From October 27 to 29, the University of Pennsylvania hosted its annual ACADIA Conference. This year's conference theme, Hybrids & Haecceities, sought "novel approaches to design and research that dissolve binary conditions and inherent hierarchies in order to embrace new modes of practice."
Founded in 1981 by pioneers of the design computation field (such as Bill Mitchell, Chuck Eastman, and Chris Yessios), ACADIA has created an extensive community of students, academics, and practitioners who attend the annual event. Conferences "bring together the top experts in the field of design computing for peer-reviewed presentations of papers, projects, and special exhibitions. In addition, workshops related to various innovative design softwares and techniques are held prior to the annual conference."
Since 1998, the organization has celebrated individuals and their contributions to design computation through awards, grants, and scholarships through ACADIA Awards of Excellence. View this year's awardees below.
ACADIA Design Excellence Award - Eric Höweler and J. Meejin Yoon of Höweler + Yoon
Award details: The ACADIA Design Excellence Award is given by ACADIA’s Board of Directors to exceptional architects, designers, and researchers who have made significant, innovative, and impactful contributions to the fields of architecture and computational design.
"Höweler + Yoon is a design-driven architecture practice and creative studio that believes design is an instrument for imagining and implementing change – social, cultural, technological, and environmental. Over the last 18 years, Höweler + Yoon has built a reputation for work that is formally and technologically innovative, socially engaged, and conceptually rigorous. Höweler + Yoon has done unprecedented work in atypical fields: interactive landscapes, submersible structures, stone vaulting, and media projects. Their projects ask how design fits within contemporary culture, how it can affect behavioral and social norms, and how it can produce a sense of place or create environmental awareness." Read more here.
ACADIA Society Award for Leadership - Jason Kelly Johnson
Award details: This award recognizes extraordinary contributions and service to the ACADIA community.
"Jason Kelly Johnson is a California-based artist, designer, and professor of architecture. Jason served as the chair of the 2012 ACADIA conference 'Synthetic Digital Ecologies.' He then served as a member of the ACADIA Board of Directors from 2013-20, serving as President in 2016 and 2017. Jason has produced a range of award-winning projects exploring the intersections of art and design with public space, advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, and computation." Read more here.
ACADIA Teaching Award of Excellence - Rajaa Issa
Award details: This award recognizes innovative teaching in the field of digital design in architecture. Teaching approaches that can be adopted by other educators are recognized in particular.
"Rajaa Issa is a developer, researcher and educator in the field of computational design in architecture. As a Software Developer at Robert McNeel & Associates, she builds solid modeling and surface editing tools to support the architectural design and fabrication processes. She is the developer of PanelingTools, one of the earliest tools for concept paneling and complex surface rationalization." Read more here.
ACADIA Innovative Research Award of Excellence - Felicia Ann Davis
Award Details: This award recognizes innovative research that contributes to the field of digital design in architecture. The award distinguishes research with the potential to transform contemporary architecture.
"Felecia Davis’ work in computational textiles questions how we live and she re-imagines how we might use textiles in our daily lives and in architecture. Davis is interested in developing computational methods and design in relation to specific bodies in specific places engaging specific social, cultural and political constructions. Davis is an Associate Professor at the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing in the School of Architecture at Pennsylvania State University and is the director of SOFTLAB@PSU. She completed her PhD in Design Computation at MIT. Davis’ work in architecture connects art, science, engineering and design and was featured by PBS in the Women in Science Profiles series." Read more here.
Learn more about ACADIA and this year's conference here.
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