International Keynote Speaker

Director of the transLAB at the Media Arts and Technology Program at UCSB


Friday 20h September 2019

@POLIS University, A5 - h.11


Lecture: From Bauhaus to a New Paradigm in Architecture


Marcos Novak (Venezuela) is the founding Director of the transLAB at the Media Arts and Technology Program at UCSB, where he is also affiliated with the AlloSphere research facility and CNSI (the California NanoSystems Institute).

Marcos Novak is an artist, theorist, and transarchitect, and an internationally recognized pioneer of the study of virtual environments as architectural spaces, and of algorithmic, generative, and responsive approaches to architectural design and the transactive arts. As early as 1990, with his friend Michael Benedikt, he co-organized “CyberConf: The First International Conference on Cyberspace,” the first of an eventual eight international conferences on cyberspace. Later, his concept of “transarchitectures” became the focus of yet another series of international conferences, exhibitions, symposia, and publications that helped establish the digital, computational, generative, and virtual in advanced architectural design.

His projects, theoretical essays, and interviews have been translated into over twenty languages and have appeared in over 70 countries, and he lectures, teaches, and exhibits worldwide.

In 2008, “Transmitting Architecture”, the title of his seminal 1995 essay, became the theme of the XXIII World Congress of the UIA (Union Internationale Des Architectes), the largest architectural organization in the world (representing 3.2 million architects worldwide).

Deeply interested in worldmaking, the future, and the avant-garde in all modalities, he is also the fortunate recipient of a classical education in Greece, where he grew up. Born into a family of filmmakers, he retains and exercises a fascination for understanding worlds as constructs — in fact, in fiction, in action.


In 2000, he was honored to be chosen to represent Greece at the Venice Biennale. His work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale several times since, and he has participated in numerous other international exhibitions and biennials since.

More recently, Professor Novak has developed the futuristic, humanistic, and design-oriented model of THEMAS for research, practice, and pedagogy. THEMAS stands for the holistic, integrative, and creative fusion of <Technologies, Humanities, Engineering, Mathematics, Arts, Science> and is a framework that contains and extends the familiar approaches of STEM and STEAM, adding the creative humanities as an equal participant, and insisting on a designing/making approach that balances the theoretical and the empirical, the qualitative and the quantitative. More than a mere acronym or framework, THEMAS is a thoroughly developed <model> that draws upon the many traditions of “well-rounded” education that have appeared across cultures through the centuries, learning from the past, respectful of the present, and aiming boldly into the sustainable future.

THEMAS has been positively received in many places including: Taiwan, Qatar, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea, Scotland, Switzerland, England, France, Greece, the US, and more.

His current research explores worldmaking for social XR (extended reality), media field navigation, selective reality substitution (for autonomous vehicles, for instance), archimusic and habitable cinema, and the symmetries of narrative spaces and spatial narratives, among others.

He is a Fellow of the World Technology Network, a Distinguished Affiliated Scholar of the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Center, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals.




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