ACADIA 2008: Silicon + Skin

The Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) holds its annual conference, entitled Silicon + Skin: Biological Processes and Computation, at the College of Design's School of Architecture. Marc Swackhamer (Architecture) is the site chair for the event taking place on Friday October 17, 8-10 p.m. in the Rapson Hall courtyard. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference examines the impact of biological processes in nature on sustainable design. Architects are fond of saying that shape is cheaper than material. Biological systems in nature put little emphasis on form or expensive materials. These biological systems have only a few chemical substances (materials) and necessarily focus on efficient building processes such as self organization in a bottom-up manner. As a result, the field of biomemetics appears to hold fascinating promise for the design disciplines in general and architecture in particular.

Blaine Brownell (Architecture) is one of the event's featured speakers.

The content of the conference focuses on the relationship between biology and computing and presents a unique opportunity for students and faculty "to be at the center of a critical conversation regarding the direction of digital production" in architecture, according to Swackhamer.

"This year, ACADIA will be among the highest attended in the organization's nearly 30 year history," said Swackhamer. "There are an unprecedented six keynote speakers, five technical and thematic workshops, 10 paper sessions, an exhibition of peer-reviewed projects, and a traveling exhibition entitled Anxious Climate featuring the work of Francois Roche, AMID/cero9, and Philippe Rahm."