Marcos Novak - LAb[au]

Marcos Novak is a trans-architect, artist and theorist. His seminal work has included many virtual architectures and essays that are crucial to those architects who are interested in the swiftly blossoming architectural cyber-theory. For Michael Benedikt's "Cyberspace: First Steps" he wrote the influential chapter "Liquid Architectures in Cyberspace".

He wrote "cyberspace is architecture; cyberspace has architecture; and cyberspace contains architecture." The new liquidity of the virtual is defined in this essay. It was also illustrated by Novak's attempts to create an algorithmically composed design which resulted in a family of architectures conditioned by one genotype generating programme. In the mid 90s, his contribution to international architectural discourse was further expanded by the coining and definition of the term "Trans-architectures".

In short, we conceive algorithmically (morphogenesis); we model numerically (rapid prototyping); we build robotically (new tectonics); we inhabit interactively (intelligent space); we telecommunicate instantly (pantopicon); we are informed immersively (liquid architectures); we socialise nonlocally (nonlocal public domain); we evert virtuality (transarchitectures). He has also posited a new "Soft Babylon," a theoretical stance which posits that our digitized architectural palette is causing us to create a wired Situationist city, while we struggle with some of the massive paradigm shifts that our era will and must face. Whilst articulating highly fluent theory, he has practiced, producing beautiful ethereal architectures that flux and shimmer as his algorithms run their designed logics.

They are, if anything, characterized by their generative complexities, simultaneously fragmented and fluid. Novak surfs on the Tsunami of technology, pushing the cyber envelope of the profession into the next century. Here he considers the end of the Modernist project: "After modernity, virtuality: all that is solid melts into information. Between modernity and virtuality, transmodernity. As we all know, definition, disciplines, institutions have become unstable and inadequate, and everywhere there are reevaluations of the structures by which we comprehend the world. These changes are not formless. They are characterized by the aspects of metamorphic change clustered under the prefix "trans": transmutation, transgression, etc. Everywhere present, this kind of change is most evident in the structures of our quest for knowledge." Novak's work is central to many conceptual cyber notions, and often he gets there first. His current work is to do with "eversion," his word for the casting of the virtual onto the actual.

This is where the most fertile works of architecture in the future will be, in the crazy interstitial worlds where substance and absence are blurred.

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