Note: Keynote lectures will take place in Rapson Hall 100. Friday panel sessions will be in Rapson Hall 56; Saturday panel sessions will be in Rapson Hall 100. For directions to Rapson Hall, please see this page.


6:00pm Keynote Lecture
Diane Willow, “Fringe Dwelling: Lingering in Multimodal, Ambidextrous, and Hybrid Ways of Knowing”


9:15am Introductions
Renée Cheng & Adam Marcus
10:00am – 12:00pm Panel: Information & Industry
At a moment of crisis and uncertainty within both the construction industry and the economy at large, the role of the architect seems ever more fluid. As traditional professional and legal responsibilities are increasingly called into question, new risks and new opportunities emerge. This panel seeks to consider how the digital management of information and the emerging paradigm of “Big Data” can be employed by architects to address this volatile situation, to strengthen the profession’s position within the broader context of industry, and to reassert control over processes perhaps ceded to others. How can new technologies of representation, communication, and collaboration support new models of project delivery? How can digital tools be utilized to simulate and design broader processes beyond the scale of the building itself? How can the use of computation to visualize and map large quantities of information apply to architectural and urban design processes?

Phil Bernstein, “False Binaries: Design Versus Practice”
Dennis Shelden, “Technology, Process and Design: The Value of Architecture in 21st Century Building”
Sarah Williams, “Data for a Public Good: Towards a Practice of Critical Data Visualization”
Scott Marble, respondent

1:00pm – 3:00pm Panel: Information & Design
As information processing power continues to increase and digital modes of working proliferate in architectural practice, new possibilities for design innovation emerge. This panel will explore how digital technologies can be applied to the design process itself, affording new architectural opportunities but also demanding new skill sets. How does expertise in digital design and fabrication enable architects to expand the conventional limits of practice? How can parametric modeling tools that incorporate information directly into the design process increase architecture’s ability to satisfy ever more demanding technical and performance requirements, while also expanding its more aesthetic or qualitative capacities? How can we meld new digital techniques with more conventional (and perhaps analog) capacities that distinguish us as architects, namely the ability to think spatially, visually, organizationally, and conceptually?

Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, “Built, Unbuilt”
Nathan Miller, “Algorithms Are Thoughts: New Rules for Design Practice”
Jenny Wu, “Cumulative Processes & Intimate Understandings”
Omar Khan, respondent

3:00pm – 5:00pm Studio Visits & Faculty Discussion
6:00pm Keynote Lecture
Monica Ponce de Leon, “Digital Didactics”


9:00am – 10:45am Panel: Materiality & Fabrication
The now mainstream access to CNC technologies has contributed to a reawakening of making and craft within schools of architecture, as students now have the ability to test the material, structural, and scalar implications of digitally produced designs. This panel will look at case studies of innovative academic explorations of material and fabrication processes that are informed by new capacities of automated and robotic fabrication machinery. How can design curricula incorporate CNC methods in productive and unconventional ways that develop architectural insight and expertise relevant and scalable to transformations underway in the profession? How can schools couple these new techniques with existing pedagogical frameworks to investigate new aesthetic, formal, spatial, material, and ornamental possibilities at, or close to, 1:1 scale? What design opportunities exist at the detail scale for frontloading logics of assembly and rethinking or retooling traditional processes of construction?

Wes Mcgee, “Matter and Making”
Kelly Bair, “Material Misbehavior”
Mark Cabrinha, “Cultivating the Material Imagination in Digital Culture”

11:00am – 12:20pm Panel: Interactivity & Responsive Design
The idea of interactive environments—built form that responds to and interacts with human occupants—has long captured the architectural imagination. The availability of relatively inexpensive hardware and easily programmable software has, in recent years, made it increasingly possible to design buildings that move, operate, perform, or adapt to changing human or environmental inputs. This panel seeks to explore the potentials and implications of such responsive technologies within the context of architectural education. How can interactive technologies augment or enhance broader spatial, programmatic, or performance-driven goals as part of a larger architectural project? How can architects employ the proliferation and networked distribution of data-collection devices in designing buildings and cities?

Jason Kelly Johnson, “Live Models”
Omar Khan, “Situated Technologies: Architecture and Digital Literacy”

1:20pm – 2:45pm Panel: Ecology & Integrated Design
The notion of sustainability has gained enormous currency within contemporary architectural design—for good reason, given the built environment’s role in exacerbating global ecological crises. And yet, much of sustainable design in architecture offers a quite limited application of ecologically conscious principles, sometimes reducing the design process to a series of narrow decisions driven by formulaic checklists. This panel will consider experimental and innovative academic approaches to using digital technologies in formulating architectural responses to growing concerns of ecology and energy consumption. How can new parametric modeling and simulation tools enable us to structure an efficient yet thoughtful approach to increasingly complex environmental challenges? How can we balance a technically-driven, quantitative mindset without sacrificing the more qualitative, intangible elements of architectural design? What kinds of new collaborative models can be developed within an academic context, testing new methods of integrating expertise and addressing larger organizational conflicts within the construction industry?

Jefferson Ellinger, “Ecological Techniques”
Scott Marble, “Columbia Building Intelligence Project”

3:00pm – 4:00pm Concluding Discussion
Tom Fisher
Adam Marcus
Marc Swackhamer
Monica Ponce de Leon
Scott Marble
Omar Khan