DESIGN AGENCY will bring together the spectrum of research and creative practice currently occurring within the ACADIA community through the combined support of the research networks of the University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles and Southern California Institute of Architecture. 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.

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.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA October 20-25, 2014
University of Southern California

Submissions are invited for the 2014 ACADIA 'DESIGN AGENCY' conference at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California on October 20-25, 2014. Architects, designers, fabricators, engineers, media artists, technologists, software developers, hackers, researchers, students and educators and others in related fields of inquiry are invited to submit proposals.

The conference theme is intended to highlight experimental research and projects that exhibit and explore new paradigms of computing in architecture. The theme is 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.

With Los Angeles as the 2014 host location, the conference will draw not only upon the region's legacy of architectural experimentation, but also its history of innovation and pioneering in the media arts and engineering. The theme speaks to a purposeful inclusion of both academic and practice based research and designers but also seeks to be inclusive of researchers working at the intersections of computer science, engineering, synthetic biology, gaming, cinema, interaction design, product design, and behavioral sciences.

The conference will highlight the distributed influence of design decisions in a much larger milieu of data. Today, materials, manufacturing, social behavior, economics, define vast data-sets that can informed the design process. Such driving vectors of non-human agents within the design environment suggest an architecture that is enabled by interdisciplinary collaboration and data mining skills, an architecture that is able to define convergences and embody architectural outputs that potentially lay beyond the conventional building. Of particular interest to our call are researchers and practitioners that re-define the notion of agency in architecture, urban design, and design and computation. Intentionally the use of agency is inclusive of discussions of novel design organizations, of novel approaches to artificial intelligence in physical and virtual settings, and of an in depth look at agent based design and emergence and the new found opportunities for design through the coupling of design with these computational paradigms.

Design Agency will focus on the computational design of work that redefines itself through the new paradigms of cloud, big data, global project delivery, and new forms of collective intelligence in design, architecture, urbanism, fabrication and media arts. Research papers and exhibition submissions are invited across the range of topic areas that include the following but not limited to:


  • Multi Agent Systems in Design
  • Robotics and Autonomous Design Systems
  • Interactive Architecture
  • Big Data, Gaming and Social Design
  • Human Building Interaction
  • Intelligent Environments
  • Situated Technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence in Design
  • Craft in a Digital Age
  • Material Agency
  • Internet of Things
  • Human-Computer Symbiosis
  • Simulation + Intuition
  • Design Decision Making
  • Collective Intelligence in Design
  • Open Source in Design
  • Biomimicry and Biological Models in Design
  • Interactive Systems
  • Generative Design
  • Material Logics and Tectonics
  • Building Information Modeling
  • Performance in Design
  • Multidisciplinary Design Optimization
  • Computational design research and education
  • Computational design analysis
  • Generative, parametric and evolutionary design
  • Digital fabrication and construction
  • Collaborative and collective design
  • User participation in design
  • Shape studies
  • Design Computing and Cognition
  • New digital design concepts and strategies
  • Virtual/augmented reality and interactive environments
  • Virtual architecture and city modeling
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Ubiquitous and mobile computing
  • Practice-based and interdisciplinary computational design research
  • Theory, philosophy and methodology of computational design research
  • Works in Progress

Advanced computational design methods, building information modeling, and digital fabrication workshops will precede the conference event. Full research papers, short work-in-progress papers, and juried design and research posters will be presented. Work-in-progress presentations will be enriched by mentoring and structured feedback. Student submissions are especially encouraged, supported by an award program and travel and accommodation subsidies. The event will be enriched by curated projects including publications on emerging teaching models for complex systems and adaptive architecture, exhibition of architectural prototypes, and installations by visiting student teams.