Can the living replace the non-living? Can the natural replace the artificial? Can the growing be grown?

The IaaC GSS Melbourne node seeks future solutions to the environmental impact of a world of cities developing at unprecedented growth rates. Support systems struggle to keep up with demand. Existing built environment and manufacturing models exploit natural resources, physical and biological.

It is imperative to seek a new paradigm that finds an equilibrium between the natural and the artificial in an effort to reduce non-renewable consumption. As designers and architects, the decision to ‘make’ often has a two-fold side-effect of consuming resources and harming the environment. Therefore, how do we make and what can we make that mitigates these side-effects. Can we build and manufacture with low energy processes? Can we make with renewable materials? Can buildings be grown, with open processes that embrace the variability of the natural world?

This IaaC GSS node will take a multidisciplinary approach and draw inspiration, technology and knowledge from biology, algorithmic design and digital fabrication.

Alternative biological materials will form the base materials for building and making. Participants will collaborate with biologists, designers and architects to conduct research, experiment with biomaterials and explore their fabrication potential. Participants will use parametric design tools and computational modelling techniques to investigate geometric solutions, inspired by biology – such as growth patterns and micro-structures – in developing scaffolds and moulds that support the growth of biomaterials.

The Melbourne IaaC GSS node invites applicants from diverse fields and backgrounds who share a common interest in multidisciplinary learning in design and biology, and are interested in https://www.viagrageneric.org/ design experimentation and speculation through cultivation, coding, and making to explore low energy, renewable and living alternatives to building and manufacturing.


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 broadcast 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.

The organising team in Melbourne is part of Swinburne University School of Design and affiliated with Sensilab, Monash University.

The final project will be exhibited on the Swinburne University Campus for ongoing interaction of students and academics from diverse disciplines.



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Mathilde Marengo is an Australian – French – Italian PhD Architect whose research focuses on the Contemporary Urban Phenomenon, its integration with technology, and its speculative implications on the future of our planet – or the next.

During Mathilde’s academic career, she collaborated on several research projects investigating territorial and contemporary urban transformations. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally through the Venice Biennale, Beijing Design Week, and MAXXI Rome amongst others.

Mathilde has been at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) since 2013, where, until 2015, she was in charge of Communication & Publications, and was Academic Coordinator from 2015 till early 2017. She is currently a PhD Supervisor and the Head of Studies and Faculty at the IAAC Advanced Architecture Group.


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John Stanislav Sadar is Associate Professor and Course Director of Architecture at Swinburne University of Technology. From 2016 through 2017, he taught Interior Design at Parsons School of Design in New York, and from 2009 through 2015, he was Senior Lecturer in Architectural Technology and Design in the Department of Architecture at Monash University in Melbourne. He completed studies at McGill University in Montréal, Aalto University in Helsinki, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

He has worked in private practice in Finland, Slovenia, Canada, and the USA, and is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary design studio Little Wonder. Their work is concerned with the relationship between objects and sensory perception, and has been published, exhibited and manufactured internationally.

Sadar is interested in how buildings and artefacts mediate the relationship between the body and the natural world looking at how the task of designing our constructed environments can forge deeper connections between us and the wider world.


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Canhui Chen is a Lecturer in Architectural Design at Swinburne University of Technology where he teaches second-year architecture studios specialising in Digital Fabrication and Construction.

Prior to joining Swinburne, Canhui ran architectural design studios at the Melbourne School of Design focused on how digital design brings new life to traditional manufacturing techniques; a subject explored in his past five years of research. He led the digital fabrication stream in the Master of Design Innovation and Technology at RMIT as an industry fellow from 2016-2017. Canhui has also run workshops at international conferences including Smart Geometry and CAADRIA (The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia).

Canhui’s interests are centred around exploring the synergic relationship between computational modelling with manufacturing techniques and fabrication process, embracing possibilities and opportunities.


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Linus is a design strategist specialising in the business of architecture. He uses design to help clients identify their blind spots and exploit market opportunities.

He has worked in local and international architecture practices, taught architecture at various Australian universities, worked for the Air Force and directed a Digital Fabrication Laboratory. This unique circumstance has led to a creative and strategic approach to problem-solving and opportunity identification.

He currently runs a business and design consulting practice and balances it with multiple roles. He directs Design Startup Studio, an architecture studio focusing on design and entrepreneurship. As a researcher, he is a partner at Agile X Research Group, a research and teaching collective focusing on digital technologies in architectural design. As a writer, he speculates on our future behaviours and its implications on spatiality at Non Architecture Competitions.

He is also a PhD candidate at Design Factory Melbourne. His project helps architects build custom business strategies to future-proof their design practice. 


Swinburne University of Technology

Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC)

Address: 453/469-477 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122



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 participant will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite, and the school will assist, where possible, the visa process.


Fee for Melbourne is 1000 AUD 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. Portfolio and CV are not required. GSS18 dates are from 2-14 of July 2018 and applications are open until the 27th of June 2018.