2013 Conference




ACADIA was formed for the purpose of facilitating communication and critical thinking regarding the use of computers in architecture, planning, and building science. The organization is committed to the research and development of computational methods that enhance design creativity, and that aim at contributing to the construction of humane physical environments. A particular focus is education and the software, hardware and pedagogy involved in education. Visit the main ACADIA website for more information.

Media Downloads

Emailable Announcement:
ACADIA 2013 postcard

Printable Poster:
ACADIA 2013 brochure

2013 ACADIA Focus

Adaptation is a quality of living systems. Adaptation can include evolution in response to new conditions, and it can also involve resistance to change. How might we more precisely simulate, visualize and represent the dynamics of open systems? What are useful models for emulating living systems and ecologies? The contemporary information environment of distributed and mobile computing provides opportunities to develop new and subtle relationships between people and the built environment. How might architecture better anticipate and adapt to user and social needs? These emerging ecologies increase architecture's capacity to be more responsive to its inhabitants as well as the natural environment. How might passive, low energy systems offer alternatives to power consuming responsive systems? What tools, materials and assemblies might we use in designing for adaptation? What new industrial and manufacturing possibilities might emerge?

Adaptive Architecture will focus on the computational design of environmentally responsive, intelligent, interactive, and reconfigurable architecture. Research papers and exhibition submissions are invited across a range of topic areas that include distributed interactive systems, complex and generative systems, standards of passive and active design, and performance implications of sustainable architecture.

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.

The ACADIA event builds on the first Adaptive Architecture Conference held at the Building Centre, London, Spring 2011. 2013 Co-Chairs are Philip Beesley (University of Waterloo), Omar Khan (University at Buffalo, SUNY) and Michael Stacey (University of Nottingham).

For more information please e-mail:

Who Can Participate

Specialized researchers, practitioners, students, and members of the public interested in the computational design of architecture are welcome to participate. In addition to architecture and urban design, the gathering will be of general interest to the disciplines of science and art, engineering and design.

ACADIA 2013 Topics

Research presentations will focus on the role of computation in architecture, planning, and building science, and that pursue innovation in design creativity, sustainability, and education. Paper submissions can include the following topics:


  • Simulation, collaboration and generative tools
  • Human/Computer Interfaces


  • Responsive environments; distributed controls, sensing, actuation and feedback
  • Digital fabrication and robotic craft
  • Hybrid structural systems
  • Synthetic construction: composite materials, smart assemblies, material analysis


  • Complex systems in design; emergent and self-organizing systems
  • Environmental adaptation, passive systems
  • Energy and performance modeling, structural analysis


  • Participatory design
  • Social media and gaming


  • Social and cultural implications of computation and cybernetics
  • Contemporary and historical approaches to adaptation


  • Computational design methodology
  • Curriculum models


Conference Chairs
Philip Beesley, Professor
University of Waterloo, Philip Beesley Architect Inc. (link)

Omar Khan, Associate Professor and Chair
University at Buffalo, SUNY, Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies (link)

Michael Stacey, Chair in Architecture and Director of Architecture
University of Nottingham (link)

Unconventional Computing: Design Methods for Adaptive Architecture
Rachel Armstrong
Simone Ferracina
Jim McClelland

Waterloo Coordination
Sue Balint
Jonathan Gotfryd
Connor O'Grady
Sheida Shahi
May Wu
Elisabeth van Overbeeke
Mingyi Zhou
Floating Tree, Kristie Taylor-Muise - Web Design

Buffalo Coordination
Albis Del Barrio Batista
Michael Lempert

Prototyping Architecture Publication and Exhibition
Laura Gaskell
Jenny Grewcock
Alex Lazarou
Ben Stanforth

Publications Editing
Elizabeth Antczak
Petra Bogias
Jessica Craig
Claire Crighton
Maighdlyn Hadley
Miriam Ho
Andrea Hunniford
Magda Milosz
Amrit Phull
Iggy So
Miriam Wierzchoslawska

Publications Production
Amal Dirie
Lisa Huang
Faisal Kubba
Sean Yang

Peer Review Board
Sean Ahlquist
University of Michigan

Chandler Ahrens
Washington University

Philip Beesley
University of Waterloo

Brad Bell
University of Texas Arlington

David Benjamin
The Living

Chris Beorkrem
University of North Caroline Charlotte

Adrian Blackwell
University of Waterloo

Anne Bordeleau
University of Waterloo

Gail Borden
University of Southern California, School of Architecture; Borden Partnership

Nicholas Bruscia
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Mark Cabrinha
California Polytechnic State University, Architecture

Bradley Cantrell
LSU School of Landscape Architecture

David Celento

Nancy Cheng
University of Oregon

John Chilton
University of Nottingham

Mike Christenson
North Dakota State University

Dana Cupkova
Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture

Susannah Dickinson
University of Arizona

Tomás Dorta
Université de Montréal, School of Industrial Design

Nick Dunn
University of Manchester, School of Architecture

Jefferson Ellinger
University of North Caroline Charlotte

Elizabeth English
University of Waterloo

Michael Fox
California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Stephen Gage
The Bartlett - University College London

Laura Garofalo
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Jordan Geiger
University at Buffalo, SUNY

David Gerber
University of Southern California

Ruairi Glynn
The Bartlett - University College London

Marcelyn Gow
Southern California Institute of Architecture

Fabio Gramazio
ETH Zurich

Maria Paz Gutierrez
University of California Berkeley

Jonathan Hale
University of Nottingham

Timothy Hemsath
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Joyce Hwang
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Maciej Kaczynski
University of Michigan

Karen Kensek
University of Southern California

Omar Khan
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Axel Kilian
Princeton University

Kevin Klinger
Ball State University

Branko Kolarevic
University of Calgary

Robert Krawczyk
Illinois Institute of Technology, Architecture

Andrew Kudless
California College of the Arts

Brian Lilley
Dalhousie University

Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa
The Cooper Union

Gregory Luhan
University of Kentucky

Steven Mankouche
University of Michigan

Scott Marble
Columbia University, GSAPP

Adam Marcus
University of Minnesota, School of Architecture

Wes Mcgee
University of Michigan

Achim Menges
University of Stuttgart, Institute for Computational Design

Volker Mueller
Bentley Systems

Terri Meyer Boake
University of Waterloo

Oliver Neumann
University of British Columbia, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Chantelle Niblock
University of Nottingham

Kat Park

Vera Parlac
University of Calgary

Andrew Payne
Harvard University

David Pigram
University of Technology, Sydney

Georg Rafailidis
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Dereck Revington
University of Waterloo

Michael Rogers
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Christopher Romano
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Val Rynnimeri
University of Waterloo

Jenny Sabin
Cornell University

Axel Schmitzberger
California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Holger Schnädelbach
University of Nottingham

Bob Sheil
The Bartlett - University College London

Lola Sheppard
University of Waterloo

Michael Silver
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Ryszard Sliwka
University of Waterloo

Jin Young Song
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Aaron Sprecher
McGill University

Michael Stacey
University of Nottingham

Tristan Sterk
The Office for Robotic Architectural Media; Bureau for Responsive Architecture

Martin Tamke
Center for Information Technology and Architecture

Aron Temkin
Norwich University

Peter Testa
Southern California Institute of Architecture

Geoffrey Thun
University of Michigan

Skylar Tibbits
Self-Assembly Lab

Therese Tierney
University of Illinois

Robert Jan van Pelt
University of Waterloo

Kathy Velikov
University of Michigan; RVTR

Tom Verebes
The University of Hong Kong

Joshua Vermillion
Ball State University

Andrew Vrana
University of Houston; TEX-FAB

Glenn Wilcox
University of Michigan

Michael Williams
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Robert Woodbury
Simon Fraser University

Wei Yan
Texas A&M University

Peter Yeadon
Rhode Island School of Design

Shai Yeshayahu
Southern Illinois University Carbondale