Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia - IAAC


What is IAAC?

The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is a center for research, education, production, and outreach, with the mission of envisioning the future habitat of our society and building it in the present.


IAAC follows the digital revolution at all scales (from bits to geography, from micro-controllers to cities, from materials to the territory) to expand the boundaries of architecture and design and meet the challenges faced by humanity. IAAC is an experimental and experiential center where one learns by doing, through a test methodology that promotes real solutions.

IAAC is an open, independent and radical non-profit foundation, with 17 years of activity; inspired by the values of Barcelona, the capital of architecture and design, where urbanism was invented and where a local high quality and innovation-oriented research is connected to an international network of excellence in technology, architecture, and society fields.

IAAC, beyond its educational and pro-research work, is an interdisciplinary and multicultural stable community that seeks permanent contact and cooperation among the hundreds of teachers, researchers, institutions and companies that have worked with us or that pursue the objective of providing solutions to the great challenges of humanity.


IAAC is Education, with the Master in Advanced Architecture, the Master in City & Technology, the Master in Design for Emergent Futures, the Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings, the Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction, the Open Thesis Fabrication program, giving the next generation of architects and changemakers the space to imagine, test and shape the future of cities, architecture and technology.

This is also possible through the Fab Academy, a distributed educational model aiming to introduce anyone to Digital Fabrication. Not to mention the workshops and the short programs, implementing global agendas developed through local solutions, such as the Global Summer School.

IAAC is Fabrication, with the Fab Lab Barcelona, the first and most advanced digital production laboratory in EU, and the Green Fab Lab, the first digital fabrication laboratory oriented to self-sufficiency: two places where you can build almost anything. After hosting the FAB10 in 2014, the 10th annual worldwide Fab Lab conference, Fab Lab Barcelona has consolidated his role within the Fab Lab Network as one of the worldwide leaders of the Digital Fabrication Revolution as well as the Coordinator of the Fab Academy Program.

IAAC is Research, thanks to a series of projects funded by the European Union and developed in collaboration with public and private European partners, oriented to explore the role of technology in our society and cities.

IAAC is Self-sufficiency, with the Valldaura Labs, a self-sufficient research center located in the Collserola Metropolitan park, 20 minutes from the center of Barcelona and surrounded by 140 hectares of forest, where a series of laboratories are implemented for the production and testing of Energy, Food and Things.

IAAC is Outreach, through lectures, publications, exhibitions, and competitions. Thanks to initiatives such as the IAAC Lecture Series, or the Advanced Architecture Contest, IAAC promotes its values in the discussion about architecture, cities, society, and technology, facing the nowadays worldwide challenges.



To underline and reinforce IAAC’s position as a worldwide reference for education and research, as well as for self-sufficiency and digital fabrication, through the consolidation and expansion of research projects, as well as offering up to date and evolving academic programs.

To expand our collaborations with strategic public and private partnerships both nationally and internationally.

To strengthen our consultancy role by creating specific alliances with industries that promote and support applied research.

To actively pursue an agenda of activities related to green architecture, sustainability and renewable energies through the development of the Green Fab Lab, the Food Lab, and the Energy Lab.

To enhance our current work and profile as a specialized think-tank for innovative strategies within the fields of urban planning and urban design with attention to the Smart Cities’ challenge.


To carry out this mission, IAAC is organized in four departments, all of them dedicated to research, education, production, and outreach, with the mission to imagine the future habitat of our society and build it in the present.

These departments are:

  • The Advanced Architecture Group, directed by Areti Markopoulou
  • The Fab Lab Barcelona, directed by Tomás Diez
  • The Urban Sciences Lab, directed by Willy Müller
  • The Valldaura Self-sufficient Labs, directed by Vicente Guallart

IAAC sets out to take R+D to architecture and urbanism and create multidisciplinary knowledge networks.

To this end the institute works in collaboration with several cities and regions, industrial groups and research centres, including the City Council of Barcelona, the Collserola Natural Park, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA), the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc), as well as diverse companies among which CISCO, Endesa, Kuka Robotics and many others.

Together with these, the Institute develops various research programs and projects bringing together experts in different disciplines such as architecture, engineering, biology, sociology, anthropology and other fields of investigation.



The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia is:

Social: Important social base, from the interaction with individuals, companies, and organizations from all over the world, promoting innovation in the construction of the human habitat.

Independent: Private non-profit foundation that collaborates with individuals, universities, companies and public organizations, promoting innovative approaches.

Global: In thought and action, in the origin of human capital, learning from the diversity of the world, promoting the construction of local realities with a very specific identity.

Compact: An organization that is flexible, agile, quick, able to anticipate the new challenges of our time.

Informational: Recognition of digital systems as a technological base that transforms our world today, integration of technologies and processes associated in all the areas of their action.

Natural: Promoting connected systems of self-sufficiency, according to the rules of biological ecosystems, to help build a more ecologically and socially sustainable world.

Holistic: Broad overview of the conception, design, and construction of the human habitat, comprehensive of all scales (bits to geography), in interaction with multiple disciplines.

Why study at IAAC?

  • You will share this life-changing experience with a community of extraordinary students and staff from more than 70 different countries.
  • You will master the latest tools and technologies learning with the best academics, researchers and professionals in their sectors.
  • 70% of IAAC Alumni find a job after just 6 months of completing our Master programs, and 90% within one year.
  • You will discover Barcelona, one of the best cities in the world and the one who is setting the trends in design, architecture and urban sciences.
  • You will become part of a consolidated a network of people – Alumni, Researchers, and Faculty – who will be your family, your business partners, and will shape the future hand in hand with you.
  • You will have access to one of the most equipped laboratories of digital fabrication in the EU, the Fab Lab Barcelona, and you will learn how to work with digital fabrication in an academic environment with the highest ratio of students per machine (5 to 1).



Pujades 102, Poble Nou, Barcelona
08005 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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