Last October, The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA) hosted the 2019 Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) annual conference. As ACADIA gears up for its 2020 conference hosted virtually this October, we’re looking back to last year’s conference with this short film created by the Department of Radio-Television-Film Assistant Professor of Practice Deepak Chetty with conference co-chairs and School of Architecture faculty Professors Kory Bieg, Danelle Briscoe, and Clay Odom.
The theme for the 2019 ACADIA Conference was “Ubiquity and Autonomy.” Over the course of three days, and in the interactive workshops that preceded the conference, hundreds of researchers, educators, and design professionals came together to investigate the increasingly blurred divide between analog and digital processes, and how such pervasive computational power might require new theories, modes of operation, and systems of production for architecture. The conference included keynote lectures by Thom Mayne of Morphosis, Dominque Jakob of Jakob + MacFarlane Architects, and Harlen Miller of UN Studio, and workshops were taught by leading researchers and practitioners from offices around the world, including Zaha Hadid Architects, SHoP Architects, Grimshaw, Fologram, UN Studio, HKS Line, Autodesk, and more.
As the theme was described in conference materials: We find ourselves at a moment where there is no longer a divide between analog and digital processes; the digital world is as ubiquitous and inescapable as the material. On the other hand, the discourse of architecture has been drifting toward theories and practices of a more autonomous nature. Such practices leverage access to digital tools and techniques to develop approaches that often favor articulation and separation. Furthermore, these issues have taken root in our renewed interest in aesthetics, representation, fabrication, theory, and as a pedagogical approach to design. In the process, the very nature of how technology is being used has been called into question. For ACADIA 2019 Austin we hope to debate the merits of these varied approaches.
In the nine-minute video recapping the conference below, we caught up with Dean Michelle Addington,Dominique Jakob, and Thom Mayne to get their perspective about “Ubiquity and Autonomy,” and how these new tools and ways of thinking have transformed how we practice, teach, and think about architecture and the design disciplines.