The ACADIA 2017 conference took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA from 2–4 November, 2017. The NCCR Digital Fabrication made several contributions, including a computational workshop and a paper presentation. On the evening of the second conference day, the NCCR in collaboration with swissnex Boston successfully hosted a networking party at the MIT Media Lab.

The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) is an international network of digital design researchers and professionals with a focus on investigating the role of computation in architecture, planning and building science. Every year, the ACADIA conference brings together leading experts in the field of computational design and fabrication.

Great interest in computational workshop and conference presentation about large-scale robotic construction

Located at the Autodesk BUILD Space in Boston, MA, the Computational Research in Architecture and Structures (compas) workshop by the ETH Zurich’s Block Research Group, lead by NCCR Director Philippe Block, saw great interest both from professionals and researchers in disciplines ranging from architecture to computer science. Developed by the Block Research Group, “compas” is an open-source computational framework offering a code library for computational research in architecture and structural design which provides a platform for collaborative work and knowledge transfer.

The ACADIA conference which followed the workshops also featured NCCR research with a paper presentation by Ilmar Hurkxkens on the topic of robotic construction with found materials. During his presentation, Ilmar presented Robotic Landscapes, the architectural design studio jointly offered by the Chair of Landscape Architecture and Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zurich, which explores the computational manipulation of large-scale topographies with the goal of defining a new landscape topology with regard to acoustic performance through robotic fabrication.

Successful networking party in collaboration with swissnex Boston

On the evening of the second conference day, the NCCR in collaboration with swissnex Boston organised a networking party at the MIT Media Lab for over 300 people. During this event participants from leading institutions and companies across North America and other parts of the world were introduced to NCCR innovations and ongoing research. After a short welcome by MIT Professor and ACADIA conference chair Skylar Tibbits followed by Philippe Block, prospective students interested in research positions at the NCCR or attending the MAS ETH Architecture and Digital Fabrication program were able to discuss opportunities with NCCR principal investigators and researchers in person.

The NCCR Digital Fabrication thanks swissnex Boston for their support, and the ACADIA community and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for making it possible for us to be a part of this great event and community. We look forward to next year’s ACADIA conference in Mexico City!

Image credits: Mitch Page