Mark Newell Cabrinha

Photo of Mark Cabrinha

Position Professor, Architecture Department Head 
Phone 805.756.1316
Office 05-212A

Areas of Expertise

Digital Fabrication (CAD/CAM)
Parametric Design
Theories of New Media and Theories of Embodied Cognition


Teaching Philosophy

In my studios I emphasize the relationship between technology and culture through design integration. I take a “materials first” approach to developing digital skills to emphasize how the physical and the digital are closely bound. I emphasize digital media to encourage a simultaneous part to whole and whole to part relationship (bottom-up and top-down approaches), the rigorous attention of form through spatial and geometrical development, and the immersive experience of architecture. My emphasis on digital media is simply because you have not been exposed to it enough, and I most certainly require physical modeling and welcome other forms of messy media such as pastels, water color, collage etc. The building programs I choose link to a theoretical or cultural perspective which are introduced through a series of readings with the intention that you position yourself and your architectural interests within this cultural discourse. As an experienced architect, I believe architecture becomes much richer when you take it seriously enough to build it. Therefore, design integration through Practice and ECS is integrated into the studio to emphasize the immersive experience of architecture through the articulation of form, material, and structure through building systems and the environment the project is situated within. My knowledge and expertise in digital fabrication is brought into the studio as a means to bring technology, culture, and design integration together.


Educational Experience:

Ph.D. in Architectural Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY  May 2010
Master of Architecture, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, 2001
Bachelor of Architecture with Philosophy minor, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo  1995

Teaching Experience:

Associate Professor, Architecture Department, CAED, Cal Poly SLO
Assistant Professor, Architecture Department, CAED, Cal Poly SLO 
Lecturer, Architecture Department, CAED, Cal Poly SLO  2002-2004 & 2008 
Visiting Assistant Professor, Architecture Department, University of Oregon  Winter/Spring 2007 
Doctoral Teaching Fellow, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  2004-2007
Teaching Assistant, University of Illinois at Chicago 

Professional Experience:

Associate, Project Architect, OWP/P Architects, Chicago, IL
Intern Architect, Jaeger Nickola and Associates, Park Ridge, IL 
Summer Intern, Warren B. Heid and Associates, Saratoga, CA


Registered Architect, State of Illinois (non-active)  

Professional Memberships:

Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA)


Selected Publications and Recent Research:

  • “Simplexity: Unitized FRP Facade Systems,“ Design Agency: Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), Los Angeles, California (2014).
  • “Learning Networks: Accelerating Creativity through the Entanglement of Social Interaction, Constructed Artifacts, and Dynamic Environments,” Royal Geographical Society International Conference, London, England (2014).
  • “Lattice Shell Methodologies,“ Rethinking Comprehensive Design: Speculative Counterculture, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference of the Association of Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, CAADRIA 2014. Kyoto, Japan (2014).
  • “Mass Customization of Concrete Masonry Units,” The Masonry Society, University Professors’ Masonry Workshop, Las Vegas, NV (2014).
  • “The SLO_Gen Table: Cultivating Industry / Academic Partnerships,”  Texas Society of Architects, TxA Interactive: Cooperative Fabrications.  Fort Worth, Texas (2013)
  • Cabrinha, Johnson, Steinfeld, eds. Synthetic Digital Ecologies: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), San Francisco, California (2012).
  • “Cultivating the Material Imagination in Digital Culture,” Digital Provocations: Evolving Computational Approaches to Pedagogy & Practice, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota College of Design (2012).
  • “Risky Business: from Direct Fabrication to the Abstract Workshop”  Proceedings of the ACSA Annual Conference Digital Aptitudes,  Boston, Massachusetts (2012).
  • “Scale Matters,”  Full-Scale, Phillip Anzalone, ed. Columbia University Publications (forthcoming 2011).
  • “Subverting Gender in the Design-Build Studio”  Proceedings of the ACSA Fall Conference Local Identities / Global Challenges,  Houston, Texas (2011).
  • “Crossing the Digital Divide through Digital Dexterity”  Proceedings of the ACSA National Conference, Montreal, Canada (2011).
  • “Parametric Sensibility: Cultivating the Material Imagination in Digital Culture,” Life In:Formation: the Proceedings of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), New York, New York (2010).
  • “Craft and Culture: the F-Stop Student Lounge” and “Material Assembly: the Moveable Feast,” Input Output: Adaptive Materials and Mediated Environments, Temple University, Pennsylvania  (2010).
  • “Material Imagination in Digital Culture,” MADE: Design Education and the Art of Making, Proceedings of the 26th Annual National Conference on the Beginning Design Conference (NCBDS), Charlotte, North Carolina (2010).

Selected Activities:

  • Third Year Design Coordinator  2013-present
  • Chair, Curriculum Committee  2013-present
  • Scholarship Committee  2011-Present
  • Director, Architecture Summer Career Workshop  2009-Present
  • Co-Director, Digital Fabrication Laboratory, d[Fab]Lab  2008-Present
  • ACSA West Regional Director  2010-2013


Updated 04.05.2016


Related Content