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Living Systems and Micro-Utopias: Towards Continuous Designing

Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:55

CAADRIA 2016 Call for Papers (abridged)

Living Systems and Micro-Utopias: Towards Continuous Designing
21st International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia

30 March - 2 April 2016
Abstract due: 25 September 2015
Submit to: www.caadria-review.org

The University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Design (MSD), Melbourne, Australia; in collaboration with RMIT University

Today, human activities constitute the primary environmental impact on the planet. In this context, commitments to sustainability, or minimization of damage, prove insufficient. To develop regenerative, capabilities, architectural design needs to extend beyond the form and function of things in contained projects and engage with the management of complex systems. Such systems involve multiple types of dynamic phenomena – biotic and abiotic, technical and cultural – and can be understood as living. Engagement with such living systems implies manipulation of pervasive and unceasing change, irrespective of whether it is accepted by design stakeholders or actively managed towards homeostatic or homeorhetic conditions.

Responding to this challenge, CAADRIA 2016 seeks to interrogate the notion of continuity and the applicable architectural toolsets in order to map and discover opportunities for innovation.

For the full version of the call and further information, see:


And the conference website:




Post-Anthropocentric Creativity

Fri May 15, 2015 23:55

Call for Submissions (abridged), special issue of the Digital Creativity journal, 27:1, January 2016

Guest editors: Stanislav Roudavski and Jon McCormack

This special issue aims to audit existing conceptions of creativity in the light of non-anthropocentric interpretations of agency, autonomy, subjectivity, social practices and technologies. Specifically, it seeks to explore how 1) the agents, recipients and processes of creativity and 2) the purpose, value, ethics and politics of creativity relate to phenomena of computation. The editors encourage innovative narrative or visual strategies that can express relevant scenarios better that more typical forms of academic writing. Dialogues, conversations, plays, scripts, instruction sets, games or visual essays (for example) might be suitable alongside logical arguments or formulae. Initial proposals should be submitted as abstracts of 800–1200 words.

Abstracts due: May 15, 2015, to be sent as PDFs to Stanislav Roudavski at stanislav.roudavski@cantab.net as well as to the editors of Digital Creativity at dcsubmit@gmail.com

Full Call for Submissions can be seen here: https://www.academia.edu/10836691/Post-Anthropocentric_Creativity


Can computational objects have agency?

Here are our thoughts. Other opinions, feedback or references would be great.




[PhD Thesis] Staging Places as Performances: Creative Strategies for Architecture

For those who might find it interesting, this thesis is now online in open access here:



This thesis is about creative strategies for staging places as performances. To remain viable in the rapidly changing technological and social context, architecture needs to extend its engagement with research, reappraise its fundamental goals and develop creative strategies adequate to new challenges.

However, utilisation of research in design disciplines is still immature and the methodologies of this utilisation remain a matter of controversy and active debate. In particular, the potential of cross-pollination between designing and research requires further clarification. This thesis addresses this need by developing a methodological approach that combines participant observation and investigative designing. Utilising these methodologies, this thesis considers several case-studies, including interactive installations and virtual environments.

Engagement with case-studies through participant observation and investigative designing in this thesis motivates a discussion that reinstates place as the focus of architectural practice. Existing discourse and practice in architecture often assume retrograde, romantic, essentialist and exclusionary understandings of places, for example as singular, bounded and static. By contrast, this thesis highlights an open and flexible vision of places as performances. Considering the possible roles of architectural designing in place-making, it suggests that architects cannot produce ready places but can engender placemaking performances and influence their growth with provocative, open and collaborative creative-design strategies.

Having established the case for distributed, polyphonic, campaigning creativity in place-making, this thesis considers whether design computing can support its performative needs. Commonly, researchers and practitioners in architecture express concerns that design computing can hinder human creativity. By contrast, this thesis demonstrates that design computing can support distributed creativity by staging multiplicious, open, flexible, idea- and insight-generating participatory exchanges. In the process, this thesis considers interactive cinematography and procedural designing as place-making actions. This re-conceptualization demonstrates that design computing can usefully support creative place-making and sometimes be indispensable for its success.

This thesis contributes to knowing by 1) utilising and presenting an unorthodox methodological approach to architectural research; 2) presenting an approach to understanding and making of places novel to the field of architecture; and 3) re-conceptualizing innovative design-computing as an important creative resource for placemaking.