Dr Yannis Zavoleas

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture and Built Environment (Architecture)

Career Summary



Yannis Zavoleas teaches architecture as Senior Lecturer at University of Newcastle, Australia. He taught previously  as Assistant Professor at University of Patras, Greece (2008-2013) and at Technical University of Crete, Greece (2004-2008). He holds a PhD in Architectural Design from National Technical University of Athens (NTUA – 2011), an MSc in Comparative Media Studies from MIT (2004), an MArch from UCLA (2000) and a 5-year professional degree in architectural engineering from NTUA (1996).

Yannis practuces architecture since 1996. He has worked as architect in USA (Amphibianarc Los Angeles, Boston), in film post-production (SONY Imageworks), as Art Director (Games-to-each research project, MIT/Microsoft); he has given over forty lectures in conferences and universities about architecture, theory, technology, communications, art; he has published (Thresholds, The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Architecture in Greece); advisory board in conferences / publications: EAAE, CommonGround Publishing; awarded in one international architectural competition (seven participations); one Research Creative Works award; won one competition in interactive storytelling; eleven research programs & workshops (organized: “Architecture & Technology: Conditions & Limits of the Metaphor,” “Code AB-USE in architectural design,” “Unbuilt,” “Surface: Digital Materiality & the New Relation between Depth and Surface – EAAE Architectural Theory Group) eleven architectural exhibitions, three short film festivals.

In 2014, Yannis received the Pro Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research Creative Works. Project: "Bio-Structuralism." The Faculty Research Committee, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Australia.

In 2013, Yannis published the book “Machine and Network as Structural Models in Architecture”, Futura publications, Athens, Greece (in Greek) - ISBN: 9789609489317.

In the same year, Yannis co-edited the book "Surfact: Digital Materiality and the New Relation between Depth and Surface", futura publications, Athens, Greece - ISBN: 9782930101464.

Blog-website: www.yzarch.wordpress.com</span></p>

Research Expertise

Yannis is Senior Lecturer at School of Architecture & built Environment. In the past, he taught architecture at University of Patras (2008-20013) and at Technical University of Crete (2004-2008). He has worked as architect in USA (Amphibianarc Los Angeles, Boston) and Greece (Athens), in film post-production (SONY Imageworks, Los Angeles) and as Art Director (Games-to-each research project, MIT/Microsoft).

Yannis' research interests are oriented to theory and the elaboration of new design methods, also in view of the technological advancements and their impact in the evolution of the architectural field. His work presents an emphasis on innovation, also the implementation of digital means in the creative phases of architectural production and their integration in the design process. Yannis has published the book “Machine and Network as Structural Models in Architecture”, Futura publications, Athens, Greece (2013, ISBN: 9789609489317 - in Greek).

A recurrent topic in his work is the varying uses of technology as an asset of references aiding for the conceptualization of architectural space. References of technological origin such as machine and network as viewed as structural models of organization being transferred into space at varying scales, ranging from the house unit to the urban block, the neighborhood and the city. Such a transference is made possible with the usage of archetypical schemas, for example those being explored during late modernism. Those works have set the foundation for a complete reviewing of the design process, promoting an architecture that is socially sensitive, being also applicable to large-scale habitation, generally adaptable to varying parameters and climate-friendly.

With the introduction of computers and algorithmic methods in the design process, the endeavours of late modernism have outlined to a large extent the scope of research over the past two decades. In respect, Yannis' later research focus has been on the development of abstract schemas with the aid of digital tools, specifically in regards to parametric computation, scripting and dynamic manipulation of structure and form. Design would reflect the idea that space holds information being codified and retrievable at the same time, so as to envision an architecture that is responsive to any kind of data according to each time’s set priorities. The result has often been the coining of new design methods even more sophisticated schemas also in relation to new techniques.

The above research work has been the source of reference for awards and several papers that Yannis has written, published and presented in conferences, research groups and articles. Topics pertain to architectural design, theory and computation, also to the influences of new media in architecture and art. Related ideas are tested regularly in workshops and courses such as "AB-USE Computation" workshop series held in conferences and meetings at the universities of Prague, Porto and Patras and also presented in conferences worldwide.

Architectural design is neither a pure form-finding process, nor the definition of a set of theoretical issues automatically translated to make a project. Creativity as innovation rather emerges through meticulous research, shifting across different platforms following interpretive patterns of behaviour. The means of production ought to be examined as "tools for thought" in the reshaping of the design process. Architectural making requires synergy among the novelties of the computer with the analogue processes attributed to the drawing table and the broader theory that substantiates architecture as a field of knowledge, somewhere between technology, art and media, with a special focus on issues described by the social sciences. Along with the extended framework of knowledge and technical skills required for constant advancement, it is imperative to maintain a critical stance in view of the new possibilities, being tested as they are put to

Teaching Expertise

With teaching, Yannis pays special effort to convey an experimental approach to his students about design, aiming at combining the resources of technology with those of theory for design purposes. Over the past years, he has been teaching various courses in Architectural Design Studio, Digital Technologies and Theory of Architecture. his involvement includes class coordination and preparation of team of tutors, Design Studio and Research & Design Thesis supervision for architectural degree requirements. The aim is that over the course of studying, the students acquire expertise in design conceptualization with the innovative use of advanced methods fostering experimentation.

Special emphasis is given on updated definitions of design problems related to urban development and sustainability, then the response to such issues with the manipulation of structures by devising processes related to the computer such as parametric methods, scripting, fabrication and the adaptation of the available tools in the different phases of production. Furthermore, Yannis' academic agenda is geared on a critical approach of works from the Sixties and on, then it expands towards the integration of the computer directed to design innovation, also in view of emerging theories about architectural design. The goal is to bring together theory and computation as a core teaching subject from a research viewpoint and to examine new design strategies also under the scrutiny of digital methods, processes and tools, being applicable in projects of varying scales, contexts and themes.

Administrative Expertise

Since 2004, when he was first elected as Assistant Professor in the academia, Yannis has regularly participated as Faculty Member at the meetings and he has carried through several assignments concerning the operation of the school. From 2004 to 2008 he had the unique experience and the honour to be Member of the Committee for the newfound School of Architecture at the Technical University of Crete, which accepted its first students in 2004. From that position, as he was also the first Faculty Member to be elected in that school, Yannis gained invaluable knowledge in the structuring of the academic program, the definition of content about the courses, also the development of the library, the studios and the computer lab.

From 2008 to 2013, Yannis was elected as Assistant Professor at the University of Patras. His responsibilities included the revision of the academic curriculum, the development of the online student enrolment and grading system and the upgrading of the computer lab. Additionally, he actively contributed in many decision-making processes concerning administration issues. He was member of the team for the preparations, the reports and the meetings for the assessment of the school, the assignment of the courses to instructors, the interviewing of applicants, also the just distribution of funding and scholarships. Overall, from 2004 to 2013, Yannis participated in university committees regularly, also as a voting member regarding elections for Assistant Professors, Lecturers, Adjunct Professors and Scientific Staff of the two schools he worked.

In 2013, Yannis joined the School of Architecture and & Built Environment. A special focus is already given in the organization of 4rth-year masters' design studio, also in the continuation of research along with the research done by other members of the school.


His research interests include architectural design methodology, theory and practice. He focuces on the integration of digital means of creativity in the design process, along with the analogue ones.


  • PhD (Architecture), National Technical University of Athens - Greece
  • Professional Diploma in Architectural Engineering, National Technical University of Athens - Greece
  • Master of Architecture, University of California - Los Angeles - USA
  • Master of Science (Comparative Media Studies), Massachusetts Institute of Technology - USA


  • Archetypical Systems
  • Architectural Design
  • Design & Computation
  • Design Methodology
  • Design Theory
  • MEL Scripting
  • Research
  • Systemic Approaches


  • English (Fluent)
  • Greek (Fluent)

Fields of Research

120101Architectural Design40
120103Architectural History and Theory40
200104Media Studies20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/07/2014 - Senior LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Architecture and Built Environment

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/09/2008 - 1/06/2013Assistant ProfessorSchool of Architecture, University of Patras
Engineering and Built Environments
1/09/2004 - 1/08/2008Assistant ProfessorSchool of Architecture, Technical University of Crete
Academic Division


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Book (2 outputs)

2013Patsavos N, Zavoleas Y, Surface: Digital Materiality and the New Relation between Depth and Surface, EAAE, Athens, 305 (2013) [A3]
2013Zavoleas Y, Machine and Network as Structural Models in Architecture, Futura, Athens, Greece, 351 (2013) [A1]

Chapter (10 outputs)

2015Zavoleas Y, 'Perception Beyond Materiality; or, a Transcendental Glimpse of Architectural Space', Perception in Architecture: Here and Now, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Lady Stephenson Library, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2PA, UK 196-206 (2015)
2014Zavoleas Y, Tournikiotis P, 'Archetypes in-Formation. Strategies of Transition in Architecture and Urban Design', Cities in Transformation Research & Design. Ideas, Methods, Techniques, Tools, Case Studies, Il Poligrafo, Padova Italy 1411-1417 (2014) [B1]
2013Patsavos N, Zavoleas Y, 'Intro: Implications of the Digital in the Anatomy of the Surface', Surface: Digital Materiality and the New Relation between Depth and Surface, Futura / EAAE, Athens Greece / Brussels Belgium 11-32 (2013) [B1]
2013Zavoleas Y, Patsavos N, 'Digit Mat(t)ers: Processes of Normalization in Architectural Design', Surface: Materiality and the New Relation between Depth and Surface, Futura / EAAE, Athens Greece / Brussels Belgium 221-229 (2013) [B1]
2012Zavoleas Y, 'House-as-Machine: the Influences of Technology during early Modernism', Rethinking the Human in Technology-Driven Architecture, EAAE/ENHSA, Thessaloniki, Greece 381-394 (2012) [B2]
2012Zavoleas Y, 'Computational Experimentation and Design Research. Two Case Studies in Architectural Education', Scaleless-Seamless. Performing a Less Fragmented Architectural Education and Practice, EAAE/ENHSA, Thessaloniki & Munster, Greece & Germany 265-278 (2012) [B2]
2007Zavoleas Y, 'Behind the Glass: Transforming the Ordinary to an ¿Object of Desire', Transparency & Architecture, Ziti, Salonika 385-392 (2007)
2007Zavoleas Y, 'Real Space, Digital Perception: Formation of Spatial Experience beyond Materiality', Architectural Design & Digital Technologies 2, Ekkremes, Salonika 71-76 (2007)
2006Zavoleas Y, 'Discourse of the Method of a Built Event: A Semantic Understanding of the Architectural Problem', Built Event Workshops, Center of Mediterranean Architecture, Chania, Crete, Greece 18-23 (2006)
1998Zavoleas Y, Farantouri A, 'Towards an Aesthetics of the Ugly', Aesthetics/Absence, Futura, Athens, Greece 50-57 (1998)
Show 7 more chapters

Journal article (6 outputs)

2009Zavoleas Y, 'Fountain Mediated: Marcel Duchamp's Artwork and Its Adapting Material Content', The International Journal for the Arts in Society, 3 77-86 (2009) [C1]
2009Zavoleas Y, 'The Abolishment of the Drawing Scale in Contemporary Architectural Practice. Zoom in/out', Architectural Issues, 40 56-59 (2009)
2009Zavoleas Y, 'From the Room to the City: Archetypes of Integral Spatial Organization', Architektones, 42-45 (2009)
2006Zavoleas Y, Fernandez J, Kallipoliti L, Tsamis A, Sinisterra A, 'Fecund City-scapes: Ephemeral Structures for the Athens Olympics 2004', Thresholds, 31 40-43 (2006)
2006Zavoleas Y, 'Integrating new media into spatial perception: A layered structure of representation', IET Conference Publications, 345-350 (2006)

The paper explores the adaptation of the self into space with new media technologies. Adaptation in the urban milieu happens as a special kind of information transference of social values, reforming new representational aesthetic standards. Representation may be explained as a sequence of layers applied upon the body. The first layer of representation is the skin, whereas dress is next. Moving out from the body towards space, the wall "dresses" space and is also the primary element of spatial definition. With the new technological devices, the wall may be seen as a "screen interface" between space and the self and an active membrane of communication between them.

2003Zavoleas Y, 'New Media and Representation in Space', Architektones, MediaLand-Disneyland 52-55 (2003)
Show 3 more journal articles

Conference (7 outputs)

2014Zavoleas Y, 'Computational thinking with analogue and digital means', Rethinking Comprehensive Design: Speculative Counterculture - Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, CAADRIA 2014, Kyoto, Japan (2014) [E1]
2014Zavoleas Y, 'The Nature of Architecture', 2nd International Conference of Biodigital Architecture & Genetics, Escola Tècnica Superior d¿Arquitectura (ESARQ), Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) (2014) [E1]
2012Zavoleas Y, Symeonidou I, Stroumpakos V, Zisimopoulos D, 'Code AB-USE in Architecture. Topological Experimentations with Computational Methods', Geometry: from Science to Practice, Piraeus, Greece (2012) [E1]
2010Zavoleas Y, 'Layering as a Systematic Approach to Spatial Order', Proceedings of Four EAAE-ENHSA Subnetwork Workshops on Architectural Theory, Fribourg, Switzerland (2010) [E1]
2009Zavoleas Y, 'In the Fringe of Athens Charter. Interpretive Escaping from an Expected Dead-End', 2nd Hellenic Conference of Urbanism and Urban Planning, University of Thessaly, Volos (2009)
2008Zavoleas Y, 'Diagram/Program/Schema: The Diagram as a Vehicle of Transposition in the Quest of Architectural Form', EAAE | ARCC conference, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen (2008) [E1]
2006Zavoleas Y, 'Integrating New Media into Spatial Perception: A Layered Structure of Representation,', Intelligent Environments, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (2006)
Show 4 more conferences

Creative Work (6 outputs)

2013Zavoleas I, Nested Living Rooms, Housing Complex, Moscow, Russia, Greece, Athens, Greece (2013) [J2]
2013Zavoleas I, Nested Living Rooms, Housing Complex, Moscow, Russia, Greece, Athens, Greece (2013) [J2]
2013Zavoleas I, Nested Living Rooms - Moscow, Russia, 7th Pan-Hellenic Architecture Exhibition Patras, Greece (2013) [J2]
2013Zavoleas I, Nested Living Rooms - Moscow, Russia, 7th Pan-Hellenic Architecture Exhibition Patras, Greece (2013) [J2]
2013Zavoleas I, Nested Living Rooms, Moscow - RU, Athens, Greece (2013) [J2]
2013Zavoleas I, Nested Living Rooms, Moscow - RU, Athens, Greece (2013) [J2]
Show 3 more creative works

Grants and Funding


Number of grants2
Total funding$4,200

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20142 grants / $4,200

New Staff Grant$3,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project TeamDoctor Yannis Zavoleas
SchemeNew Staff Grant
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
Type Of FundingInternal

CAADRIA 2014, Rethinking Comprehensive Design, Kyoto, Japan, 14 - 17 May 2014$1,200

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project TeamDoctor Yannis Zavoleas
SchemeTravel Grant
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
Type Of FundingInternal

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015Augmented Urbanism: Diagramming the Conceptual Prototype of the Analogue - Digital Interface in Urban Thinking
Architecture, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Dr Yannis Zavoleas


Senior Lecturer
School of Architecture and Built Environment
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Focus area


Contact Details

Phone(02) 4921 6670