
- Extremist, immoderate, exaggerated, intemperate, outrageous, unreasonable
- Fanatical, revolutionary, rebellious, subversive, militant, combative, dangerous, risky
- Utmost, furthest, highest, most distant, final, last, terminal, remotest
- Total, entire, absolute, comprehensive, exhaustive, complete, far-reaching, extensive
- Fundamental, basic, quintessential, thorough, serious, rigorous, profound, deep-seated, profound
- Severe, drastic, draconian, stringent, violent
- Revolutionary, progressive, reforming, revisionist, fanatical, militant
- Breathtaking, amazing, stunning, stupendous, staggering, extraordinary, incredible, magnificent
- Unbelievable, phenomenal, awe-inspiring, sublime, miraculous, wonderful, spectacular
- Formidable, imposing, impressive, mind-boggling, mind-blowing, out of this world

Keynote lecture at the What's the Matter? Materiality and Materialism at the Age of Computation conference, ENHSA/COAC/ETSAV, Barcelona Spain.

Organisers: Maria Voyatzaki and Constantin Spiridonidis
Keynote speakers: Manuel de Landa, Mario Carpo, Alisa Andrasek, Philippe Morel, Bob Sheil, Mark Burry, Carmen Andriani, Lars Spuybroek, Kas Osterhuis, Luciana Parisi, Justin Dirrenberger, Marcos Cruz
Debate: Marta Male-Alemany, Mark Burry and Marcos Cruz

August 2014
Article 'Architectural Education Today - The School of Tomorrow' published in conference proceedings 16th Meeting of Heads of European Schools of Architecture: Constantin Spiridonidis, Maria Voyatzaki (eds). Dealing with Change - For a dynamic, responsive, adaptive and engaged architectural education", ENHSA Thessaloniki 2014 

July 2014
Article/Interview by Luz Paz Agras 'Marcos Cruz - Arquitectura como ecologia', in Dardo Magazine n.25 Art+Architecture+Design (bilingual art magazine in Spanish and Portuguese), Santiago de Compostela/Lisbon 2014 
Content: Pedro Cabrita Reis, Escena Artística Peruana, Frenando Velásquez, Marcos Cruz, Tomás Alonso, Rodríguez-Méndez, Alejandro de la Sota, Est Art Fair

Opening of the UCL Built Environment Club, Seoul South Korea
Location: Renaissance Hotel
Organisation: David Cobb / Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment
Speakers: David Cobb - UCL Bartlett Director of Business Development; Mr Scott Wightman - HM Ambassador to Korea; Professor Lee Kyung Hoi - Chairman, Korea Research Institute of Eco-Environmental Architecture(KRIEA) and Emeritus Professor Yonsai university; Mr Martin Fryer - Country Director, British Council Korea; Dr Ben Croxford - Director, UCL Centre for Sustainable Buildings; Dr Marcos Cruz - Former Director of The Bartlett School of Architecture; Dr Kyung Wook Seo - UCL Alumnus and Assistant Professor, Architectural Department Kyonggi University
Book launch of The Inhabitable Flesh of Architecture

Seminar talk 'Paradigms of Contemporary Architecture', at Seoul National University, Seoul South Korea

Book launch of UNIT 20 / poroCITIES -  Architectures of Permeability for Contemporary Urban Dwelling, London UK.
Editors: Marjan Colletti, Richard Beckett and Marcos Cruz
Design/Assistant Editor: Anahita Chouhan
Publicsher: ListLAB Trento, Italy
ISBN: 9788898774371

Opening of Unit 20 exhibition at the Bartlett Summer Show 2014, Slade School of Art / University College London, UK. 
Photo Credit: Richard Beckett

Opening of the Bartlett Summer Show 2014 at the Slade School of Art / University College London, UK.
Guest Opener: Michael Webb

23-06-2014 - 27-06-2014
Low-Carbon City consultancy for the Environmental Protection Administration, Taipei Taiwan. 
Organisation: EPA Taiwan / Environmental Science Technology Consultnats Corporation ESTCC TaiwanLecturers: Peter Bishop; Oliver WIlton; Marcos Cruz
Marcos Cruz Lecture 1 (24-06-2014): Social Sustainability - Typologies to match contemporary lifestyles
社會永續性 - 符合當代生活方式的類型學

Marcos Cruz Lecture 2 (24-06-2014): Sustainable Placemaking - Methods to reduce energy demands
永續的地方營造 - 減少能源需求的方法
Marcos Cruz Lecture 3 (26-06-2014): GREENER BUILDINGS - Future directions
更綠建築 - 未來方向
Marcos Cruz Lecture 4 (26-06-2014): 2 Case studies - 兩個案例研究

Lecture 'Paradigms of Contemporary Architecture', an event with Daniel Tai, at Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research - SADI, Shenzhen P R China.
Host: Jianmin Meng

Interview by Juan Francisco Cañada, London UK.

SYN.DE.BIO SYMPOSIUM 01 and website launch, Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, London UK.
The symposium focused on work that is emerging at the crossroads of design, biology and engineering. 12 international speakers focused on built projects, processes and materials that employ innovative fabrication techniques and design methods to explore and apply biological material in architecture. Advances in the field of synthetic biology, biotechnology and material sciences, as well as new modes of production and simulation are leading towards an increasing multidisciplinary approach to design. The emergence of novel synthetic ecologies and a new sense of materiality are giving us alternative answers to our future built environment. 
The symposium could be followed live on and on twitter #syndebio

Location: Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL - REH, 21 Capper Street London WC1E 2QG
Speakers: Claudia Pasquero (EcoLogicStudio/Bartlett UCL); Sandra Manso Blanco (UPC Barcelona/Uni Gent/LabMET); Steve Pike (Arcolony/Acanthus LW); Marin Sawa (Imperial College); Marco Lizzul (UCL Algae/Varicon Aqua Solutions); Henk Jonkers (CiTEG Microlab/TU Delft); Gregory Tudryn (Evocative); Richard Beckett (Arch-T/Bartlett UCL) / Marcos Cruz (marcosandmarjan/Bartlett UCL); Ginger Dosier (BioMason/American University of Sharjah); Jan Wurm (Arup Berlin); Thom Faulders (Thom Faudlers Studio/CCA San Francisco); Bill Watts (Max Fordham)

Unit 20 Final Crits, Bartlett School of Architecture, London UK. 
Critics: Andy Bow, Christine Hawley, Christos Passas, Claudia Pasquero, Rob Stuart-Smith, Robert Aish, Marjan Colletti, Richard Beckett, Marcos Cruz

Interview by Luz Paz Agras for DARDO magazine, London UK.

Talk at 'Evolving Formations' event, as part of the Design by Mother Nature - Biomimetic Products exhibition, at Roca Gallery, London UK. 
Introduction/organisation: Chris Lefteri
Speakers: Michael Pawlyn, Chris Johnson, Eleanor Morgan, Marcos Cruz

Lecture and book launch of The Inhabitable Flesh of Architecture, at Escola Superior Artística do Porto - ESAP, Igreja da Misericórdia, Porto Portugal.

31-03-2014 - 08-04-2014
Trip to South America with visits to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Cordoba (Argentina) and Montevideo (Uruguay).

On this trip I was extremely lucky that very generous friends gave me access to extraordinary buildings and made me discover the work of some great architects (rather unknown outside Latin American).

Thanks to Leonardo Lattavo I went up the Sugar Loaf (I can once more confirm that Rio is the most exuberant and beautiful city on earth) and discovered Casa Villino Silveira by Antonio Virzi – a whimsical and superb piece of Art Nouveaux.

In Santiago, Margarita Greene and Horacio Torrent made it possible to visit the United Nations / CEPAL building by Emilio Duhart. What a fantastic piece of modernism! Also Arnaldo Ruiz Ballac and Andrea Santa Cruz took me up the mountain to visit the Benedictino monastery by Gabriel Guarda and Martín Correa.

My friend Martin Schmidt drove me to the amazing city of Valparaiso where we also had lunch with the community of the OPEN CITY. There we were toured by Mauricio Puentes through almost all the buildings of this incredible place. (By the way, we had coffee at the house of Quena Aguirre, an extraordinary person who lives there for over 35 years!). This visit was one of the most enlightening moments of my whole trip.

In Argentina, my dearest friend Alejandro Romanutti introduced me to Cordoba, which was not only a great discovery as a city but was also amazing due to the presence of the work of Miguel Angel Roca and, most of all, Togo Diaz – the guru master of ‘baroque’ brick work. Besides their amazing oeuvre, Cordoba has endless other good buildings, including the Escuela Superior de Comercio Manuel Belgrano (arqs. Bidinost, Chute, Gassó, Meyer y Lapacó) and the more contemporary Archivo Provincial de Cordoba by Alejandro Cohen y Cristian Nanzer, amongst many others.

Daniela Freiberg and Martin Cobas Sosa hosted me in Montevideu – a beautiful and exquisite city full of beautiful art deco as well as some very powerful modernist buildings. They generously took me to Atlantida to visit the Church of Eladio Dieste, and on the way back the Soca chapel by Antonio Bonet - another amazing surprise. I was further introduced to the work of Julio Vilamajo’ and his exquisite museum house.

Martin Cobas interviews Marcos Cruz at Casa Museu Vilamajó, Montevideu Uruguay.

Lecture at the Facultad de Arquitectura / Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo Uruguay.
Photo credit: Universidad de la Republica, Montevideu Uruguay

Abril Wilhelm interviews Marcos Cruz for UBP / Canal de Prensa, Cordoba Argentina.

Lecture at the Universidad Blas Pascal, Cordoba Argentina.
Photo credit: Alejandro Romanutti

Valeria Lange interviews Marcos Cruz for Esquicio de radio / FMGEN, Cordoba Argentina.

Lecture at the Facultad de Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Diseño / Universidad Nacional de Cordoba (UNC), Cordoba Argentina.
Photo credit: Alejandro Romanutti

Lecture at the Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Construcción - Universidad de las Americas (UDLA), Santiago Chile.

Lecture at the Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Estudios Urbanos / Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago Chile.
Commentator/Moderator: Pedro Alonso

Lecture at the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo / Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (FAU/UFRJ), Brazil.

marcosandmarjan’s Algae-Cellunoi part of FRAC's permanent collection, Orleans France.
Following the 9th ARCHILAB Naturalising Architecture exhibition, the FRAC has officially integrated marcosandmarjan’s Algae-Cellunoi into their permanent collection, making it available for future exhibitions and international loans.
Design: marcosandmarjan with Guan Lee and Richard Beckett
Fabrication: Grymsdyke Farm; DMC London
Algae Technology: Marin Sawa with Nixon Group and Hellgardt Group (Imperial College); Richard Beckett (UCL)
Collaboration: Olivia Pearson: Emu Masuyama; Jessie Lee; Keith McDonald; Jonas Brazys; Cullum Perry
Sponsors: Bartlett School of Architecture; Grymsdyke Farm; Innsbruck University

Photography: Paul Smoothy

Cross Crits Unit 20 and Unit 15, Bartlett School of Architecture, London UK. 
Critics: Kristina Schinegger, Maren Klasing, Marjan Colletti, Marcos Cruz


Chair of presentations and panel discussion Designing with Nature: Desiging with Parameters - What's next? at the Architecture Foundation, London UK.
Organisation:  Architecture Foundation
Location:  Unicorn Theatre
Chair:  Marcos Cruz 
Speakers/Pannelist: Michael Pawlyn (Exploration); Rupert Soar (Freeform Construction Ltd / Nottingham Trent University); Nerea Calvillo (C+ Arquitectos); Patrick Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects / AADRL) 

Introduction by Marcos Cruz
Presentation by Michael Pawlyn
 Presentation by Rupert Soar
 Presentation by Nerea Calvillo
  Presentation by Patrick Schumacher
Panel discussion (left to right): Marcos Cruz, Nerea Calvillo, Rupert Soar, Michael Pawlyn, Patrick Schumacher

Lecture 'Synthetic Biotopes', as part of the Conversation in Practice lecture series, Newcastle University / School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle UK.

Workshop 'Synthetic Biotopes', as part of the Tech-fest, Newcastle University / School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle UK.

Lecture 'Body and Flesh / emergence of novel bio-digital manifolds' at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Greece

Farewell party with Bartlett School of Architecture staff at St John's restaurant in Farringdon, London UK.
(from left to right) Alan Penn, Inigo Rohrer, Richard Beckett, Penelope Haralambidou, Chee-Kit Lai, Justin Lau, Barbara Penner, Jane Rendell, Max Dewdney, Tim Lucas, Jan Kattein, Claudia Pasquero, Peter Scully, Marco Poletto, Marjan Colletti, Luis Rego and Tom Mole.
(from left to right) Tom Mole, Meredith Wilson, Dgahan Cam, Michelle Lukins, Julia Backhaus, Stoll Michael, Isaie Bloch, Luke Pearson, Kevin Jones and Laura Allen.
(from left to right) Michelle Bush, Emer Girling, Sara Shafiei, Adrian Forty, Oliver Wilton, Tim Barwell.
(from upper left to lower right) Alan Penn, Sara Shafiei and Marjan Colletti, Frosso Pimenides and Tom Mole, Adrian Forty, Bob Sheil, Stoll Michael, Luke Pearson and Steven Gage.

Lecture at the Canterbury School of Architecture / University of the Creative Arts (UCA), UK.

09-01-2014 - 11-01-2014

Jury member of the Mostra d'Arquitectura Catalana, Barcelona, Spain.
(Prizes to be announced on the 20.01.2014)
Organisation:  Collegi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) / Taula de Mostres 
Jury members: Francis Rambert; Rosa Rull; Jaume Valor; Vicente Guallart; Marcos Cruz

Marcos Cruz steps down from his duties as a Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Farewell email to all staff:

I am writing to you for the last time as the Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture. As you know already, I have decided to step down from my current duties as I felt that it was time to embrace new challenges in my design and research career, not least also my family. Leading the school for the last four years has been an extraordinary journey. I have enjoyed my time immensely as Director and I hope that my contributions have helped to move the school forward.

Four years ago I inherited a school which was the number one in the UK, and my aim and major challenge was to maintain this position and to reinforce it by strengthening our national and international status. Our accomplishments since have been numerous and our success is best symbolised by our achievements at last year’s RIBA Awards where the Bartlett gained an unprecedented six awards out of overall eight prize categories. I congratulate all those awarded and I feel hugely proud of the Bartlett’s outstanding performance.

Our success owes a great deal to the Dean, Alan Penn, who has advised and supported me unconditionally throughout these years. I am very thankful to him. He has been a fantastic Dean who has fostered an increased sense of cohesion in the Faculty of the Built Environment. I am proud that it was in my time that we appointed Frédéric Migayrou, who I supported in achieving new key goals for the school. His contributions as a Chair have been immensely important for us. I have relished my teamwork with him and our shared vision to strengthen our established and well-known programmes, while putting the school on a new international map in innovative design research.

Reflecting our steady growth in the last years, we made several strategic decisions that are worth noting. We made very important appointments, including 12 new Academics, along with over 100 new appointments in teaching, admin and workshops, altogether refreshing and expanding the diversity of our staff. Several new courses were created: the stand-alone BSc AIS, several short courses, including the Summer Foundation and Springboard, as well as B-Pro, which Frederic created as the umbrella structure of the newly relaunched MArch GAD and UD. We completely rethought our communications strategy, including a much improved catalogue and well-disseminated lecture series, a new social media presence for the school, and created a new archive project which is just beginning to become active.

An important achievement was to intensify our research culture, which is now larger, more diverse and prolific than ever before. The REF submission this year is witness to a huge collective effort which I supported by redirecting more financial resources into this vital part of our activities. In parallel we worked on reinforcing our reputation as academic leaders in Design, as well as consolidating our already vibrant History and Theory culture. My personal ambition was to invigorate our building culture and we therefore promoted a steady increase of well-established practitioners who are now teaching here. We also massively improved Technology and Computation, two fields in which we are now leaders.

To support all these changes we carried out an administrative review that made our operational structure more able to cope with current demands. I also reviewed all staff through appraisals, reviewed the teaching load for design tutors, including our field trip policy, and supported over 20 staff with their career promotions. Essential for me was also to give students in our school more attention and a voice. We made the Staff-Student committee a more participatory event, gave students the chance to organise lectures and a publication (in progress) and set-up a new student society.

An important part of my duties was to lead and organise the school’s response to the challenges of an Internal Quality Review (2010); a full RIBA visit as well as an interim visit (2011/13); and to gain ARB prescription (2012) for our Part 1, 2 and 3 programmes. These visits and submissions were completed with success and have been highly commended by our visitors.

None of this would have been feasible without the extraordinary commitment and help of my colleagues. I have an increased respect and admiration for all those who contribute so much to the school, and it humbles me to see how much effort and time many put into making the Bartlett an ongoing success. I learned that directing the School of Architecture implies a fine balance between a proactive leadership and a delegation of duties to others who have initiatives and need the space to act. Most of all, I am aware that the Bartlett is an ongoing collaborative endeavour. My intention here has been mainly to guide and support people and help the school be a more collegiate place for all. I will definitely miss those who I planned many projects with; those who I relied on to help me confront the most difficult decisions; and those who came to chitchat every day about the school.

Finally, I leave my job with a sense of achievement as I am handing over the school as the best in the UK and one of the key players internationally. I obviously also recognise there are lots of new challenges ahead, not least with the move into a new building in July 2014, which we managed to prepare during the last few years. I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Bob Sheil for becoming the new Director of the School. He is starting his role at the beginning of this term, while I am still around until the end of January for a hand-over period. I am delighted for Bob and the school, and I wish him and Frederic all the best in keeping the momentum up over the coming years. I feel that it is not only my own duty, but that of us all to support them both to get us through the next round of challenges.

It has been an enormous privilege to work with you all.
Best wishes,