Mark Goulthorpe

Associate Professor

Mark Goulthorpe, dECOi / HypoSurface / Zero+ / SMArchS

Mark Goulthorpe is an Associate Professor at MIT Dept of Architecture, teaching in undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programs, and undergoing research in digital design and fabrication. He is currently Head of the new Design Stream in the SMArchS program. Current research centers on robotic fabrication and a variety of composite fabrication methodologies, as well as a new iteration of the dynamically reconfigurable HypoSurface. In particular, the Zero+ housing targets a ubiquitous new building technology that looks to bring a radical new methodology into second world markets where global housing needs are extremely pressing. 

He has two published books: ‘Autoplastic to Alloplastic’ by Hyx/Pompidou, articulates via design projects the shifts in design methodology occasioned by digital technologies; and ‘The Possibility of (an) Architecture’ by Routledge theorizes the broad implications of a digital paradigm for architecture. A forthcoming book is in draft form, ‘Paramorph’, which foregrounds the design and fabrication research that lies behind the evolving projects. There are many published essays and articles by Goulthorpe and on the work of dECOi and HypoSurface in journals. 

Goulthorpe is also a practicing architect, acting as creative and technical director of 3 groups of networked inter-disciplinary teams: dECOi Architects, HypoSurface, and Zero+. Current projects include a fully cnc-milled wooden office interior, One Main (Cambridge) evidencing a radical carbon-negative manufacturing potential (with designer, Raphael Crespin); a new electromagnetic HypoSurface commission for the National Museum of Energy in Spain (NME) establishing real-time physical interactivity of architectural surfaces (with digital artist, Marc Downie and digital composer, Paul Steenhuisen); the Paramorph carbon-fiber penthouse as an extension to a towertop adjacent to Tate Modern (London) with parametric modeling by Kaustuv de Biswas, PhD; and a research initiative with IDC (Singapore) for Zero+ thermoplastic housing (with composites engineer, Mark Bishop, CAD/CAM by Stelios Dritsas at IDC, FEA by Sawako Kaijima at IDC, environmental design by Vasco Portugal, PhD, and LCA by Prof Mike Lepech at Stanford). Each project probes new modes of materializing architecture via digital technologies, pressing to innovating design, fabrication and material logics to attain new formal sophistication and technical efficiencies.

In 2011 Goulthorpe established a large-scale Kuka robotic fabrication facility as part of the IDC collaboration between MIT and SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design), which will look to researching new manufacturing and material potentials. He is recipient of a MISTI award that will run a workshop Compose_It House with Alex Tsamis, PhD in collaboration with the Design Lab at the Adolfo Ibanez University (UIA), Chile. 

dECOi was named one of the Architectural League of NY ‘Emerging Voices’ 2006, selected for the ‘Design Vanguard’ by Architecture Record 2005, won the FEIDAD award for digital design in 2004 (Galerie Miran), selected for the ‘New Trends of Architecture’ exhibition of the European City of Culture 2004, and has variously exhibited at the Venice and Beijing Biennales. HypoSurface has received awards from Ars Electronica, NESTA, FEIDAD, and most recently received a Tomorrow Award 2012 for new media. Zero+ was selected as finalist in the Mass Challenge international entrepreneurship competition 2011. 

Goulthorpe also organizes conferences, the most notable being the Non Standard Praxis conference at MIT Stata, 2005; the recent ACSA 100 Anniversary Conference hosted by MIT in Boston, 2012; the on-going thematic inter-disciplinary SMArchS Colloquium; and the internal Homegrown (with Mustard) debate series at the Dept of Architecture.