Mark West AR’80

Mark West, AR’80

Mark West has worked as an educator and architectural researcher for  36 years. His work ranges from technical innovations in concrete construction and architectural and structural form, to speculative architectural and cultural fictions made through drawings and painting. This composite practice, made under the general title Surviving Logic  radically joins the customarily separate practices of engineering, fine arts, and construction.

Mark’s academic postings have included full-time appointments at The University of Kentucky, Carleton University, The College of the Atlantic, and most recently at The University of Manitoba, where he held positions in both the Department of Engineering and Department of Architecture, and where he founded the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (CAST), the first academic laboratory dedicated to research in flexible formworks for concrete structures and architecture. He simultaneously held a visiting Lecturer position at the University of Bath Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

Along with his academic work, he has served as a technical and design consultant, in the area of flexible fabric formworks, to builders and architecture and engineering firms internationally. He is the author, most recently, of The Fabric Formwork Book (Routledge 2016). He has led construction, design, and drawing workshops at many schools around the world. Both his drawings, and his technical research in fabric-formed concrete, have been widely published and exhibited internationally.

Since leaving the University of Manitoba in 2015, he has worked as a visiting member of faculty at various schools of architecture including: The University of Edinburgh, Aarhus University, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MEF University (Istanbul), and (forthcoming) The University of Washington.

His current work includes speculations on simple methods of designing and constructing fabric-formed, thin-shell masonry vaults, and a new set of colored drawings exploring bio-mechanical fictions. Two collections of photographs, Manikins of Istanbul and City of Wonders, have also recently been (web) published on Surviving Logic Trap Doors.


Mark West received the Holcim Award Bronze for region North America in 2005 for his project Material Reduction: Efficient Fabric-Formed Concrete.   Mark received the CUAA John Q Hejduk Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on June 2, 2017.

Additional Information

Surviving Logic

Who is Who in Sustainable Construction: Mark West, LafargeHolcim Foundation, March 07, 2016.   Link