March 12-14, 2020 | San Diego, CA

108th ACSA Annual Meeting

OPEN: Reinvented Annual Meeting

Conference Notice: COVID-19

In light of the recent public health updates regarding COVID-19, the ACSA Board of Directors has decided not to hold the 108th ACSA Annual Meeting in San Diego next week. Recognizing the scholarly work that is shared throughout the conference is important and timely, we are exploring alternate options to deliver the conference content by virtual means. We regret having to make this decision, but determined we must prioritize the health and safety of our conference attendees.

+ Read the full notice.


June 5, 2019

Paper/Project Submission Deadline

September 25, 2019

Call for Special Sessions Deadline

December 2019

Presenters Notified

January 2019

Registration deadline for presenters

Conference Overview

Reinvented Annual Meeting

ACSA is restructuring the Annual Meeting and implementing changes that better support the needs of architecture faculty and enhance architectural education and research. With these updates, ACSA aims to create a more inclusive, transparent, and impactful event that elevates, addresses, and disseminates knowledge on pressing concerns in society through the agency of architecture and allied disciplines.

The proposed changes are intended to meet the following goals:

  1. Broaden Participation
  2. Strengthen Community + Improve Engagement
  3. Increase Value + Relevance
  4. Enhance Transparency + Improved Quality
  5. Offer More Inclusive Conference Leadership

ACSA has created an Annual Meeting Committee, with combined representation of ACSA members, the ACSA board and ACSA staff. The new conference leadership is intended to increase transparency and inclusivity while keeping in mind effectiveness and maintaining rigor. The committee’s primary deliverable is the peer-reviewed content, along with themed sessions.

Following are the 2020 108th ACSA Annual Meeting Committee members:

Conference Sponsors
Conference Partners
Steering Committee

Responsible for the non-peer reviewed content of the conference, including a theme that guides identification of plenary talks and invited panel sessions. The committee will also curate workshops, local engagement and other conference activities.

  • Rashida Ng, Temple University
  • Antje Steinmuller, California College of the Arts
  • Ersela Kripa, Texas Tech University
Review Committee
Responsible for overseeing the peer-review process, which includes matching reviewer’s expertise with that of the submission, as well as designating sessions and moderators. Sessions will be composed of both papers and projects, when possible, allowing for scholarly and applied research to mutually demonstrate impact and inform one another.
  • Rashida Ng, Temple University
  • Lynne Dearborn, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Marcella Del Signore, New York Institute of Technology
  • Corey Griffin, Pennsylvania State University
  • John Quale, University of New Mexico
  • Shawn Rickenbacker, City College of New York
  • Saundra Weddle, Drury University
  • Nichole Wiedemann, University of Texas at Austin
Organizing Committee

Responsible for the logistics of the conference as well as for liaison with the local community.

  • Michael Monti, ACSA
  • Eric Ellis, ACSA
  • Allison Smith, ACSA

Annual Meeting Topics

The Annual Meeting Committee will maintain topics year to year in order to address the diversity of our members scholarly, creative and pedagogic interests. This consistent and we hope inclusive list of topics will also ensure an annual venue for all members to submit to an ACSA conference.

Building Science & Technology


Digital Technology



History, Theory, Criticism



Society + Community


Tatiana Bilbao

2020 Tau Sigma Delta, Gold Medal

Tatiana Bilbao was born and grew up in Mexico City. She has built in many other countries than Mexico and works with a global outlook, but Mexico’s cultural, social and political conditions form a natural part of her activities; although often implicit, social commitment is like a built-in reflex – a way of thinking.

Bilbao’s work can be categorized roughly into two types: the bread-and-butter projects with economic and artistic opportunities to experiment and develop an architectural vocabulary; and projects that are deter­mined by a minimal economy and for which the architect may not even be paid – social housing in Mexico. The knowledge she acquires from the more traditional tasks is used to create necessary, sustainable solu­tions and to overcome problems in the world of realities. Bilbao has addressed a wealth of initiatives to the Mexican State, which is responsible for ensuring all Mexicans their constitutional right to a home.

The two spheres in Bilbao’s work are linked by simple geometry; a tool that can communicate architectural principles to uneducated construction workers in Mexico. It is geometry that the hand can draw, as opposed to parametric design – design which is created by and large with the aid of the algorithmic thinking of the drawing programs and which most architects work with today. In both process and presentation, Bilbao works with paper collages in an analogue approach to a profession that is otherwise dominated today by virtual renderings.

Keynote | 2020 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion
David Leatherbarrow

2020 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion

Dr. Leatherbarrow has taught theory and design at the University of Pennsylvania since 1984, and before that at Cambridge University and the University of Westminster (formerly PCL) in England.  He lectures throughout the world and has held honorary professorships in Denmark, Brazil, and China.  Dr. Leatherbarrow was the recipient of the Visiting Scholar Fellowship from the Canadian Center of Architecture (1997-98) and two Fulbright Fellowships. Books include: 20th Century Architecture, Three Cultural Ecologies (with R. Wesley), Architecture Oriented Otherwise, Topographical Stories, Surface Architecture (with Mohsen Mostafavi), Uncommon Ground, Roots of Architectural Invention, and On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time. His research focuses on history and theory of architecture and the city.

Closing Plenary
Merve Bedir

Merve Bedir is an architect based in Rotterdam and Hong Kong. She is the co-founder of design practice Land and Civilization Compositions, and Aformal Academy and experimental pedagogies program focusing on urbanism and beyond. Currently, she is an adjunct assistant professor in Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture. Her research engages in the human and nonhuman flows, its infrastructures and technologies in built environment. She received her BArch at Middle East Technical University (2003) and her PhD at Delft University of Technology (2017).

Merve is a founding member of The Kitchen, a transnational women collective based in Gaziantep/ Turkey, and Center for Spatial Justice in Istanbul/ Turkey. She curated uncommon river (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Vocabulary of Hospitality (Istanbul), and co-curated Automated Landscapes (Shenzhen). Her work took part in Venice, Istanbul Design, Shenzhen, and Saõ Paulo Biennales, and Oslo Triennale. She wrote in AD Magazine, Harvard Design Magazine, Volume, and Funambulist among others. Merve has taught in Birmingham University, Hong Kong University, Columbia GSAPP, and Delft University of Technology, among others.

Jason De León

Jason De León is Professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP) inc., a 501(c)(3). The UMP is a long-term anthropological study of clandestine migration between Latin America and the United States that uses a combination of ethnographic, visual, archaeological, and forensic approaches to understand this violent social process. He is the author of the award-winning book “The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail” (featuring photos by Michael Wells) and Head Curator of the forthcoming global exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 that will be installed in 150 locations between May and October of 2020.  De León is President of the Board of Directors for The Colibrí Center for Human Rights and a 2017 MacArthur Fellow.

Ronald Rael & Virginia San Fratello

Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello draw, build, 3D print, teach, and write about architecture as a cultural endeavor deeply influenced by craft traditions and contemporary technologies. Wired magazine writes of their innovations, “while others busy themselves trying to prove that it’s possible to 3-D print a house, Rael and San Fratello are occupied with trying to design one people would actually want to live in”. They are founding partners of the Oakland based Make-Tank, Emerging Objects and they speculate about the social agency of architecture, particularly along the borderlands between the USA and Mexico, in their studio RAEL SAN FRATELLO. You can see their drawings, models, and objects in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Allison Smith
Programs Manager

Eric W. Ellis
Director of Operations and Programs