What is the IaaC|GSS

The Global Summer School (GSS) is a platform defined by ambitious, multi-scalar investigation on the implications of emergent techniques in 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.

IaaC Community|Alumni

IAAC has an active alumni community distributed around the word allowing a decentralized expansion of IAAC expertise and knowledge. The constant involvement of the community in IAAC activities keeps the connections strong and fertile. IAAC GSS16 aims to empower the bonds with the community members, therefore places them in strategic positions which allows Global Summer School to take place simultaneously in different cities around the world:

Barcelona, New York City, Monterrey, Moscow, Tehran, Mumbai, Beirut, Beijing

The deadline for the applications is the 30th of May!



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. GSS16 is an innovative educational model emerging from the digital era.



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.


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.


Every city has its own personality; located in a territory providing natural and cultural context. The interrelation of these factors, their flows and network systems, along with the cultural model slowly shape a new reality. This new reality is what we now identify as the city: these processes allow for a city to be or not to be, a cultural focal point of a country or region. GSS16-MTY will explore these natural and cultural behaviors as a starting point for understanding the city as a system of systems. Identifying potential models of the new nature of the city to find the interconnections and develop prospective patterns for the production of new urban spaces enhanced through advanced technologies. The connection between new models of public space, generation of data, and advanced manufacturing methodologies will be explored during GSS16-MTY through the exchange of data and interaction.


Today space, time and information in the discipline architecture merge into a single continuum, in which the physical and the digital converge. In this context, relationships, actions and events are combined in an open and non-predetermined reality where architecture is clearly understood as a creator of processes, rather than a series of finite events. Both the urban algorithm and the city are never complete, evolving through continuously and dynamically. Design, construction and emergence are fully integrated in a regulatory body where the inhabitants are an integral part of the design apparatus: they are relevant actors that code the design of the urban ecology.


Urban decay is rife in today’s mega-cities and Tehran is no exception. The extent of damage to Tehran’s urban core is so substantial that the Ministry of Urbanism has extensively mapped the damaged sites in 14 of the city’s 22 districts. Mapping cities in the digital age however, is an on going and never-ending process of narrating, symbolizing, visualizing, and challenging a set of relations in an urban environment. GSS16-THR, in collaboration with local municipalities, will create an incision in Tehran’s urban fabric, identifying and investigating specific sites in need of rehabitiliation for public benefit.


Water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Dense cities like Mumbai over-consume treated water and cause wastage. Even though Mumbai is blessed with heavy rainfall annually, the city is not equipped to store water for its own use. Instead, it relies on distant lakes and natural resources for its needs.


Advanced technologies rapidly proliferate worldwide while new initiatives locally foster an accelerated growth in the information and technology sector. Beirut today witnesses a decline in its basic infrastructures with an ongoing waste removal crisis, rising pollution levels and increase in environmental toxicity. Even with the proliferation of active social and communication networks, the public remains generally ill-informed of the impeding ecological disasters that the city is facing.


During last fifty years, the urban fabric of Beijing has been changed dramatically, this historical city has become more international. However, on the other hand, Traditional Beijing Hutong areas its original urban structure has been radically transformed. The arrival of a very consistent number of migrant workers and the growth of the local population generated an uncontrolled densification of the original built fabric. Since the height limit in the historical city center is strictly implemented, the buildings started expanding horizontally, infiltrating all the available voids. The traditional courtyard houses have been fragmented into separate living units and the open spaces have been saturated by illegal extensions. The result is neighbourhoods with very limited public space, poor natural light and ventilation and a very low quality of the built fabric.


Areti markopoulou
Aldo Sollazzo
Efilena Baseta

Areti Markopoulou | Acad. Director

Areti Markopoulou is a Greek architect and professor at IaaC, Barcelona. Her research and practice design explores new architectural models investigating applications of ICT, Energy and Fabrication allowing built and public space to dynamically adapt to behavioral and environmental changes over time. She is currently the Academic Director and the head of R+D at IaaC in Barcelona as well as the initiator and partner of Fab Lab Athens in Greece. She holds a Bachelor in Architecture & Engineering from DUTH, Greece, an MArch from IaaC and a Fab Academy diploma on Digital Fabrication offered by the MIT CBA and the Fab Lab Network. She is a Phd candidate in the UPC, Barcelona and has published several articles internationally.

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.

Yousel Al Nafisi | GSS Admissions

Master in Advanced Architecture in 2013 at Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalona (IaaC), Yousef Al Nafisi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Design Management from the American University of Sharjah – School of Architecture and Design and a Master in Architecture (NAAB) From The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He has been working in Kuwait as a Marketing and Business Development for Bab nim.nim Design Studio and as Marketing Manager at Mazaya Real Estate Development. Yousef has experience in managing public and corporate relations and develop and execute Brand strategies and budgeting.


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In GSS16, students will design with parametric software and experience digital fabrication techniques based on tools such as drones, 3d printers, robotic arms, laser cutters and CNCs. Video Credits: Ece Tankal and Noumena

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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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In collaboration with
Tongii University
Fablab Barcelona
Terreform ONE
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Barcelona 1500€, New York City 1000€, Monterrey 1000€ (includes accommodation), Moscow 750€ (34% discount to students enrolled in Russian universities), Tehran 750€ (550€ for students), Mumbai 650€, Beijing 1000€, Beirut 900€ (750€ for local students)

The maximum number of students for each node is 30. Applications will be accepted until the maximum number of students is reached. Applications will be considered once all required documents mentioned in the online form, including the receipt of payment, have been submitted. Find detailed information about the payment on the application form. The applications are open until the 30th of May 2016!