ACADIA Reports Progress in Research and Education
by B.J. Novitski
Every October, a small but intrepid group meets at a North American university and peeks into the future of computer-aided design. They can see this future because some of them are inventing it.
This is ACADIA, the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture. It is an organization, now over 20 years old, of university professors who teach and study information technology in architecture schools. Their interests range from helping students apply digital media to their design studio projects to researching algorithms that enable computers to assume some of those design tasks.
The annual ACADIA conference brings together these diverse teachers and researchers for mutual support, education, and inspiration. The October event is also an opportunity to showcase award-winning student projects, some of which are shown here.
ACADIA president Mark J. Clayton, of Texas A&M University, agrees that the annual conferences provide a forum at which the techniques of the future are first presented. "This year's conference was no exception," he says, "as it included presentations on genetic algorithms for design generation, modeling movable architecture, and guiding the industry toward e-commerce."
He adds: "Past conferences have foreshadowed photorealistic imaging, object-oriented CAD, automated production of construction documents, hypertext, CAD-CAM, and digital telecommunications. Only now have these become hot topics in the architectural press and among industry leaders, many years after they were first presented at ACADIA."
A floating oceanic research facility won first place in the in the architectural design category in the eighth annual Joint Study Awards
Image: Daniel Barney
Stills from an animation, created at Mississippi State University, showing an individual's reach capabilities.
Image: John Jay Miller, Weidong Wang, and Gavin Jenkins
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