Schedule / Debate Groups


2015 ACSA Fall Conference: Between the Autonomous & Contingent Object
October 8-10, 2015 | Syracuse, NY
Host School: Syracuse University School of Architecture
Co-chairs: Roger Hubeli & Julie Larsen, Syracuse University

In the spirit of the debate-style format, moderators have determined motions for their 'Debate Groups' that will spur differences of opinion on the topics. Following is a preliminary conference schedule.
Abstract Book
  Conference Program


1:30 - 3:00
MOTION: “Today’s Computational Processes that aim to create fully Optimized Objects are just another Form of Utopianism Doomed to Fail”
    Debate Group Moderator: Anne Munly, Syracuse University

Toward an Axiomatic Figuration of Form: Design Composition in the Age of Contingency

    Liane Hancock, Louisiana Tech University & Pasquale De Paola, Louisiana Tech University

S.N.A.F.U. Drawing: Of Many Lines  But One Mind

    Chris Cornelius, University of Wis-Milwaukee

The Material Modulation of Objects

    Samuel Bernier-Lavigne, Université Laval

Combining Structural Topology Optimization and Big Area Additive Manufacturing

    Nik Nikolov, Lehigh University

Design Innovation: Thoughts on Bicycle Wheels, Wings  and Three Large Tensegrity Structures

    Charles Debelius, Appalachian State University & D. Jason Miller, Appalachian State University

MOTION: “Under the Invisibility Cloak, Where the Autonomy of Objects is Irrelevant”
    Debate Group Moderator: Yutaka Sho, Syracuse University

From Autonomy toward Anonymity in Architecture

    Joshua Taron, University of Calgary

The Camouflage Laboratory: Architectures of Concealment  Deception and Decoy

    Antonio Furgiuele, ACSA Introductory Member

From Autonomy to Annihilation: The Paradoxical Position of Autonomous Architecture

    Alireza Karbasioun, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Autonomy and the Culture of Reuse

    Seung Ra, Oklahoma State University & Sarah Ra

3:30 - 4:00
Coffee Break (Provided)

4:00 -5:30
MOTION: “Architecture is no object.”
    Debate Group Moderator: Ted Brown, Syracuse University 

Café Fargo 

    Georg Rafailidis, University At Buffalo, SUNY

Friendly Characters: From Projective to Narrative 

    Joseph Altshuler, Rice University

Form After Urbanism: The Potential of Grossform 

    Martin Haettasch, University of Texas at Austin

Flexible City: architecture as infrastructure 

    Farzana Gandhi, NYIT & Matthias Altwicker, NYIT

Constellations of the In-between 

    Lorinc Vass, University of British Columbia

MOTION: “The Architectural Object Gains Internal Coherence And Becomes Instrumental Through Resistance”
    Debate Group Moderator: Kyle Miller, Syracuse University

Schinkel-ish - fragmented vernacular versus void mimicry

    Maya Alam, Syracuse University

Process then Positions (or Our History after Hays?)

    Maximiliano Spina, SCI-Arc & Jia Gu, UCLA

Simulating Paradoxes 

    Jason Van Nest, NYIT & Mathew Ford, NYIT

Projective Geometries  Projective Fictions:  Reading Robin Evans 

    Jeremy Voorhees, Temple University

5:30 - 6:00
Coffee Break (Provided)
6:30 - 7:30
Opening Presentation: Brett Steele, AA School or Architecture
7:30 - 8:30
Syracuse Reception


9:00 - 10:30
MOTION: “In the Digital Age of Architecture, Internet of Things (IoT) and Open Innovation (OI) are the future systems of the Architectural Object”
    Debate Group Moderator: Wendy W. Fok, Harvard University

Virtual architecture as political possibility 

    Adrian Blackwell, University of Waterloo

Critical Autonomy: The Role of the Architect in the Age of Open Source

    Jaya Beange, University of Manitoba

Architecture and the Unspeakable 

    John Szot, Columbia University

The Per[form]ance of Mediated Environments 

    Amber Bartosh, Syracuse University
    Not Clearly Classifiable: Brian Lonsway, Syracuse University - PRESENTER

MOTION: “The contingent object has shed the dialectical straitjacket of architectural theory by embracing the diverse processes of practice.”
    Debate Group Moderator: Martin Haettasch, University of Texas at Austin

Interstice and Symbiosis: The Autonomy/Contingency Mash-up

    Ingrid Strong, Wentworth IT

The Light House as Productive Contingency

    Rudolf Perold, Cape Peninsula Uni-Tech; Oswald Devisch, Hasselt U.; Hermie Delport-Vougarelis & June Jordaan

Designed and Emergent Tectonics: Resituating Architectural Knowledge

    Sophia Psarra, Bartlett

Architecture out of the Boudoir?

    Ole Fischer, University of Utah

10:30 - 11:00
Coffee Break (Provided)

11:00 - 12:30
MOTION: “The Object’s Whole is No Thing Without Its Parts”
    Debate Group Moderator: Kory Bieg, University of Texas at Austin

Casting Out: Rachael Whiteread's Spatial Impressions

    Peter Wong, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

A Matter of Tolerance

    Genevieve Baudoin, Kansas State University

Equipment Free

    Aaron Forrest, RISD & Yasmin Vobis

The Finite Set 

    Troy Schaum, Rice University

MOTION: “Aesthetics (of objects and territories alike) will rescue us from the determinism of systems thinking.”
    Debate Group Moderator: Janette Kim, Syracuse University

Geographic Object 

    Neyran Turan, Rice University

Toward New Coastal Form

    Michael Jefferson, Cornell University

Autonomy and Contingency in Urban Contexts

    Jane Wolff, U. of Toronto; Derek Hoeferlin, Washington U. in St. Louis & Elise Shelley, U. of Toronto
    Post Rock Aesthetics: Meredith Miller, University of Michigan - PRESENTER

12:30 - 1:30
LUNCH (on your own)

1:30 - 3:00
MOTION: “Architectural Practice Can Only Shake The Momentum Of Today's Political Economy By Focusing On The Careful Reconfiguration Of Existing Architectural Objects.” 
    Debate Group Moderator: Adrian Blackwell, University of Waterloo


    Nikole Bouchard, University of Wis-Milwaukee

Material Contingency in Computation

    James Forren, Dalhousie University

The City-House-Model

    Dennis Maher, University At Buffalo, SUNY

SNAFU (Situation Normal All F'ed Up)

    Jonathan Louie, Syracuse University

Of both Processes and Forces

    Aleksandr Mergold, Cornell University

MOTION: “There are only contingent architectural objects.”
    Debate Group Moderators:  Jim Bassett & Paola Zellner, Virginia Tech

Filling the Voids: A Framework for Addressing Patterns of Urban Vacancy

    Sara Queen, David Hill & Andrew Fox, North Carolina State University

Alles ist Design?: Hans Hollein  the Cooper-Hewitt and “ManTRANSforms” (1976)

    Elizabeth Keslacy, University of Michigan

The Difficult Pragmatics of Sanaa’s Rolex Learning Center

    Cynthia Ottchen, Florida International University

A conceptual space for architecture: singularity through ecological contingency

    Michelle Laboy, Northeastern University

MOTION: “Right Now, We Are Making Ordinary Objects Again”
    Debate Group Moderator: Benjamin Farnsworth, Syracuse University


    Jean Jaminet, Mount Holyoke College

Postmodern Computation: Processing Autonomous Objects

    Marc Manack, University of Arkansas

Weird Functionalism

    Adam Fure, University of Michigan

Economies of Material Effect

    Lonn Combs, Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst.

3:30 - 4:00
Coffee Break (Provided)

4:00 -5:30
MOTION: “Object Specifics: New Figures But Still Old Problems”
    Debate Group Moderator: Kyle Reynolds, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

From Contingency to Autonomy: The “Learning from” Manifesto and the American Midwest

    Stewart Hicks, University of Illinois at Chicago

A Hotel is Not a Home: Strange Sites and Shapes

    Max Kuo, Harvard University

Ornament and the Sublime: Yamasaki

    Joss Kiely, University of Michigan

Between Extremism and White Noise: Constructing a New Real in Architecture

    Stefano Passeri, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The Absurd Alibi

    Joseph Godlewski, Syracuse University

MOTION: “The Architectural Object is not a Reliable Model for Urban Activism” 
    Debate Group Moderator: Lawrence Chua, Syracuse University

The Subjects of Performance

    Neeraj Bhatia, California College of the Arts 

Gilding Sparkle and Polish: Towards a New Aesthetic of Social Practice

    Anya Sirota, University of Michigan

Megaform: Form and Performance of the Large-Scale Architectural Object

    Tulay Atak, SCI-Arc & Dragana Zoric, Pratt Institute

The Specter of Symmetry

    David Salomon, Ithaca College

5:30 - 6:00
Coffee Break (Provided)
6:30 - 7:30
Plenary Presentation: Hernan Diaz Alonso, Sci-Arch


9:00 - 10:30
MOTION: “No Architecture without a Theory of the Relationship to Context”
    Debate Group Moderator: Sophia Psarra, University College of London

Singular vs. Multiple Modern Aesthetics in the Globalized World

    Yutaka Sho, Syracuse University

Adapt or Die! A selection of opportunistic work in NYC

    John Locke, Columbia University

Autonomy of Performance

    Chris Meyer, Harvard University

Transplantable Urban Design for Polynuclear Cities

    Kory Bieg, University of Texas at Austin

MOTION: “Contextualism Is A Slow Death Wish For The Objecthood Of The Discipline”
    Debate Group Moderator: Lydia Kallipoliti, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Fast and Furious

    Joyce Hwang, University At Buffalo, SUNY

An Architectural Folly for the Anthropocene 

    Chris Perry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. & Cathryn Dwyre, Pratt Institute

Quasi- Objects / Simultaneous Resonance and Contradiction

    Jonathan A. Scelsa, Rhode Island School of Design

Technical Objects for Public Ecosystems

    Diego Garcia-Setien, Arizona State University
    Will This kill That? The Persistence of Architectural Autonomy: James Lowder, The Cooper Union  - PRESENTER

MOTION: “Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Be Closer than They Appear”
    Debate Group Moderator: Stewart Hicks, University of Illinois at Chicago

Please Don’t Feed the Animals!

    Whitney Moon, University of Wisconsin

Learning from the Golden Gloves: Characters Camps and Contingencies

    Julia Sedlock, NJIT


    Kyle Reynolds, University of Wisconsin

    Jeff Mikolajewski

Surface Relief: An Argument for Things in the Round

    Ellie Abrons, University of Michigan

Of-Figures vs. Like-Figures

    Kelly Bair, University of Illinois at Chicago

10:30 - 11:00
Coffee Break (Provided)
11:00 - 12:30
Plenary Presentation: Amale Andraos, Columbia University
12:30 - 1:30
LUNCH (Provided)
1:30 - 3:00
Closing Debate: Amale Andraos, Hernan Diaz-Alonso & Brett Steele

Moderator: Michael Speaks, Syracuse University