Pay Attention, Folks: The ACADIA Digital Tribe Is Going To Change The World
October 24, 2012
Unnatural Materials by Rael San Fratello. Details of a 3d printed model comprised of wood particles.
Techies beware or be-aware! The annual ACADIA conference rolled through San Francisco last weekend, and if you weren’t there, you missed a mind-blowing event. Held at California College of the Arts, which acted as the host academic institution that planned and organized the conference and related events, and chaired by Jason Kelly Johnson of Future Cities Lab, who along with technical co-chairs Kyle Steinfeld of UC Berkeley and Mark Cabrinha of Cal Poly, convened this spectacular conference that drew over 200 architects, fabricators, engineers, media artists, technologists, and hackers (loads of A+ Award contenders!). This collection of innovators convened to geek out over digital design via lectures, workshops, and a inspiring exhibition. Unfamiliar with ACADIA? It’s an international organization focused on exploring and advancing the use of computers in architecture and planning. We have a hunch that these people are gunning for world domination. Read more!
The conference, dubbed “Synthetic Digital Ecologies” and held October 18-21, kicked off with a series of conversations on Thursday, topped off by a keynote speech by Greg Lynn. The event ramped up to full speed Friday night for the opening of the exhibition “Wild Cards,” which examines materiality, regarded as an outlier and area of unknown possibilities within digital design. The show features 32 peer-reviewed projects; categories included casts, geometries, aggregates, machines, and patterns. As you can see from the photos, there was some mind blowing work on view.
“Wild Cards” exhibition
Price Studio‘s Maribor Art Star
ACADIA conference attendees
Faulders Studio‘s entrium
Co-curated by Nataly Gattegno of Future Cities Lab and Brian Price of Price Studio, the “Wild Cards” exhibition funneled the ACADIA conference energy through a series of themed rooms where the exhibitor’s work was displayed on a cloth “board” draped over a flowing wood structure. This set-up allowed visitors to meander amongst dozens of fascinating diagrams, renderings, and models. It was thrilling to see material explorations in the digital sphere come to life as three-dimensional objects.
Rael San Fratello mutant bench
Unnatural Materials by Rael San Fratello: details of a 3d printed model comprised of recycled paper fibers.
Unnatural Materials models by Rael San Fratello
The work of Rael San Fratello and their new company Emerging Objects was a standout. Rael San Fratello use 3D printers to create objects made out of wood, concrete, acrylic, paper, salt, and nylon. Viewers were encouraged to touch and even sit on their miraculous creations.
“Wild Cards” exhibition
Cast Thicket by Christine Yogiaman, Ken Tracy
The exhibition also featured second-round finalists in “APPLIED Research Through Fabrication,” an international competition organized by the TEX-FAB Digital Fabrication Alliance. The competition entrants are assessed based on their potential realization, intent, and strength. The jury panel comprises Gil Akos and Ronnie Parsons from Studio Mode, Billie Faircloth from Kieran Timberlake, Jonathan Mallie from SHoP, and Jason Vollen from C.A.S.E. The work on display at the ACADIA conference drew an immense amount of interest and conversation.
Latent Methods by Eli Allen
Spin Valence by Emily Baker
FAB POD by Jane Burry, Nicholas Williams
5-axis robot from Sci-Arc, quite adroit at spraypainting
The conference came to a close on Sunday with a series of workshops and the final keynote lecture by Manuel De Landa, a leading science philosopher. Special thanks were reserved for both Jason Kelly Johnson, who organized this dynamic and inspiring conference, and for the amazing location, inside the vaulted space of California College of the Arts Nave generously provided by Ila Berman, the Director of the Architecture department. No doubt, conference attendees left brimming with inspiration; we’re sure they’re all back at their computers as we speak, dreaming up our future world. Stay tuned for the location and dates of the 2013 conference. And for more info on this year’s event, click here.