Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

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The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (Catalan: Institut d'Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya, IAAC; IPA: [instiˈtud dərkitəkˈtuɾə əβənˈsaðə ðə kətəˈɫuɲə]) is an educational and research centre 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 22@ 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 40 countries, including United States, 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 Peoples 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 offers two Master courses one in Advanced Architecture, and another in Advanced Interactions courses are in conjunction with the UPC Polytechnic University in addition to the Open Thesis Fabrication course. Masters is open to Masters architecture students from around the world. In addition to IAAC masters, there is the Fab Academy, offered by Fab Lab Barcelona which is hosted by IAAC, while being part of the global network of Fab Labs affiliated to MIT’s Center for Bit and Atoms.

Since 2004 the IAAC has run the Self-Sufficient Housing and Self-Fab House design competitions, and later this year will present the Your City 2109 competition with the aim of generating new paradigms for architecture and the construction of the city in this time of change.


Located in Barcelona, one of the international capitals of Urbanism, the institution develops a multidisciplinary program that explores urban and international territorial phenomena, placing especial emphasis on the opportunities that emerges from developing countries and the cultural, economic and social values that architecture may contribute to society.


The main objective of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia is to stimulate, promote and develop research on the diverse areas of advanced architecture promoting the development of knowledge in architecture and its interaction with other disciplines.


Some of the most important projects and publications done by Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia recently are Hipercatalunya (a research about the territory of Catalonia) The Media House (a project developed with the MIT's Media Lab) and the Metapolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture.

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