ACADIA 2014 Design Agency

ACADIA 2014 Design Agency

October 23, 2014

USC School of Architecture


ACADIA (Association of Computer Aided Design in Architecture) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the ACADIA 2014 Design Agency Conference to be held at the USC School of Architecture in Los Angeles the week of October 23-25, 2014. Co-chaired by Dr. David Jason Gerber (USC School of Architecture), Alvin Huang, AIA (Synthesis Design + Architecture/USC School of Architecture) and Jose Sanchez (Plethora Project/USC School of Architecture), this highly anticipated event will bring an international audience of innovative design educators, researchers, and practitioners together for a week of design focused workshops, lectures, panels, presentations, and exhibitions that will push the boundaries of contemporary design technology and define new paradigms for design thinking. 


The theme of the event is “Design Agency”, a purposeful instigation of work that looks at re-defining the term "Agency" through the lens of computational design strategies such as simulation, fabrication, robotics, and novel integrations from science and the media arts. The conference theme is intended to highlight experimental research and projects that exhibit and explore new paradigms of computing in architecture. “Design Agency” questions the capacity for computation to inform or challenge traditional design processes; computation as design operation - the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power, and/or computation as design instrumentality - the design mechanism through which power is exerted or an end is achieved.


Conference (October 23-25):

Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid headlines an all-star lineup of keynote speakers pushing the boundaries of design including programmer Casey Reas (creator of Processing), game designer Will Wright (creator of SimCity), computational architect Marc Fornes (Principal of TheVeryMany, and structural engineer Greg Otto (Principal of Walter P. Moore).  Additionally, the conference will featured 3 days of presentations of peer-reviewed papers and projects from a global community of  Architects, designers, fabricators, engineers, media artists, technologists, software developers, hackers, researchers, students and educators and others in related fields of inquiry.


Additional conference highlights include a panel discussion hosted by the American Institute of Architects TAP (Technology in Architectural Practice), the book launch of “Paradigms in Computing” edited by Dr. David J. Gerber and Mariana Ibanez, and the annual ACADIA Awards of Excellence.  This years awardees are:


2014 ACADIA Lifetime Achievement Award

Zaha Hadid


Zaha Hadid Architects


2014 ACADIA Innovative Research Award of Excellence

Martin Bechthold, Director

Harvard Graduate School of Design - Technology Platform


2014 ACADIA Award of Teaching Excellence

Neil Gershenfeld, Director

MIT – Center for Bits and Atoms


2014 ACADIA Digital Practice Award of Excellence

Jenny Sabin, Assistant Professor

Cornell University

College of Architecture, Art, and Planning


2014 ACADIA Innovative Academic Program Award of Excellence

Scott R. Marble, Director of Integrated Design

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Columbia University


2014 ACADIA Society Award of Excellence

Nancy Yen-wen Cheng, Associate Professor

Department of Architecture

University of Oregon


For additional information about the conference and to register, visit

Please direct all enquiries to:


Workshops (October 20-22):

In the three days leading up to the conference, ACADIA will host a series of 10 design workshops exploring various computational design processes.  Each workshop is led by a leading innovator in the design industry who will share their tricks of the trade.  Limited seats are available.  Workshops are being led by Marc Fornes (TheVeryMany), Roland Snooks (Kokkugia), Daniel Piker (Kangaroo 3D), Nathan Miller (Case Inc.), Andrew Heumann (NBBJ), Sigrid Brell-Cokcran & Johannes Braumann (Robots in Architecture), Shajay Bhooshan, Vishu Bhooshan & Mostafa El Sayed (ZHA CODE), Shane Burger, Tom Withers & Peter Van Hage (Woods Bagot), Sebastian Claussnitzer, Neil Katz, Matthew Shaxted, Sejung Kat Park, Robert Yori (SOM), and AutoDesk.

For additional information about the workshops and to register -

Please direct all enquiries to:


Hack-a-thon (October 26):

The closing event of ACADIA 2014 will be a unique social experiment that will encourage every participant of the conference, to open their laptops and share, co-work and enjoy an exciting 1 day event hosted by the Annenberg Innovation Lab and powered by Unity3D. The event will host 20 design agency 'champions' around which teams will form to explore different workflows. The participants will be invited to join any of the groups or wander around absorbing the amazing range of design techniques of our skilled participants. The Hackathon celebrates a culture of making and sharing and while we will give prizes to the best outputs at the end of the day, every participant will gain an insight from how designers behind key practices and institutions work. The event invites all design disciplines to work together under one roof, with a special guest, Charlie Roberts who will act as our resident LIVE CODING DJ for the event. The event will be free to all ACADIA 2014 Ticket holders.


For additional information about the hackathon and to register, visit

Please direct all enquiries to:



ACADIA is an international network of digital design researchers and professionals. ACADIA supports critical investigations into the role of computation in architecture, planning, and building science, encouraging innovation in design creativity, sustainability, and education.


For additional information about ACADIA please visit:



ACADIA 2014 is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors:


Platinum Level - Autodesk, Kuka, USC Visions & Voices

Gold Level - NBBJ, Unity

Silver Level - Fume de Jade, Gehry Technologies, McNeel, Novedge, Stratasys, SOM, Walter P. Moore, Walt Disney Imagineering, Weidlinger, Woods Bagot, Zaha Hadid Architects

Bronze Level - Adobe, AutoDesSys, Buro Happold, Johnson Fain

Media Partners: ArchDaily, Archinect, Bustler, CG Architect, Evolo, KCRW