October 27-29, 2022 | University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, PA

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 Design Excellence Award

The ACADIA Design Excellence Award is given by ACADIA’s Board of Directors to exceptional architects, designers, and researchers who have made significant, innovative, and impactful contributions to the fields of architecture and computational design.

Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Höweler + Yoon is a design-driven architecture practice and creative studio that believes design is an instrument for imagining and implementing change – social, cultural, technological, and environmental. Over the last 18 years, Höweler + Yoon has built a reputation for work that is formally and technologically innovative, socially engaged, and conceptually rigorous. Höweler + Yoon has done unprecedented work in atypical fields: interactive landscapes, submersible structures, stone vaulting, and media projects. Their projects ask how design fits within contemporary culture, how it can affect behavioral and social norms, and how it can produce a sense of place or create environmental awareness. Projects range from cultural and institutional buildings, mixed-use residential and commercial buildings, to public spaces, interactive environments, and research projects. Specializing in special projects, Höweler + Yoon is a dedicated group of 25+ architects, designers, and researchers.

ACADIA Society Award for Leadership

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

Jason Kelly Johnson

Jason Kelly Johnson is a California based artist, designer, and professor of architecture. Jason served as the chair of the 2012 ACADIA conference "Synthetic Digital Ecologies". He then served as a member of the ACADIA Board of Directors from 2013-20, serving as President in 2016 and 2017. Jason has produced a range of award-winning projects exploring the intersections of art and design with public space, advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, and computation. Recent projects have included fine art objects, furniture and lighting fixtures, art pavilions and sculptural shade canopies, as well as large scale urban art installations and art master plan consulting. Jason was born and raised in Canada. He received his Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University, and his Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree from the University of Virginia. Johnson is currently a tenured Professor at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, California.

ACADIA 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.

Rajaa Issa

Rajaa Issa is a developer, researcher and educator in the field of computational design in architecture. As a Software Developer at Robert McNeel & Associates, she builds solid modeling and surface editing tools to support the architectural design and fabrication processes. She is the developer of PanelingTools, one of the earliest tools for concept paneling and complex surface rationalization. She is Adjunct Professor at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design, where she established a new program in computational design methodologies. Her pedagogical method is centered around building strong foundational knowledge in mathematics, algorithms, and fabrication to bridge the gap between intuitive and algorithmic thinking among creative designers. She has authored a series of publications on parametric and computational design essentials, which are popular among both students and professionals. As a firm believer in inclusion and the accessibility of knowledge, she has made all of her work openly accessible.

ACADIA 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.

Felecia Ann Davis

Felecia Davis’ work in computational textiles questions how we live and she re-imagines how we might use textiles in our daily lives and in architecture. Davis is interested in developing computational methods and design in relation to specific bodies in specific places engaging specific social, cultural and political constructions. Davis is an Associate Professor at the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing in the School of Architecture at Pennsylvania State University and is the director of SOFTLAB@PSU. She completed her PhD in Design Computation at MIT. Davis’ work in architecture connects art, science, engineering and design and was featured by PBS in the Women in Science Profiles series. Davis’ work was recognized in 2022 by the New York Architectural League’s Emerging Voices Awards. Davis’ work was part of the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Reconstruction: Blackness and Architecture in America. She is a founding member of the Black Reconstruction Collective a not-for-profit group of Black architects, scholars and artists supporting design work about the Black diaspora.