Roland Snooks, design director and founding partner of Kokkugia, a progressive architecture and urban design practice with offices in New York and London, presented “Volatile Formation,” the final lecture in the Department of Architecture’s Spring 2012 Lecture Series, April 23 the Preston Geren Auitorium.
Snooks, whose design research is focused on emergent design methodologies involving agent-based techniques, holds a master’s degree in advanced architectural design from Columbia University, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar. He completed his undergraduate work at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
In addition to his work with Kokkugia, Snooks teaches graduate studios and seminars at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and is the George Isaac Distinguished Fellow at the University of Southern California. He has also directed design studios and seminars at UCLA, SCI-Arc, Pratt Institute, RMIT, and the Victorian College of the Arts.
Prior to co-founding Kokkugia with partner Robert Stuart-Smith, Snooks garnered considerable design and construction experience on high profile projects while working in the offices of Reiser + Umemoto, Ashton Raggatt McDougall and Minifie Nixon.
At Kokkugia, a networked practice that operates through design, research and teaching, Snooks explores generative design methodologies developed from the complex self-organizing behavior of biological, social and material systems.
Kokkugia’s work has been published extensively and exhibited internationally, including in New York, Beijing, Xi’an, Melbourne, Moscow, Kiev, Torino, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The firm was the Australian Curators for the 2008 and 2010 Beijing Biennials and is currently working on projects in Australia, Mexico and the United States.
Kokkugia offers three primary services: architectural and urban design, computational design consulting, and algorithmic research. They offer a full range of architectural services from design to construction administration. The firm’s experience in research and experimentation forms the basis of an innovative consultancy that is capable of resolving complex problems that are beyond the scope of many architectural practices, such as the resolution and construction of complex geometry buildings.
Kokkugia's expertise in algorithmic design is leveraged by research partnerships that explore innovative design processes. Its ongoing collaborations include working with renowned structural engineer and designer Cecil Balmond and the Advanced Geometry Unit at Arup, a UK-based engineering firm. The practice’s networked nature provides a platform for collaboration, taking advantage of the specific skills and knowledge of out affiliated institutions and companies.