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IaaC Projects

PLUJA DE LLUM // Luminescent Rain @ BCN LLUM 2015

PLUJA DE LLUM // Luminescent Rain

The intimacy of the existing courtyard, located at Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 1, its distinctive elements, among which the lovers palm tree and fountain, as well as the well-known tale of the Saint Eulalia, together fed the concept of Pluja de Llum.

The concept of the installation follows a mixture of the elements of the tale of Santa Eulalia, in particular her tears, transforming these into a conceptual rain. A luminescent rain, a rain of light, emanating from one of the protagonists of the courtyard, the palm tree.

When entering the courtyard, the visitor is not fully made aware of the scenography that the courtyard beholds. The internal patio area is seamed off, leaving the visitor to meander through the porch of the courtyard, and being able to perceive, through a series of small holes in the sealing of the interior patio, or snapshots, what is in fact happening: the luminescent rain falling from the central palm.

The visitor is then called upon reach up to the superior level of the patio, through a sound interaction system, defining the intensity of the light, and finally opening them to the infinite rain of the courtyard. The visitors look down upon the luminescent rain, into an apparently infinite well – reminiscing the existing fountain -, the courtyard itself, transformed through the implementation of a reflective surface – water flooding the ground floor of the patio – making the patio finally seem never ending through the infinite reflection, as the rain of light itself.

Hence Pluja de Llum – or luminescent rain – proposes itself as the dialogue between the intimacy of the existing courtyard, as the tears of a young girl, and the proposed infinity that emerges, reflecting the perseverance of the tale of Santa Eulalia, and finally the festivities invoked by the BCN Llum 2015 festival.


Project Credits:

IAAC | Fab Lab Barcelona Coordinador: Alexandre Dubor

IAAC | Fab Lab Barcelona team: Areti Markopoulou, Silvia Brandi, Guillem Camprodon, Rodrigo Aguirre, Anastasia Pistofidou, Anna Popova, Mathilde Marengo, Maria Kuptsova, Sofoklis Giannakopoulos, Leonardo Arrata, Ángel Muñoz

MAA02 Students Proposal by: Alessio Verdolino, Alejandro Martinez Del Campo O., Robert Douglas Mckaye, Tobias Grumstrup Lund Øhrstrøm

With the Collaboration of: Out Of Format – Mery Glez & TL3 – Ignacio de Juan-Creix y Umbert, Ece Tankal, Carmen Aguilar

And the support of: EPSON & POLIMERTECNIC

Special Thanks to: Irina Shaklova, Ji Won Jun, Leon Guallart, Lisah Bracke, Nada Shalaby, Samuel Shapiro,Yasmin Hamza, Zunabath Abdul Majid

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BB MAKE // Beijing Design Week 2014


Beijing Design Week 2014

This year Barcelona had the honor of being the guest city for the Beijing Design Week 2014, implementing the “Barcelona, a future inspired by design” exhibition in the 79-Tank, an impressive circular precinct in district 751.

In this framework, the Institut Ramon Llull, content curators of the exhibition, invited architecture and design schools of Barcelona to develop a proposal for the realization of an installation, finally selecting the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s (IAAC) BB Make proposal. 


The BB Make proposal, developed by IAAC, in collaboration with 2 local architecture schools: Chinese Academy of Fine Arts and the Tongji University, explored the potentials of new technologies applied to design, through the generation of a participative collaborative structure, enhancing local materials with advanced technologies. The structure consisted in bamboo beams, a well known local construction material, held together with digitally fabricated joints, in particular 3D printed joints and CNC milled joints, fabricated onsite, allowing the joints to be easily customized, so as to deal with the irregularity of the natural bamboo material, and finally allowing the structure to grow easily. 


The design phase of the joints was developed through a workshop during the week prior to the Design Week held at the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts with 15 local students, giving the local students the opportunity to be introduced to digital fabrication techniques, as well as new software necessary for this implementation. Through the application of 3D printing and CNC milling a series of joints designed were elaborated. These designs were then combined and integrated to finally develop one single base joint typology. A press fit joint was developed, allowing easy customization and allowing to overcome the great irregularity in the bamboo beams, differing in size from 40mm to 60mm. For the final structure, 22 different joints were fabricated through the customization of the original design.


During the Design Week, the BB Make structure was constructed thanks to the participation and collaboration of the local visitors, and the dedication of the CAFA students. The structure was composed of a primary structure, implemented with bamboo beams, and held together with the 22 customized joints fabricated onsite in the 79 Tank. On top of this, in the interest of allowing the local visitors to further personalize the structure, hence fully taking advantage of the perks of digital fabrication, and finally making the structure “theirs”, a secondary structure was implemented using split bamboo beams, where the visitors could CNC mill a personal message, and connect this to the primary structure through simplified joints.


The BB Make installation finally represented the physical implementation of an exchange of knowledge, as well as culture, thanks to the combination of local materials and participation, with technologically advanced fabrication techniques, one of the fields of investigation developed in IAAC. Towards facilitating the access of these digital fabrication techniques during the Design Week, IAAC generated a “popup” Fab Lab inside the 79 Tank, among which the user could access and use 3D printers and a CNC milling machine.

The collaborative implementation of the structure allowed people, from students and professionals of the fields of architecture and design, to the general public, to have the opportunity to be introduced to new digital fabrication techniques, with the support of trained professional, as well as having the opportunity of actually realizing their designs through these techniques, and finally constructing the BB Make structure throughout the duration of the BJDW2014.


IAAC Team:

Areti Markopoulou, Mathilde Marengo, Alexandre Dubor, Rodrigo Aguirre, Maria Kupstova

IAAC local collaborators:

Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA, Beijing), Tongji University (Shanghai).


FREEDOM // BCN Re.Set 2014

BCN Re.set is a circuit of ephimerous architecture in the streets of Barcelona that will take place from June to September 2014 in enclaves of the city centre. The project is organised by Benedetta Tagliabue (Architect - Fundación Enric Miralles) and Alex Ollé (Scenographer - La Fura del Baus), transforming the public spaces of the city through installations that revolve around the themes of identity, memory, diversity, liberty, democracu and Europe.

Each School invited to develop an installation, among which IAAC, work hand in hand with internationally renound architects. IAAC is in fact working together with Anupama Kundoo towards the development of the installation.

FREEDOM - The library of lost books

The IaaC & Anupama Kundoo installation, following the concept of FREEDOM, was located in the Plaça de Salvador Seguí. Knowledge provides freedom and progress; and the power of freedom is expressed through reading. This installation consists of three different trees which uproot the middle of Salvador Segui Square. The trunks and branches are made out of steel, the leaves of books, and the earth made of concrete. The public can sit beneath the permeable shadows of the trees to chat, read, and enjoy the gentle breeze created by the air passing through the leaves.


Design Team

Architect: Anupama Kundoo

Project Development: IaaC, Barcelona - Areti Markopoulou, Silvia


Project Assistance: IaaC, Barcelona - Stefanos Levidis / UQ

Queensland - Ali Dabirian

Fabricaton: Fab Lab, Barcelona - Anastasia Pistodou, Alexandre


International collaborators: UQ, Queensland and MIT, Cambridge

Structural design concept: Mike Schlaich with TU, Berlin

Lighting: LAMP or IGUZZINI


Photo Credits: © 2014 Javier Callejas Architecture Photography . All rights reserved.

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In the courtyard of the Museu Frederic Marés in Barcelona, IaaC ‘plants’ DATA NET, a new artificial tree, in the occasion of the Llum Bcn 2014 festival of light. DATA NET is born, a new tree next to the existing ones, forming an interactive mesh shading museum patio. 

THE CONCEPT - Tangible interaction of Citizens Data.

In a world with an increasing flow of information, we encounter a lack of tools and representations of the data that we generate everyday. DATA NET is an artificial tree that forms an interactive mesh encompassing the visitor within the existing environment allowing the visualising of the data they generate.

Cities are places where dense data is generated. The project proposed tools to allow cities to perform as organisms, processes and visualise the data generated within its fabric, and eventually become behavioural.

THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE - Read the data and interact with it.

One can see the installation illuminated, but can also find himself, as a visitor, participating in the project. The intensity of light of the installation changes, reacting to the location and the density of the visitors through a series of sensors that track peoples’ movement.

Visitors are not only observers of a space but participants in its creation, definition and variation.

THE TECHNICAL PRINCIPLE - Input: Motion tracking + Urban Sensor; Output: Controlled Light.

Using multiple video tracking sensors (kinect) combined with a blob detection software, the exact position of people with in the installation is tracked, generating local data. Data are sent over UDP to a custom Processing program that in return controls each of the 100 Led - also custom made - through a DMX controller. As the entore installation is produced by digital means, the output can be controlled, therefore allowing smooth interaction.

DATA NET is reflecting a living organism that moves and evolves according to the data generated by the public.


Design Team

Areti Markopoulou, Silvia Brandi, Luis Fraguada, Guillem Camprodon,

Anastasia Pistofidou, Alexandre Dubor, Rodrigo Aguirre, Pablo Martinez.

In partnership with Fab Lab Barcelona

And in collaboration with Relco Lighting

Photos by Filippo Poli




The IaaC installation, developed in the occasion of the Festival des Architectures Vives 2014 in Montpellier, proposes to create a space within space, a pavilion in a courtyard, to enhance the intimacy and privacy suggested by the existing courtyard, opened to the public exclusively for the festival itself. The pavilion is a textile construction, generated through the use of the least possible structural elements, floating in equilibrium like a sheet strewn in the wind. The structure is lightweight and collapsable, designed and built by students in the framework of the Experimental Structures academic course in the Masters in Advanced Architecture course. When installed in the courtyard, the pavilion develops its interactive potential through a sensoral experience. Entering this new living space in the courtyard and touching the fabric walls, the courtyard takes life under the form of a soundscape from the outside world. The textile structure reacts to the users incorporating the senses of sight, touch and hearing, finally evoking a diverse reality.


The construction is made out of wooden beams and fabric. The fabric is light and removable, it touches the floor on four points. The 72m2 textile membrane is a special fabric for facades (Stamisol FT Serge Ferrari. The 35 wooden beams provide stiffness only at points where the structure requires support compression. 


A space inside a space. Intimacy. Architecture considered as something that is alive and interactive, closer to a person's everyday life. You feel the materiality as you move closer, and understand the structure, the architecture, while touching the soft textile, that in turn reacts with sound. A sensorial experience implemented through touch and sound, and generating a new, and more personal, soundscape.


The technology implemented into the structure itself is based on a custom board called TOMO developed in the Fab Lab Barcelona. TOMO is an standalone touch and sound processors, integrating two Arduino processors, one running a to touch detection algorithm based on the Touché principle (developed by Disney Research 2012) and the other dedicated to sound generation. The system is completely standalone and can be deployed on any structure, running on batteries for more than a week.

The initial pavilion developed in the Experimental Structures seminar has been hacked with conductive paint and two TOMO boards, and implemented with balloon speakers to create an intimate and vivid space, finally unfolding senses.


Design Team:

IAAC - Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia / MAA01 12-13 - Program Director: Areti Markopoulou / Experimental Structure Seminar - Tutors: Silvia Brandi, Josep Miàs / Students: Ibrahim Berkay, Zeynep Birgönül, Harsh Boghani, Elif Gungor, Marjan Jelveh, Kismir Selcuk, Anand Singh, Angeliki Terezaki.

Interaction Team:

IAAC - Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia / Guillem Camprodon, Alexander Dubor, Luis Fraguada, Clemens Niemeyer

Production Team:

IAAC - Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia / Rodrigo Aguirre, Karen Beyens, Anastasia Pistofidou, Anna Popova


Serge Ferrari http://es.sergeferrari.com/

FabLab Barcelona www.fablabbcn.org

EASTN - European Arts Science and Technology Network http://www.eastn.eu


Endesa Pavilion & Research Projects

ENDESA Pavilion is a self-sufficient solar prototype installed at the Marina Dock, within the framework of the International BCN Smart City Congress. Over a period of one year it will be used as control room for monitoring and testing several projects related to intelligent power management.


The pavillion is actually the prototype of a multi-scale construction system. A facade composed by  modular components, like solar brick, that respond to photovoltaic gaining, solar protection, insulation, ventilation, lighting ... The same parametric logic adapt façade geometries to the specific

environmental requirements for each point of the building. It is is a single component that integrates all levels of intelligence that the building needs.


From “form follows function” (classic XX century statement) to “form follows energy”. The facade   opens reacting to the solar path, being active and becoming permeable towards south, while becoming closed and protective towards north. The behavior of this skin makes visible the environmental and climatic processes that surrounds the prototype.

Fab Lab House

The Fab Lab House Project (www.fablabhouse.com) lead by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (www.iaac.net), the Center for Bit and Atoms del MIT and a world wide network of fab labs (fab.cba.mit.edu) have been chosen as one of participants in Solar Decathlon Europe competition (www.sdeurope.org), which will take place in Madrid in June 2010.

The prototype is understood as a result of the negotiated consensus of the sum. More than a closed design, more than a description of an object, the prototype defined here is presented as a combination of a series of intentional strategies, and the realization of a series of affirmations that we intend to defend. 

Basic conditions of the proposal:

The first argument is based on a distinct industrialization model. Set against the industrialization of mass production, digital design techniques and the new technologies of personalized fabrication, CAD CAM and that which is closely linked between design and fabrication, we offer them vast possibilities of adaptation between real needs and specific answers. It is based on this point that we propose the international network of Fab Labs as a base of production for prototype development. 

The second argument is based on the extended definition of technological efficiency. We intend to add to the concept of efficiency a factor of accessibility and apply these values to all the design categories of the prototype, from the structure to the finishes. We propose to measure, for example, the efficiency of a photo-sensitive material not by its energy efficacy, but by the relation of its price, availability, complexity /technical opacity, possibilities of use, adaptation transformation assembly facility and maintenance… and its energy collecting efficiency. Through this change of viewpoint we intend to make the user an agent of participation and a transformer of the space they inhabit.

The third, the emergent logic of the component and distribution of intelligence. Set against the opposing sum of elements originating from different technical fields, set against the typical "box + panel", we argue in favour of the distribution of intelligence. Each component of the prototype contains the same technical, energy, and structural level, etc… as the rest.  The logic, in its entirety is found in each of the parts and not in it’s entirety.

Finally, the prototype presented here is the result of an open evaluation process of different prototype options, subjected to formal criteria as well as constructive logics and energy efficiency in which all of the agents that have actively participated will form part of their subsequent development.

Smart Citizen Kit

Smart Citizen is a platform, founded by Tomas Diez - IaaC | Fab Lab Barcelona - and Alex Posada - MID, Hangar - for the generation of social participatory processes in urban areas. Connecting data, people and knowledge, the objective of the platform is to serve as a node for building productive and open indicators, and distributed tools, bringing thereafter to the collective construction of the city for and by its own inhabitants.


The Smart Citizen project is based on geolocation, Internet and open source hardware and software for data collection and sharing (Smart Citizen Kit - SCK , RESTful api, Mobile App and, the web community), as well as the production of objects. It connects people with their environment and their city, creating more effective and optimized relationships between resources, technology, communities, services and events in the urban environment. This project has successfully been deployed, as an initial phase, in the city of Barcelona, and is currently being deployed in Amsterdam in collaboration with Amsterdam Smart City and Waag Society, and Manchester in collaboration with Future Everything and Intel.

The Smart Citizen Project was realised in collaboration with: MIDHANGAR.ORG,GOTEOAcrobotic 


Hyperhabitat. Reprogramming the World


Is a research project that explores the potential of information technology to reorganize the habitability of the world. From a single small object to the planet itself.

Hyperhabitat, reprogramming the world is the biggest Internet Zero network ever built.


Hyperhabitat. Reprogramming the World is an installation directed by Vicente Guallart and produced for the 11th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, curated by Aaron Betsky under the title Out There: Architecture Beyond Building.

For the development of the project, Guallart Architects, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of CataloniaMIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and Bestiario have created a consortium to address the various aspects of the proposal.

The project engages with the theme of the Biennale by positing the need to reprogramme the structures with which we inhabit the world through the introduction of distributed intelligence in the nodes, networks and environments with which we construct buildings, cities and territories.

The installation includes the construction of a house with shared spaces made of methacrylates with embedded microservers, which interact with one another to generate relationships that are displayed as a large-format projection on which line codes can be drawn to suggest relationships or ‘line codes’ between nodes. In addition a special web platform, to be launched on November 24, will enable people around the world to put forward formulas for reprogramming the world.

The project incorporates key recent developments in digital manufacturing, the creation of Internet 0 (a new microserver technology developed at MIT to generate ambient intelligence by linking a series of miniature computers) and the theory of the multiscale habitat, an ‘urban genome’ project developed at IaaC that seeks to introduce new approaches to the generation of buildings and cities by restructuring the functional relationships between the constituent parts.

Media House Project

The Media House Project is the fruit of a strategic alliance between the Metapolis Group from Barcelona, the MIT Media Lab, and the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya, with the collaboration of the consortium 12CAT and the Elisava design school, in order to build a prototype of an informational house.

This project inables the testing of the proregression of information technologies beyond that of computers and integrates them into everyday life, literally looking to build computers from the components of buildings, in such a way, that the logical intelligence of a structure can grow with its physical form.

The technologies that Media Lab are developing include techniques to distribute the work of some central servers, to drammatically reduce costs and also the complex task of equipping them with internet access, so that it is possible to integrate them into the simplest of the existing elements in “intelligent spaces”.

The Metapolis architects have developed an informative structure, which incorporates in just one element the physical structure, the electrical network, and the data network, which enables a dynamic and configurable link between the entities (people, objects, space, limits, networks and contents) and that which create an inhabitable environment.

The house is the computer, the structure is the network.

DHUB exhibition



FABRICATION LABORATORY is a group of activities ( exhibition, real-time manufacturing laboratories, workshops, conferences, etc.) which aim to analyze new three-dimensional digital manufacturing technologies - a phenomenon in constant evolution that is leading to radical changes in design and production processes.




The permanent exhibition, Full Print3d. Printing objects provides an introduction to digital fabrication through a series of projects that illustrate the conceptual implications of this type of production for design.

In additive fabrication—popularly known as ‘3D printing’—an object is created by superimposing and solidifying successive, extremely thin layers of a particular material. Whereas other types of digital fabrication grew out of the automation of manual techniques that were already familiar before the advent of the computer (cutting, milling, folding, bending, etc.), additive processes make it possible to produce the object, particle by particle, according to the data sent from the computer. This flexibility allows unprecedented freedom in the shape of the design and the control of the material.

The work being explored developed in various disciplines, illustrates how new concepts in the production of material are emerging, thanks to the adaptation and use of additive fabrication technologies. The versatility of 3D printing technologies can be found in the creation of everyday objects and furniture; the printing of human cell tissue, bone prostheses, food and the adaptation of machines to print buildings, and points to a possible paradigm shift in the creation of the world around us.

All of the objects presented at Full Print3d were created using different additive manufacturing processes and are organize into six thematic areas: freeform, variation, customization, complexity, materiality, and finally, applications and research.

Exhibits are presented within the following categories: Free form Variation, Customization, Complexity, MaterialityApplications and Research



Within the exhibition Fabrication Laboratory a Fab Lab was created and implemented inside the museum.

The DHUB FAB is a digital fabrication laboratory, with CNC machinery, that allows on-site experimentation with prototype and object manufacturing through workshops aimed at both professionals and non-professionals.

DHUB FAB aims to bring technology closer to all of the visitors and also transmit the idea that, just as 2D printers did in the past, 3D digital manufacturing machines will give rise to important changes in the way that we produce and consume and have direct consequences on the economies of present-day production .



The current project aims to relate architectural thinking with the potentials of the digital production. The topic of the exhibition (Digital Fabrication and 3D digital manufacturing technologies) set up the principle of the design which had to begenerated by this technology itself.


The goal was to pass from the smaller scale of one object to the big scale of a whole exhibition without any interference, tracking down the relationship as well as the practical value in the choice and manipulation of the materials and the geometry, to archive the highest possible efficiency in the production method using CNC machine tools.

The study of the design was made based on “serial thinking” by designing geometric volumes depending on how from the union we could create multiple configurations vertically and horizontally, giving them also the geometry that could yield the necessary surfaces and heights, depending on the exhibits.


Evaluating the geometric design, the initial form that in its repetition was capable of variable connections was a prismatic model. Aggregated itself is designed to offer different connections that are created according to the suitable presentation of each exhibit.

The final prism is composed of three identical rhombus-shaped, two triangular and two trapezium-shaped surfaces. The prism is able to grow vertically and horizontally as well as linear configurations which can turn direction in space at any time.


The fabrication strategy was linked with a folding technique and the material chosen was a composite of aluminum and polyethilenium, a material able to fold as well as offer structural stability.

Material performance has been associated with CNC machine handling, the proper selection of tools and machine programming.


Curated by: Marta Malé–Alemany, Master co-director IAAC
Collaborators: Francisca Aroso, Areti Markopoulou, Massimo Menichinelli

DHUB Fab Lab: Tomás Díez, Guillem Camprodon, Luciano Betoldi

Exhibition Design: IAAC, Areti Markopoulou, Nota Tsekoura