What is the IaaC|GSS

The Global Summer School (GSS) is a platform defined by ambitious, multiscalar investigation into the implications of emergent techniques on our planned environments. Each year, international teams located in key cities around the globe explore a common agenda with projects that are deeply embedded in diverse local conditions. Because of this, participants have an international laboratory to test their design hypothesis, understanding how design conclusions derived locally can be tested and evolved globally in different cities where other teams reside. This intensive two week course connects each participant to ongoing research agendas in robotics, simulation, physical computing, parametric design, digital fabrication, and other relevant emerging design methodologies. Specific emphasis is placed on understanding the multiscalar implications of design conclusions, thus creating critical research advanced on the application of new technologies in design.



The way we describe and understand cities today is radically changing, and alongside this change there is also a radical transformation in the tools we use to design them. Cities call for a different approach towards the development of new multi-scalar strategies in urban design and planning solutions. Cities can be described as systems of networked ecologies: a series of co-dependent aggregations revolving around environmental mitigation, land-use organization, communication and service delivery. These generate a complexity that can be organized through technology, laws, political pressures, disciplinary desires, environmental constraints and social interaction. In fact networked ecologies embody the dominant form of organization today: the network, be it telematic, physical or even social.

GSS16 will focus on the potentials of this network to work not only at an urban scale, but also across diverse cities, interconnecting and expanding them. These will ultimately create a dynamic and interactive system of “HYPER- CITIES”: A variety of city-sensors (digital or analogue) processing and transferring information in explicit manifestations, interrelating with the collective environment.

The GSS16 will be directed by IaaC in collaboration with multiple Nodes participating in the course from and in different parts of the globe. All the Nodes engaged in the GSS16 will be challenged to define a 1:1 urban machining intervention transferring and digitally interrelating multiple sets of data collected from hyper-connected cities. The goal is to work as a globally distributed campus to generate a hyper-network of interventions that communicate to each other both locally and globally.



Our cities are space-time systems, constantly exchanging information among themselves and each other, mutating and fluctuating in an evolutionary manner. The traditional City lost its clear connection to a single static space location, underlining the emergence of a new elastic territoriality, a new informational order, in which traditional infrastructure networks coexist, and expand, into immaterial connections. A combined, evolutionary set of Hyper-ecologies, referring to multiple physical and virtual cities.

Through data exchange and interaction, GSS16 - BCN will explore the connection between multi-territorial cities, collecting and visualizing data into projections, interpretations, actions translated through robotic process of fabrication. This process of materialization will not only be used as an information exchanging system but as a decision making tool for the city, citizens and its environment.

The students will be engaged in an heterogeneous learning process exploring multiple urban strategies, shaping the invisible correlation between space and information. Data collection, Material interpretation, robotic aerial fabrication will be interrelated into a design process interacting with the networked system of the hyper-city.


Cities are continuously produced through entropic processes that mediate between complex networked systems and the immediacy urban life. Emergent media technologies inform new relationships between information and matter, code and space to redefine new urban ecosystems. The GSS16-NYC aims at investigating emerging forms of production of urban spaces reimagining the physical city through intelligent and mediated processes.

Through data agency and mediated urban processes, GSS16-NYC will explore the connection between the production of expanded territories and fabrication and robotic practices. Focus will be placed on the feedback mechanism between scales, investigating the continuous loop between the micro and the macro urban scale.

The city of New York will be the expanded site of exploration. Interacting, Integrating, Expanding, Networking and Hacking will be the operational categories to re-imagine future territories and urban practices. The investigations will critically reflect on the city as the shared, the common, the civic and the public enterprise. The exploration of urban scenarios will be filtered through the following categories:


Aldo Sollazzo
Efilena Baseta
Marcella del Signore

Aldo Sollazzo | GSS Director

Aldo is an architect and researcher. Master in Advanced Architecture in 2013 at Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalona (IaaC), Fab Academy Diploma in 2014 at the Fab Lab Barcelona, Aldo is founder of Noumena and Fab Lab Frosinone. Expert in computational design and digital fabrication that teaches in international events and explore within the Lab and its own practice. Since 2013, he is director and coordinator of RESHAPE – digital craft community, a platform dedicated to the development and implementation of innovative ideas from the world of digital design and fabrication.

Efilena Baseta | GSS Coordinator

Efilena is an architect engineer, studied in the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) where she specialized in adjustable structures. She obtained her Master degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) where she developed her master thesis “Translated Geometries”, a responsive structure using smart materials that received several distinctions. Since 2014 she is partner of Noumena where she teaches computational design and digital fabrication in international workshops. Moreover, Efilena is part of Reshape-digital craft community.

Marcella del Signore | NY Node

New York Node Marcella Del Signore is an architect and urbanist who holds a Master in Architecture from University La Sapienza in Rome and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in New York. She is the principal of X-Topia, a design-research practice that explores the intersection of architecture and urbanism. Since 2013, she is also the founding partner of OSW- Open Source Workshop, a practice networked in Europe and USA that explores open source methods for design. Her work concentrates on the relationship between urban space, social practices and information technologies as a mode to test the production of future urban scenarios. She operates through an expanded platform that combines teaching, research and design practice.


News related to GSS
Jul 0
Jul 0

GSS Shanghai Tenth Day

Today was the last day of school. Students rigorously worked to compete their presentations and prototypes through the day. We had a presentation started at 6pm. We have been joined by our guest jury members Ms. Mary Polites, co-founder of MAPS and faculty at College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University, and Mr Bill […]

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Jul 0
Jul 0

GSS Shanghai Ninth Day

As we approach the final day of presentations, teams continue to refine and coordinate they work. a slightly late realization on how long it will take to build an actual prototype compared to drawing or visual representation enabled students to make a final push towards finishing their work for Sunday’s presentation.

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In collaboration with
Fablab Barcelona
Terreform ONE
Tongii University