The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia is a cutting edge education and research center dedicated to the development of an architecture capable of meeting the worldwide challenges in the construction of habitability in the early 21st century. Based in the 22nd district of Barcelona, one of the world’s capitals of architecture and urbanism, IAAC is a platform for the exchange of knowledge with faculty and students from over 35 countries, including USA, China, India, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Sudan. Students work simultaneously on multiple scales (city, building, manufacturing) and in different areas of expertise (ecology, energy, digital manufacturing, new technologies), pursuing their own lines of enquiry on the way to developing an integrated set of skills with which to act effectively in their home country or globally.
IAAC has carried out research projects in Brazil, Taiwan, Croatia and Romania. In 2008 it was chosen to take part in the official section of the Venice Biennale with the project Hyperhabitat and in 2010 it presented a 1:1 scale house (entirely produced at IAAC) at the Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid where it won the People Choice Award. IAAC has the most advanced digital production laboratory of any educational institution in southern Europe, with laser cutters, 3D printers, milling machines and a platform for manufacturing chips.
IAAC organizes a Master in Advanced Architecture course and a Master in Advanced Interaction course, both in conjunction with the UPC Polytechnic University, and a Master in Smart City Projects. IAAC also offers academic programs in Valldaura Campus such as the Master in Design for Self Sufficiency. Valldaura Self-Sufficient Labs is a research center for self-sufficient habitats located on an historic 130 hectare farm in the Collserola Natural Park, in Barcelona metropolitan area. IAAC completes its academic offer with Fab Lab’s programs; Fab Lab Bcn is part of the global network of Fab Labs affiliated to MIT’s Center for Bit and Atoms.
Since 2004 the IAAC has run a biannual competition, the Advanced Architecture Contest which past editions were Self-Sufficient Housing, Self-Sufficient City, Self-Fab House and City Sense. The Competition invites architects, engineers, planners, designers and artists to contribute in making the world more habitable by developing proposals capable of responding to the latest emerging challenges in diverse areas such as ecology, information technology, architecture, urban planning, etc.
IAAC’s activities find their roots in the following objectives:
- To stimulate, promote and develop research on the diverse areas of advanced architecture, increasing the potential of information gathering teams in architecture and its interaction with other disciplines.
- To teach, develop, promote and diffuse the knowledge and training of technical and scientific staff in architecture and its interaction with other disciplines.
- To act as a consultant to public authorities and public or private organizations on questions of architecture and its interaction with other disciplines.
- To establish scientific and academic collaborative ventures with universities and major national and international information-gathering centers specializing in architecture and related disciplines (such as informational technology and sustainable development, among others).
- To establish appropriate collaborative ventures with local, regional and national government bodies and the private sector in terms of their own core activities.
- To facilitate closer contact between basic and applied research, acting as a center of technology transfer when appropriate.
- To organize scientific encounters and national and international forums.
- To organize exhibitions and promote publications on a local, national and international level.
This school offers programs in: