The Los Angeles Design Technology Forum, in association with the AIA|LA Technology in Architectural Practice Committee and ABC Imaging, is pleased to announce the next event in a monthly series focusing on the intersection of Design and Information Technology.


Roland Snooks - "The Agency of Architecture"

DATE: Thursday April 21, 2011,   FREE      
TIME: Lecture 7pm,   6pm Wine and Cheese
CEUs: 1 AIA Continuing Education Unit is available
WHERE: This event will be at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, DeCafe in Perloff Hall. Parking is $10, please see this link for information: parking map.

Post event libations and filler @ To be announced location

Please RSVP to

Roland Snooks
director of the architecture practice Kokkugia, lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and Senior Researcher at the Nonlinear Systems Organisation (NSO), and the George Isaacs Distinguished Fellow at USC

The emergence of complexity theory over the last four decades has radically altered our understanding of formation a shift from the macro scale to a concern for the operation of the complex systems that underlie formation. This inherently organizational approach to form provides the basis to posit a behavioral design methodology, which has emerged from an understanding of swarm intelligence and operates through the self-organization of multi-agent systems. Design intent operates within this methodology through the interaction of local behaviors rather than the explicit description or parametric manipulation of form and organization.

These methodologies have been developed through a series of projects developed by Kokkugia at a variety of scales from urban to tectonic. The interest in these processes range from the resolution of complex problems such as structure or program through to the generation of non-hierarchical tectonics.

Local positioning of design intent and the complex order generated by behavioral design methodologies challenges the hierarchies that are embedded within architecture. The distributed operation of swarm systems enables a non-linear interaction of architectural concerns that are often posited as binary or sequential, such as the relationship of program and form or structure and ornament. Agent-based design enables the mutual negotiation of these concerns and casts them in to a constant feedback loop. As a consequence these methodologies intrinsically resist the discrete articulation of tectonic hierarchies that dominate modern architecture and contemporary parametric component assemblies, instead hierarchies are understood as an emergent property of a decentralized system.


Yeosu Pavilion, courtesy of Kokkugia + Emergent


Fibrous Tower, courtesy of Kokkugia

About Roland:
Roland Snooks is a director of the architecture practice Kokkugia, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania where he is a Senior Researcher at the Nonlinear Systems Organisation (NSO), and the George Isaacs Distinguished Fellow at USC. Roland has previously directed design studios and seminars at the Pratt Institute, Columbia University GSAPP, SCI-Arc, UCLA, RMIT University and Victorian College of the Arts. Roland's current design research is focused on emergent design processes involving agent-based techniques. This research is the focus the forthcoming publication Swarm Intelligence: Architectures of Multi-Agent Systems that Roland co-edited with Neil Leach.

Roland holds a B.Arch with honors from RMIT University and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University where he studied on a Fulbright scholarship. He was named the Australian Curator for the 2008 and 2010 Beijing Biennials.

Roland's work with Kokkugia has been published widely including recent articles in: AD, 306090, Domus, L'Arca, World Architecture, Urban Environment Design, Urban Flux, Parametric Prototypes and Contemporary Digital Architecture. Kokkugia's work has been exhibited internationally at venues in: London, New York, Paris, Melbourne, Moscow, Kiev, Turin, Philadelphia, San Francisco Shanghai, Xian and Beijing. Kokkugia were nominated for the Chernikhov Prize in 2006 and 2010. The practice is currently working on projects in the US, China and Mexico.


Swarm Matter, courtesy of Kokkugia

About the LADTF:

The Los Angeles Design Technology Forum is a collective organization representing a wide cross-section of architecture and engineering firms and academic institutions around the Los Angeles basin. It serves to increase awareness of technological innovations in design and construction, and to foster their application throughout the Los Angeles design community. By connecting a diverse audience of designers, engineers, builders and owners who have widely varying conceptions of technology in their work, we hope to create new opportunities for efficiency and creativity.

The Los Angeles Design Technology Forum is coordinated by Marty Doscher, Reg Prentice, Dennis Shelden, Randy Jefferson, and Kurt Komraus.

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