IAAC – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
Global Summer School Program 2024
In person workshop at IAAC and Valldaura Labs

Duration: from the 1st until the 12th July 2024




Course key topics:  parametric tools, digital fabrication, 1:1 scale prototyping.

Bamboo has been heralded by architects and designers as the material of the future for a decarbonised future and a sustainable practice. Bamboo is a uniquely renewable plant that could be used as a constructive material as a structural element or for “decorative” cladding. Although it has been grown and used in subtropical areas pre industrially, bamboo is starting to be harvested and used in other parts of the world with growers and suppliers, without considering the raising market of bamboo derived products like laminated flooring, facade cladding and fiber walls systems that would have a lot of promise for the future construction market.

The workshop will focus on the experimentation with this material by designing an intervention (shelter, canopy, installation, sculpture) within IAAC main hall in Barcelona city, Pujades campus. Students will analyse the types of bamboo (size, diameter, length ) available to be able to design an architectural vision and intervention within the industrial warehouse space of the IAAC. During the first  days of the workshop, students will work on the design process developing drawings, 3d models, physical models, junction details and plans to prepare the process of construction happening in the second week along with IAAC Robotics fabrication team and tools.

The workshop’s participants will receive lectures on experience building with bamboo, explaining the challenges, interesting works and the new possibilities that bamboo represents as a construction material in the years to come. On the final day, students will present their 1:1 scale project outcome to a selected Jury of IAAC experts and invited guests form the AEC sector. The day will end with the GSS closing diploma ceremony of the workshop’s participants.


Credits: Atelier DanieL Florez.Sacred Leaves Pavilion,  Ph by Maira Acayaba.


Learning objectives


At course completion the student will:


  • Design with a single constructive element (bamboo) exploring its possibilities: structural, aesthetics to design a 1:1 scale intervention in an existing industrial space.
  • Analyse the architectural possibilities to create a dialogue between the bamboo and the existing architecture.
  • Predict the construction process by digital and manual design process: 3d modelling, structural calculation, design production: physical models, sketches, composite images, and more.
  • Understand fundamental concepts of  bamboo assembly, while becoming familiar with the possibilities of a material crucial for a decarbonised future.

Credits: BB MAKE by IAAC Beijing Design Week 2014.



Participants will assist to classes, learn and prototype at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), in the recently created district known as 22@, a focus for companies and institutions oriented toward the knowledge society. The neighbourhood is close to the historic centre, the seafront, the Plaça de les Glòries and the Sagrera APT station, making it one of the most dynamics enclaves in the city.

IAAC Main Hall, Pujades 102, Barcelona (Spain).


Students will attend the GSS workshop and co-work together also at Valldaura Labs, IAAC’s second campus located in Collserola Park, the natural centre of the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Valldaura campus is a large park and testing ground for innovation that features the latest technologies in the fields of energy, information and fabrication.


Valldaura Labs Campus, Cerdanyola Park, Barcelona (Spain).

The core of this innovative project developed by IAAC is a laboratory to implement investigation and set a new benchmark for self-sufficiency. The Valldaura Self Sufficient Labs express a new concept for sustainability established by IAAC. Its aim is to create a sustainable, consciously designed ecology using both cutting edge technology and traditional craftsmanship.


Workshop schedule

The detailed schedule of the workshop will be shared with the participants prior to the workshop’s beginning.




Daniel Florez is an architect based in Brazil and Spain. After working many years in Herzog & De Meuron, involved in huge scale projects and colossal construction sites such as the BBVA Headquarters in Madrid or the Hamburg’s Elb Philarmonie Opera among others. After this experience Daniel settled his practice in a small village of the northeast of Brazil where he designed and built  projects with a special sensibility with the surrounding nature, working with local people and using low impact materials such as bamboo. His work has been published in media like Arquitectura Viva, Wallpaper, Deezen, Designboom, Archdaily, Domus, Arquine, Summa, Trama, Design, Dwell, Gestalten, Trendhunter, and more.

​In 2019, the design magazine WALLPAPER selected his firm as one of the emerging architectural practices of the year. His Bamboo House (Brazil) was included in the Princeton edited  book “Bamboo Contemporary” written by William Richards which selects contemporary Bamboo houses around the Globe. His Gutter House (Brazil), in which he also uses bamboo, has been nominated this year for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHP), which selects the best architecture in the American Continent.



Faculty assistant

Lorenzo Salinas Cisneros is a Peruvian architect graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). He has a Master Degree in Parametric Design for Architecture at ETSAV and a Postgraduate Degree in Sustainable Urbanism and Environmental Architecture in La Salle. Throughout his career he has been focused on sustainable design and constructions with alternative materials such as wood, bamboo, and earth, involving participatory designs with high social impact. Lorenzo works at IAAC as Project Staff.



Workshop Fee

GSS Bamboo at work fee is 1200€ for early bird offer within 31st May 2024, final application deadline is 24th June. From June the fee is 1500€ 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 closer to the workshop’s beginning.

IAAC will reserve the right to cancel the on site workshop in case the minimum number of students for the workshop won’t be reached. The GSS coordination ([email protected]) will inform you if this possibility could happen and IAAC will refund the entire fee to the participant.

Accommodation in Barcelona will not be included. IAAC will advise participants providing staying solutions and support.
Transportations between IAAC facilities is in charge of IAAC. Upon arrival, participants will be equipped with the IAAC students access card and IAAC welcome kit.


Previous Knowledge / Students background requirements 

The GSS24 Bamboo at work workshop is open to creative and innovative people who are interested in fields such as architecture, urban planning, digital fabrication, design, arts searching for a multidisciplinary experience in an international environment. No previous knowledge in parametric softwares is compulsory, any knowledge of Rhino and Grasshopper are welcome. The official language of the course is English.