IAAC - Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
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Educational Program - Intro


The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia offers a four-phase(plus one optional extension phase) Master program in Architecture and Urbanism jointly organized with the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya.
The program has an innovative format that allows the students to create their own academic agenda in an open structure of studios and seminars, based on territorial, urban, architectural and parametrical approaches to design research.
The 2014-2015 program will investigate  the production of Intelligent and Sustainable Habitats within complex and fast-changing urban and natural environments. Pursuing the generation of architectural knowledge and the implementation of innovative design and planning methodologies as critical responses; the self-sufficiency agenda aims to explore processes of social and material organization, evolution and adaptation.
In addition to research programs and international projects, the agenda includes lectures, excursions, exhibitions, publications and competitions.


The Self-sufficiency Agenda establishes the responsibility for confronting the process of global urbanization from multi-scalar operations and through prototypes that promote environmental, economic and social sustainability.

In the early 20th century, the concept of ¨dwelling¨ was defined as a ¨machine for living¨, a reference to a new way of understanding the construction of inhabitable spaces that characterized the Machine Age. Today, a century later, we face the challenge of constructing sustainable or even self-sufficient prototypes; living organisms that interact and interchange resources with their environment, and function as entirely self-sufficient entities, as do trees in a field.
In this way, each action on the territory implies a manipulation of multiple environmental forces, connected to numerous flows and networks such as energy, transport, logistics and information, generating new inhabitable and responsive nodes with the potential to use and produce resources. Territorial and urban strategies and building operations must therefore be coordinated processes that extend architectural knowledge to new forms of management and planning, in which a multiscalar thinking also entails an understanding of shifting dynamics, energy and information transmission and continuous adaptation.
Architecture is always facing the responsibility of responding to emergent needs, technologies and ever-changing programs. We must ask more of architecture: we as architects should be required to design inhabitable organisms that are capable of developing functions and integrating the processes of the natural world that formerly took place at a distance, in other points of the surrounding territory.
The models generated for the metropolis of the last century are unable to accommodate new developments linked to contemporary urban lifestyles, which are more and more discontinuous in space and time. The building-over of the global landscape requires us to design contemporarily the full and the empty, the natural and the artificial, in such a way as to make economic impetus compatible with sustainable development.
It is necessary to generate complex knowledge with a multi-layered reading of realities that traditionally have been considered separate, such as energy manipulation, nature, urban mobility, dwelling, systems of production and fabrication, the development of software and information networks, etc. This will allow the possibility for new prototypes, capable of engaging with complex and changing environments.
Finally, every new urban or architectural production needs to update its materiality and reinterpret century-old construction techniques, which are very directly based on the transformation of locally available materials. It is now time for interaction between disciplines and technologies with a vision that embraces different fields of research.


For more information email us at: info@iaac.net