Our bodies are complex systems that are dynamic and kinetic, allowing us to navigate through the world, experience our surroundings, and communicate with others through sensing and feedback. In order to understand our surrounding environment, we rely on ours senses; sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.  New York City is a unique environment, layered with cultural diversity, historical attributes, architectural typologies, public spaces, and landscape ecologies that coalesce to form a dense urban network.  Walking around New York City, one experiences many different environments formed by visual information, sounds, smells, and textures.

This IaaC GSS node will focus on creating ‘body architectures’ that serve as mechanisms for augmenting the body in relation to the vertical architecture, urban spaces, and landscape systems that form the environment of New York City. These wearable devices serve to bring a hyper-awareness to the senses, as closed-loop cybernetic systems that utilize ‘digitized’ biometric and environmental data through the use of computational tools, sensing technologies, and actuation. The design of body architectures requires hybrid design, merging multi-disciplinary topics related to art, biology, biotechnology, design, fashion, architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, computation, fabrication, and robotics.

The NYC IaaC GSS node invites applicants from various fields and backgrounds who share a common interest in design processes that involve making, tinkering, hacking, coding, data collection, 3D scanning, digital fabrication, and working with physical computing technologies to explore new possibilities for wearable body architectures that evolve human-machine-environment interactions.


IAAC Global Summer School is a full-time two weeks course, 2-14 July 2018, that provides both practical and theoretical knowledge. The program is led by expert tutors, combined with lectures by renowned professionals and academics relevant to the topics to be treated during the course. These will be broadcasted in the different node-cities, all globally connected. Participants will join a global agenda and an international laboratory at their disposal to test their design hypothesis, understanding how design conclusions derived locally can be tested and evolved globally in the different cities where other teams reside.


Module One will focus on 3D Scanning the body and surrounding context of New York using a LIDAR Scanner.


Module Two will focus on using biometric and environmental sensors to collect data and physical computing tools to actuate response.


Module Three will focus on 3D printing and casting elastomer materials (silicone) to create wearables embedded with sensing and actuation technologies.





Nancy is an architect and an educator practicing in New York City. She is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Building Sciences degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. She has published and exhibited her work widely, namely at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennale, EYEBEAM NY, MILAN EXPO 2015, Venice Biennale 2014, ISEA 2013, Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2013, Dislocate 2007 and Cornell University 2007. Nancy has held permanent academic positions in the US, China, the UK, Italy and Portugal. Nancy has received several grants and fellowships namely from NYSCA/Storefront, MacDowell Colony, EYEBEAM, and Seoul Art Space Geumcheon. She is an affiliated researcher at ISTAR – Information Sciences, Technologies and Architecture Research Center, Digital Living Spaces Lab, ISCTE, Lisbon Portugal and at WSNL Wireless Sensor Network Lab, XJTLU, Suzhou, China.


Frank Melendez is an architect and educator practicing in New York City. Frank is an Assistant Professor at The City College of New York, Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture in New York, NY. Frank holds an architecture degree from the University of Arizona and a Master of Architecture from Yale University. In 2013, Frank was awarded the George N. Pauly, Jr. Fellowship at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture. Eliciting Environments | Actuating Response. His professional experience includes working at Frank O. Gehry & Associates and Urban A&O.


Marcella Del Signore is an architect, urbanist and the principal of X-Topia, a design-research practice that explores the intersection of architecture and urbanism with digital practices. She is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), School of Architecture and Design. 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. She holds a Master in Architecture from La Sapienza University in Rome and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in New York.


IaaC GSS NY 2018 takes place at the New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, NY.

19 Morris Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 488-7005

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IAAC GSS is open to creative and innovative people who are interested in fields such as architecture, urban planning, digital fabrication, design, etc., searching for a multidisciplinary experience in an international environment. No previous skills are required, although CAD design, programming and digital fabrication skills are welcome. The official language of the course is English.


After the course, the participants will have gained theoretical and applicative knowledge about advanced design strategies. They will be familiar with parametric software, data visualization and use of digital machines. The last day of course participants will join a presentation of developed projects reviewed by a renown jury and will receive a Global Summer School Diploma.


Each participant is responsible to investigate which documents are required via the embassies in their country of origin. The school will provide a confirmation letter regarding the participation to the course, and will assist where possible the visa process.


Fee for New York is 850.00 USD  and includes all material costs needed for the course. No additional registration fee is required. Flight tickets, accommodation and food are not included in the fee. Each participant should bring his/her own computer with the software installed. Further details about the software will be given to the participants upon acceptance.


In order to register to the Global Summer School, participants need to submit the online application form, where they will be asked to fill their personal details and to upload a CV. Portfolio is not required. GSS18 dates are from 2-14 of July 2018 and applications are open until the 31st of May 2018.