2015 Conference


COMPUTATIONAL ECOLOGIES: Design in the Anthropocene
CINCINNATI, OHIO, US: October 19-25, 2015
University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design

** Note: The submission period is NOW CLOSED.

Submissions are invited for the 2015 ACADIA 'COMPUTATIONAL ECOLOGIES: DESIGN IN THE ANTHROPOCENE' conference at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio on October 19-24, 2015. Architects, designers, fabricators, engineers, media artists, technologists, software developers, hackers, researchers, students, educators, and others in related fields of inquiry are invited to submit proposals.

Fifteen years ago, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen announced that the world had entered a new geological age, what he termed the Anthropocene; a period characterized by the “anthropic” effects of human activity as a new geophysical force on Earth. This new age marks a fundamental shift in human-nonhuman relations, the end of one world and the beginning of another, in which human social, psychic, and philosophical space has been infiltrated by the nonhuman, bringing with it a new period of environmental anxiety and existential uncertainty. It is within this context that one might view the emergence of digital computation in architecture, whether employed to enhance a building’s environmental performance or to generate formal novelty through biomimetic simulation, as an extension of this fundamental shift, particularly in terms of the increasingly intimate if not altogether ambiguous interface between humans, computers, and the environment.

This conference, titled Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene, seeks to engage this new period of uncertainty by raising the question as to whether architecture should embark on establishing new affiliations beyond the human; a fundamental redefinition of the discipline as something no longer significant for “us” alone. If the Anthropocene has ushered in a new era of existential threat for human civilization, how does architecture not only rethink conventional forms of “program,” and by extension “performance,” privileging nonhuman alongside human forms of “use,” but a new material, formal, and spatial aesthetics as well?

Until recently, architecture’s proximity to environmental issues has been dominated principally by “sustainability”, “green”, or “eco” discourse, which not unlike the “functionalism” rhetoric of twentieth century Modernism, privileges an arguably deterministic and thus parochial view of the discipline. Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene seeks to expand the topic of “ecology” by engaging experimental contemporary design that explore the aesthetic, conceptual, and philosophical dimensions of the increasingly burred boundary between the “natural” and the artificial. In the context of such work, the discipline of architecture, conceived as both a technological and a cultural endeavor, becomes immersed in a much broader geophilosophical debate regarding the future of society and by extension the built environment in the age of the Anthropocene.

With Cincinnati, Ohio as the 2015 host location, the conference will draw upon the university’s variegated resources as well as Cincinnati’s broader context of innovation in the architecture and engineering sectors. The theme speaks to a purposeful inclusion of both academic and practice-based researchers and designers as well as interdisciplinary researchers at the intersections of environmental science, art, computer science, engineering, synthetic biology, product design, and the behavioral sciences. Research papers and exhibition submissions are invited across the range of topic areas that include but are not limited to the following:




• Material science (biomaterials, computational materials, etc.)

• Computational / mimetic design (bio-formalism, geo-formalism, etc.)

• Human / nonhuman architectural programming (computational and actual)

• Environmental parametrics / performance modeling

• Emerging models of digital representation / fabrication

• GIS mapping / data analysis in relation to landscape and urban design

• Geomatics (composite materials and smart assemblies)

• Responsive systems and environments (sensing, real-time computation, actuation, and feedback)

• Climate modeling


Advanced computational design methods, building information modeling, and digital fabrication workshops will precede the conference event. Full research papers, short work-in-progress papers, and juried design and research posters will be presented. Work-in-progress presentations will be enriched by mentoring and structured feedback. Student submissions are especially encouraged, supported by an awards program and travel and accommodation subsidies. The event will be enriched by curated projects including publications on emerging teaching models for complex systems and adaptive architecture, exhibition of architectural prototypes, and installations by visiting student teams.

Conference Location

The School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) at the University of Cincinnati is located nearby downtown Cincinnati with direct connections to Cincinnati International Airport. The conference will be held on campus and at Hotel 21c located downtown and adjacent to Zaha Hadid’s Contemporary Arts Center. Events and workshops will occur throughout downtown and the SAID.

Who Can Submit?

Submissions are invited from specialized researchers, practitioners, students, and members of the public interested in the computational design of architecture. In addition to architecture and urban design, submissions can include the disciplines of science and art, engineering, fabrication, computer science, construction and design.

Submissions are invited in the following forms:

a) Full peer review:

  • Full Papers: 4,000 words max (Presentations ± 15 mins)
  • Short Papers (Work-in-progress): 2000 words max (Presentations ± 7 mins)

b) Jury selection:

  • Research Posters
  • Design Posters
  • Design Projects and Installations

c) Call for workshops

Workshops of 1, 2 or 3 days can be proposed. The dates for the workshops will be from the19th until the 21st of October 2015. Sponsors and collaborations with industry are encouraged. The workshops need to be framed in the context of the conference.

The format for the proposal is a 500-word description of the workshop, reference images, and a detailed table of contents and deliverables.

d) Student travel scholarships available

Selected research will be published by ACADIA.

Student participation is strongly encouraged for all submission categories. Awards for student submissions, a scholarship and travel subsidy program, and a free billeting program for students will be announced in the coming months.



  • Peer-reviewed Research Paper submissions due: Midnight on Monday May 11, 2015
  • Research and Design Poster submissions due: Midnight on Monday, June 19, 2015
  • Revised submissions due (for proceedings): July 26, 2015
  • Workshop Submissions: Midnight on Monday, March 26, 2015

For more information please e-mail:

** Note: The submission period is NOW CLOSED.