Experimentation, Prototyping and Digital Technologies towards 1:1 in architectural education


  • Alexandre Dubor Iaac (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia)
  • Mathilde Marengo Iaac (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia)
  • Pablo Ros Fernández Iaac (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia)




Within education, and in relation to the physical-digital dialogue, we can observe the emergence of new tools, or tool sets, that facilitate experimentation in architectural education, among these, the Fab Lab movement, where 1:1 scale prototyping in construction become more accessible. The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, considered the frontrunners in the integration of this mission within their architectural and construction based educational programs, bring materialising design to the centre of their educational methodology. Based on this, IAAC educational programs explore and produce a large series of experiments and prototypes, aiming to propose a different paradigm to the current productive system. This paper analyses series of projects co-developed by students, staff and industry collaborators with this aim. Through a design/build methodology the paper exhibits the importance of this approach to not only envision the future habitat of our society, but also to build it in the present.

Biografía del autor/a

Alexandre Dubor, Iaac (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia)


MRAC Director / OTF Co-director / MAA, MAI, OTF Senior Faculty / Robotic Expert at IAAC.

Alexandre Dubor is an architect and researcher combining new technologies in an attempt to improve how we build and live in our cities. He holds a Master degree of Architecture & Engineering from EAVT & ENPC (France) and a Master Degree in Advanced Architecture from IAAC (Spain), with a specialization in robotic fabrication and large-scale additive manufacturing (FabBot 3.0).

He holds as well a French architectural licence (HMONP) and has worked in various architectural offices from competition stage to delivery (Libeskind, Atenastudio, iDonati, AREP) while exploring the potential of scripting and coding in a separate practice (Collectif277). Since 2012, he is working at IAAC as an expert in digital and robotic fabrication. He is now leading the Open Thesis Fabrication programme as well as the Master in Robotic and Advanced Construction at IAAC.

Together with IAAC staff, students and industrial partners, he is investigating how new advances in material, digital fabrication and computational design could lead to a better construction ecosystem, towards a more efficient, affordable, sustainable and personalised built environment.

Mathilde Marengo, Iaac (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia)


Head of Studies / MAA, MaCT, CIEE Studio & Theory Faculty / Research Methodology Advisor / OTF Research Advisor at IAAC.

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. She is currently the Head of Studies and Faculty at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s Advanced Architecture Group, as well as being a PhD Supervisor within the InnoChain EU research project.

Mathilde has been at IAAC since 2013, where, until 2015, she was in charge of Communication & Publications, and was Academic Coordinator from 2015 till early 2017. She won a research grant co-financed by Compagnia di San Paolo for the “Atlante Med-Net” project, and in support for the development of her PhD research, developed both at the PhD School of Architecture and Design at the University of Genoa, XXVI cycle, and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. She obtained her International PhD title in April 2014, with “Multi-City Coast. The evolving forms and structures of the Mediterranean multi-city. New models of urban thinking and perspective.”

During her academic career, she collaborated on several research projects investigating territorial and contemporary urban transformations such as ‘LUNGOILMARE: continuità, modificazione e permanenze. Un’ipotesi di sviluppo per 25km di fronte mare del Ponente Ligure’, scientific coordinator Prof. Arch. Franz Prati; research group coordinators: Prof. Arch. Mosè Ricci, Arch. Gianluca Peluffo; and “The Eco_Univercity Genoa Project”, scientific coordinators Prof. Mosè Ricci with Prof. Joerg Schroeder, Università di Genova, Technische Universitaet Munchen. She was also a part of the Inter-University Research team for the PRIN 2010-2011 managed by Ministry of Education, University and Research (Ministero dell’Università, dell’Istruzione e della Ricerca) RECYCLE research project, focusing on urban recycling as the generator for new infrastructure and creativity in urban contexts.

Her work has been published internationally, as well as exhibited, among others: Venice Biennale, Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, Beijing Design Week, MAXXI Rome.

Pablo Ros Fernández, Iaac (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia)


MAA Senior Faculty at IAAC.

Pablo Ros graduated as an architect at ETSA-Barcelona obtaining a specialization degree in Structural Engineering.

He received his Post Professional Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD) from the GSAPP at Columbia University in New York. After concluding the Advanced Architectural Research Program (AAR) at Columbia University, he is pursuing a PhD focused on Neuro-Architecture.

He is the recipient of Arquia-Fundación de Arquitectos´03, La Caixa’09, Gatsby Arts Foundation´12 and Kinne´12 grants. He has worked for different international practices, most notably Cloud 9 and Foreign Office Architects (FOA).

As Project Director and Associate Architect he was responsible of various projects, most notably the South-East Coastal Park in Barcelona, La Rioja Technological Center in Logroño, Zona Franca Office Park D38, the Madrid Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo´10, the urban planning of the Aerospace Campus in Toulouse and the new ports of Marbella and Santander in Spain.

His work has been awarded by the Mies Van der Rohe, FAD and Think-Space Prizes, amongst others. He has been teaching at GSAPP Columbia University, Barnard College, Architectural Assocition and Iaac..

He was the Head of the Office of Cloud 9 before founding his own practice Ros+Falguera Arquitectura.  


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