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Universities from Barcelona and Zurich Selected to Create a New Design School in China

Through a competition limited to some of the most prestigious universities, The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) have been chosen to work with the Harbin Institute of Technology of China (HIT) to create a new school of design, architecture and urbanism in Shenzhen. The new centre will be built on HIT's campus and house up to 1,200 post-graduate and doctoral students, with facilities for research, education and production. Read more about this collaboration after the break.

Yael Reisner + Peter Cook Create Installation to Celebrate Democracy Through Marriage

From the architect. Created for Barcelona's BCN RE.SET festival organized this year by the Fundació Enric Miralles as part of the city's Tricentenari BCN celebrations, this installation by Yael Reisner and Peter Cook responds to the theme of 'democracy'. The design, titled "Take My Hand" takes inspiration from a number of factors - notably the location of the site outside Barcelona's Civil Registration building, and the idea that the protection of human rights and civil liberties is one of the fundamental tenets of democracy.

The installation is therefore designed as a space to be used in marriage ceremonies and a celebration of human rights through civil weddings. Reisner explains that "the option of a civil marriage in many countries opened new possibilities for interfaith marriages, non-religious marriages, and same sex marriages."

More on the installation after the break

Ceremony at the Take My Hand Installation © Marcela Grassi Yael Reisner at the installation of the inflatable canopy Yael Reisner & Peter Cook Celebrate their Silver Wedding Anniversary at their Take My Hand Installation

Barcelona Commemorates 300 Years of Catalan Spirit With 7 Public Installations

Every year, citizens of Catalonia commemorate the events of September 11th 1714, a key date in the War of the Spanish Succession that has come to symbolize what Voltaire called "the Barcelonans' extreme love of freedom." With this year marking the 300th anniversary of these events, Barcelona Cultura enlisted the Fundació Enric Miralles to curate 7 public installations around the city as part of its Tricentenari BCN program.

The result is BCN RE.SET, organized by Benedetta Tagliabue of the Fundació Enric Miralles and stage director Àlex Ollé, which invited guest architects from countries all over the world to colloborate with local universities and create installations symbolizing 6 political and ideological concepts: identity, freedom, Europe, diversity, democracy and memory. These installations will be in place until September 11th. Read on after the break for descriptions of all 6 installations.

Europe / ETH Zürich + Urban–Think Tank. Image © Marcela Grassi Diversity / Yael Reisner + Peter Cook. Image © Marcela Grassi Freedom / Anupama Kundoo. Image © Marcela Grassi Memory / Grafton Architects. Image © Marcela Grassi

Grafting Architecture: Catalonia at Venice

Catalonia is returning for the second time to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale with the Collateral Event Arquitectures Empeltades / Grafting Architecture. Referencing the botanical process of grafting, the proposal seeks to elucidate the changes taking place in contemporary Catalan architecture by highlighting processes in which “living traditions” are being updated as new. 

AD Architecture School Guide: The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

MATAERIAL (shown in the video above) is "the result of the collaborative research between Petr Novikov, Saša Jokić from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Joris Laarman Studio. IAAC tutors representing the Open Thesis Fabrication Program provided their advice and professional expertise." 

Most architecture programs focus on traditional degrees, ranging from practice-based Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees to the more theoretical Doctorate. But, until recently, there has been a void in postgraduate training that actually teaches fresh graduates and experienced professionals new technological skills. The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (or IAAC) has taken an important step towards filling this gap with two programs: the Open Thesis Fabrication (OTF) program and the Fab Academy

Colonial Viladoms Houses / OAB

© Alejo Bague
© Alejo Bague

Architects: OAB  - Office of Architecture in Barcelona Location: Castellbell i el Vilar, Spain Design Team: Carlos Ferrater, Nuria Ayala Technical Architect: Alexandre Pararols Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Alejo Bague

© Alejo Bague © Alejo Bague © Alejo Bague © Alejo Bague

Evangelical Temple in Terrassa / OAB

© Alejo Bagué
© Alejo Bagué

Architects: OAB Location: Terrassa, Spain Project Architects: Carlos Ferrater y Lucía Ferrater Technical Architect: Enric Betlinski Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Alejo Bagué

© Alejo Bagué © Alejo Bagué © Alejo Bagué © Alejo Bagué

Casa de la Cultura / Daniel Mòdol

© Jordi Bernadó
© Jordi Bernadó

Architects: Daniel Mòdol Location: Plaza Pere Torrent S/Nº Lloret de Mar‐Girona‐Spain Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Jordi Bernadó

© Jordi Bernadó © Jordi Bernadó © Jordi Bernadó © Jordi Bernadó

Venice Biennale 2012: Catalan and Balearic Islands Pavilion

Restoration of Can Ribas Factory / Jaime J. Ferrer Forés; © José Hevia
Restoration of Can Ribas Factory / Jaime J. Ferrer Forés; © José Hevia

This year’s Venice Biennale will kick off on August 29th and run through November 25th and for the first time, the Institut Ramon Llull will be presenting an exhibition dedicated to Catalan and Balearic architecture entitled “Vogadors”, featuring nine projects from nine different architects that epitomize the contemporary and avant-garde works from the regions. The exhibition is inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, which is the main geographical feature of the regions, and by the words of Jorge Oteiza, “He who forges ahead creating something new does so like an oarsman, moving forward but back-paddling, looking behind him, towards the past, towards what exists, so as to be able to reinvent its underpinnings.”

Follow us after the break to see the projects to be featured at the exhibit.

La Seca / Meritxell Inaraja; © Wenzel
Home for Three Sister in Bullas / Blancafort Reus Arquitectura; © David Frutos House in Bunyola / Francisco Cifuentes; © José Hevia School of Art and Design in Amposta / David Sebastian and Gerard Puig; © Adrià Goula