ACADIA Awards of Excellence

Inaugurated in 1998, the ACADIA Awards of Excellence represent recognition, by colleagues worldwide, of consistent contributions and impact on the field of architectural computing. Through 2005, awards were given in three categories: Teaching, Service, and Research. In 2006 an award was added in Emerging Digital Practice and the prior three were renamed as Teaching Excellence, Innovative Research, and Society. In 2007, an additional award for an innovative academic program was added to recognize an individual or collective efforts in the establishment of an innovative academic program that contributes to the education of students in the field of digital design. At most one award is presented each year in each category, to an individual or academic program that, in the eyes of the review committee, exhibits “evidence of exceptional and innovative achievement.”

ACADIA Award Categories

ACADIA 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

This award represents recognition by colleagues worldwide for consistent contributions and impact on the field of architectural computing and design culture. This award is not given every year and is typically reserved for prominent keynotes to the conference.

Wolf dPrix

Co-founder, CEO, and Design Principal, Coop Himmelb(l)au

Wolf dPrix is co-founder, CEO and design principal of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, a studio globally recognized for its innovative, and complex design approach at the intersection of architecture, art and technology. He is counted among the originators of the deconstructivist architecture movement. Throughout his career, Wolf dPrix has remained active in education and academic life. He has held teaching positions at the University of Applied Arts, Architectural Association (AA), MIT, Harvard, Columbia, UCLA, Yale, PENN, SCI-Arc and other institutions around the world. Wolf dPrix’s distinguished honors include the two highest Austrian awards given for cultural achievements: the Grand Austrian State Prize and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art. He is a member of the Austrian Arts Senate, the Curia for Art, since 2014 as chairman. Additional awards include, among others: the Schelling Architecture Award, the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Annie Spink Award, the Jencks Award and the Hessian Cultural Prize. Institutions such as the Getty Foundation, the MAK Museum of Applied Arts, and the Centre George Pompidou show the work in permanent exhibitions. In 2006 Wolf dPrix was commissioner for the Austrian contribution to the 10th Venice Biennale. Overall, the studio has been invited 8 times to participate in the Venice Architecture Biennale.

ACADIA 2021 Innovative Research Award of Excellence

This award recognizes innovative research that contributes to the field of digital design in architecture. The award distinguishes research with the potential to transform contemporary architecture.

Caitlin Mueller

Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Caitlin Mueller is a researcher and educator who works at the creative interface of architecture, structural engineering, and computation. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in the Building Technology Program, where she leads the Digital Structures research group. Her work focuses on new computational design and digital fabrication methods for innovative, high-performance buildings and structures that empower a more sustainable and equitable future. Professor Mueller earned a PhD in Building Technology from MIT, a SM in Computation for Design and Optimization from MIT, a MS in Structural Engineering from Stanford University, and a BS in Architecture from MIT. She has recently contributed to the organization of several major conferences in architecture and engineering, including the 2017 Design Modelling Symposium, the 2017 ACADIA Conference at MIT, the 2018 IASS Symposium at MIT (which she chaired), and the 2021 AAG conference in Paris. She is currently developing a new MOOC entitled Creative Machine Learning for Design, planned to launch in Fall 2021.

ACADIA 2021 Digital Practice Award of Excellence

This award recognizes creative design work that advances the discipline of architecture through the development and use of digital media.

Alvin Huang

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate & Post-Professional Architecture, USC. Founder and Principal, Synthesis Design + Architecture

Alvin Huang, AIA, NOMA is a Los Angeles based architect with a global profile. He is an award-winning architect, designer, and educator who explores the intersections between technology and culture to produce innovative design work that challenges convention and expresses universal values. He is a vocal advocate for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in design culture. His work spans all scales ranging from hi-rise towers and mixed-use developments to temporary pavilions and bespoke furnishings. He is the founder and principal of Synthesis Design + Architecture and an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, where he is also the Director of Graduate and Post-professional Architecture. Prior to establishing SDA, he gained significant experience working in the offices of Zaha Hadid Architects, Future Systems, AL_A and AECOM. He received an M.Arch from the Graduate Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association in London and a B.Arch from the USC School of Architecture in Los Angeles.

ACADIA 2021 Teaching Award of Excellence

This award recognizes innovative teaching in the field of digital design in architecture. Teaching approaches that can be adopted by other educators are recognized in particular.

Axel Kilian

Visiting Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Axel Kilian is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the MIT Department of Architecture. He previously was an Assistant Professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture and at the Delft University of Technology and a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Architecture at MIT. He holds a PhD in Design and Computation and a Master of Science in Architectural Studies from the Department of Architecture at MIT. He came to MIT as a German American Fulbright scholarship grantee after completing a professional degree in architecture at the University of the Arts Berlin. His work in architectural robotics has been exhibited at the Istanbul Design Biennial and the Seoul Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism. His current research and teaching focus is on embodied computation, exploring the extension of architecture’s material form into the behavioral through physical, actuated, and sensing prototypes of space.

ACADIA 2021 Society Award for Leadership

This award recognizes extraordinary contributions and service to the ACADIA community.

Brian Slocum

Founder, tresRobots. Adjunct Professor, Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City

Brian is a practicing architect and educator. He is the founder of tresRobots, an independent studio for design / architectural technologies research and cofounder of the architecture firm Diverse Projects. Currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Civil Engineering at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, he coteaches a design studio focused on analog material investigation. He holds degrees from Columbia University GSAPP (MArch) and Georgia Tech (BSc in Architecture). Brian is the recipient of a 2008 Individual Research Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and was a member of the group exhibition “Landscapes of Quarantine” at Storefront for Art and Architecture. He has published essays in Agencia, CLOG and Pamphlet Architecture #23. Brian was Secretary of ACADIA from 2019-2021, Conference Site Co-Chair for the 2018 conference in Mexico City, and more recently served as a Co-Chair for ACADIA 2020 Distributed Proximities and lead coeditor of Volume I of the Conference Technical Papers Proceedings.

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