Unconventional Computing & Architecture


This one-day conference explores new materials for architectural practice in the 21st century. International architects and scientists will explore the decision-making properties of matter and how this may be applied to create increasingly life-like buildings.

Organised by The Bartlett´s Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research (AVATAR) group, the conference aims to bring together architects and scientists who are working with new technologies that are capable of self-assembly and organization. Such technologies may form the basis for architecture generated by unconventional computing techniques which range from the actions of protocells, (entirely synthetic DNA-less agents), slime moulds (simple organisms with very complex behaviours), crystalline computing (using the organizing properties of molecules) and algae (that can be engineered to respond to environments in new ways). Neil Spiller founded the AVATAR Group in 2004, whose interdisciplinary research agenda explores all manner of digital and visceral terrain and considers the impact of advanced technology on architectural design, engaging with cybernetics, aesthetics, and philosophy to develop new ways of manipulating the built environment.

Speakers Include:

Neil Spiller (University College London) Vice-Dean, Professor of Architecture & Digital Theory, Graduate Director of Design, Director of the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research Group (AVATAR), The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Rachel Armstrong (University College London) Senior TED Fellow, Teaching Fellow, AVATAR Researcher, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Evan Douglis (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) Principal, Evan Douglis Studio, Dean of the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York

Paul Preissner (University of Illinois at Chicago) Founder, Paul Preissner Architects Ltd., Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, Chicago

Lisa Iwamoto (University of California, Berkeley) Partner of IwamotoScott Architecture, Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at The University of California, Berkeley

Philip Beesley (University of Waterloo) Principal, PBAI design firm, Toronto, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, Canada

Nic Clear (University College London) Director Diploma/MArch in Architecture, MArch (Architectural Design) AVATAR History and Theory Coordinator, The Bartlett School of Architecture

Martin Hanczyc (University of Southern Denmark) Associate Professor, Institute of Physics and Chemistry and the Centre for Fundamental Living Technology (FLinT), University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Ben de Lacy Costello (University of West England) Senior Research Fellow, University of the West of England, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Centre for Research in Analytical, Material and Sensor Sciences, Bristol

Simon Park (University of Surrey) Senior Lecturer in Bacteriology and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey

Lee Cronin (University of Glasgow) Gardiner Chair of Chemistry, University of Glasgow, EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow, Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters

Turlif Vilbrandt (Digital Materialization Group, Japan) Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Uformia AS, Norway; Researcher, Digital Materialization Group, Japan

Booking is essential; Space is limited

Cost: £55 (Students £20) +VAT