photo of a digital projects on an armature, which will be shown at acadia 2020
ACADIA 2020, launching this weekend, adapts to the social distancing moment

Since 1981, the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, or ACADIA, has held conferences at academic institutions throughout North America, bringing together a network of designers, researchers, and practitioners under a single roof. That wasn’t an option for ACADIA 2020—the 40th conference in the series—and the reality of social distancing is reflected right in

A procedurally generated neighborhood drawing
Sidewalk Labs is using machine learning to make neighborhood design smoother

Sidewalk Labs, the Alphabet subsidiary focused on urban technology, has been working on a new software tool for generating optimized city layouts. In an effort to combat the disconnect between various stakeholders in the urban planning process—architects, planners, engineers, and real estate developers—and their software, product manager Violet Whitney and designer Brian Ho have created

The Architect’s Newspaper announces the best in high-tech design

The Architect’s Newspaper has granted its 2019 Best in Design Awards to a number of standout projects, with the TWA Hotel refresh coming out on top as the Building of the Year. AN also recognized the best uses of innovative materials, digital fabrication, and other tech-forward AEC innovations this past year. In Research, LAMAS’s Delirious

A top down view of colorful metal bands forming columns and circular open roofs, designed by SOFTlab
SOFTlab used complex computation to realize a colorful Philly installation

In West Philadelphia, SOFTlab has realized a six-pillar installation called Spectral Grove. The fanning canopy was realized with the help of three custom computational solutions. Made of powder-coated aluminum, the interlocking metal fins direct light and shadow throughout the day for an animated visual effect. Getting the angles of the canopy just right proved particularly

A cellar-like room is filled with printed piles of soil.
ACADIA 2019 showcased the state of digital design

The presentations and activities at this year’s ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) conference gave attendees a glimpse of potentially disruptive technologies and workflows for computational architectural production. The conference was held this year in Austin from October 12 through 14 and was organized by The University of Texas School of Architecture faculty members Kory Bieg, Danelle Briscoe, and

An undulating green pavilion in a public square at a university, designed by Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY
MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY uses computational design to realize a breezy Texas pavilion

At Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, the New York-based MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY has constructed the Zephyr Pavilion, a flowing structure of cantilevered, aluminum forms designed through complex computational means. By modeling geometries computationally, Fornes and his studio were able to devise a method of building the pavilion that optimized material thickness and strength

Nine concrete columns are lit below in front of a mountain in a nighttime scene thanks to the team from ETH Zurich
Researchers and students at ETH Zurich print complex columns for dance festival

For the Origen Festival in Riom, Switzerland students in the Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture and Digital Fabrication program at ETH Zurich, guided by researcher Ana Anton, 3D printed nine unique, computationally-designed columns with a new layered extrusion printing process developed at the university over the past year and a half. ETH students and

An upward shot of an interlocking, biomorphic fiber structure presented at Exhibit Columbus
Exhibit Columbus’s inaugural fellow program to feature high-tech pavilions

Exhibit Columbus, the annual celebration of mid-century and contemporary design in Columbus, Indiana, will be showing off new possibilities of materials that unify support and envelope. This August,  two of the festival’s six University Design Research Fellows will present this work as part of a brand new fellowship program.  Marshall Prado, a professor at the

Photo of blue and white pavilion with pillars curving out into spheres
MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY creates cloud-like pavilion in Charlotte

At the Valerie C. Woodard Center, a community resource center in Charlotte, North Carolina, a new pavilion seems to rise right out of the earth. Called Pillars of Dreams, the continuous 26-foot-tall cloud-like structure is the creation of MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY, which is known for its complex, computationally-designed structures made of interlocking linear panels or “stripes.”

Photo of two people standing under a canopy that is billowing up over them
Designer and engineer Nassia Inglessis creates responsive canopy

Today, most people live in cities—artificial structures that determine how we move through space and relate to others and the world around us. But, all too often these cities feel fixed, designed and determined by larger powers that shape a landscape that the average denizen has little direct influence over. So what would a responsive

Close-up photo of a facade of interlocking blue-gray bricks that appear to be rotating in and out of each other
Bureau de Change unveils five-story building with undulating brick facade

London’s Fitzrovia neighborhood is a bit of an architectural collage. There are 18th- and 19th-century brick homes interspersed with 20th-century concrete housing blocks and, at its far east end, John Nash’s All Souls Church. The London firm Bureau de Change was asked to create a building sandwiched between two of the many simple brick buildings

Swiss researchers enlist the help of robots to build high-tech showhome

ETH Zürich’s high-tech showhome opened its doors this past week. The three-story DFAB HOUSE has been built on the NEST modular building platform, an Empa– and Eawag–led site of cutting-edge research and experimentation in architecture, engineering, and construction located in Dübendorf, Switzerland. The 2,150-square-foot house, a collaboration with university researchers and industry leaders, is designed

Ancient technology gets an update in sustainable cooling solution

“The way we cool our buildings right now is totally wrong,” said Indian architect Monish Siripurapu in a video produced the United Nations’ Environment program. The words are bleak, but arguably true; the electricity and hydrofluorocarbons  most modern cooling systems demand ironically warm the planet overall while they cool our conditioned spaces. On top of that, with global temperatures