IaaC Student Develops 3D Printed "Living Screen" From Algae

14:30 - 4 November, 2015

"The debate linked to a more responsive architecture, connected to nature, has been growing since the 1960s," explains Irina Shaklova in her description of her IaaC research project Living Screen. "Notwithstanding this fact, to this day, architecture is somewhat conservative: following the same principles with the belief in rigidity, solidity, and longevity."

While Shaklova's argument does generally ring true, that's not to say that there haven't been important developments at the cutting edge of architecture that integrate building technologies and living systems, including The Living's mycelium-based installation for the 2014 MoMA Young Architect's Program and self-healing concrete made using bacteria. But while both of these remain at the level of research and small-scale experimentation, one of the most impressive exercises in living architecture recently was made with algae - specifically, the Solarleaf facade developed by Arup, Strategic Science Consult of Germany (SSC), and Colt International, which filters Carbon Dioxide from the air to grow algae which is later used as fuel in bioreactors.

With Living Screen, Shaklova presents a variation on this idea that is perhaps less intensively engineered than Solarleaf, offering an algae structure more in tune with her vision against that rigidity, solidity, and longevity.

IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

06:00 - 30 October, 2015

Sofoklis Giannakopoulos, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), has designed Pylos, a 3D printer that utilizes a natural, biodegradable, cheap, recyclable and local material that everyone is familiar with: the earth.  

In an effort to make 3D printing a “large scale construction approach” even in years of economic and environmental turmoil, Pylos explores the structural potential of soil, a material that has been widely used in vernacular architecture around the world, and particularly in the Global South. 

Learn more about the printer after the break.

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

06:00 - 31 July, 2015
IAAC Fabrication Lab. Image Courtesy of PATI NÚÑEZ AGENCY
IAAC Fabrication Lab. Image Courtesy of PATI NÚÑEZ AGENCY

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.

IaaC Students Develop a Passive Cooling System from Hydrogel and Ceramic

00:00 - 21 January, 2015
Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Students at the Digital Matter Intelligent Constructions studio at Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia have created a composite facade material of clay and hydrogel, which is capable of cooling building interiors by up to 6 degrees centigrade. Entitled Hydroceramic, the material utilizes the ability of hydrogel to absorb up to 500 times its own weight in water to create a building system that "becomes a living thing as part of nature and not outside of it."

Read on after the break for more on how Hydroceramic works.

A proposal for a "cooling pavilion" designed with a hydroceramic skin. Image Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia A proposal for a "cooling pavilion" designed with a hydroceramic skin. Image Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Hydrogel pellets, both with and without absorbed water. Image Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Courtesy of IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia +13

IAAC Invents a Family of Robots to 3D Print Structures of Any Size

00:00 - 17 June, 2014
The Grip Robot applies further layers to build up the shell. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
The Grip Robot applies further layers to build up the shell. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

One of the major challenges in translating 3D Printing technology into architecture has been the issue of scale. So far, this has generally resulted in ever larger printers, with one of the most successful examples being the KamerMaker, which has been used to 3D print a Dutch Canal House in 2x2x3.5 metre chunks. However, recognizing the limitations on the size of 3D printers, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has developed a family of three small, mobile robots which together can print a structure of any size.

Read on after the break for more on the process.

The Grip Robot applies further layers to build up the shell. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia The Vacuum Robot can travel in any direction across the structure adding extra layers to strengthen the structure.. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia The Vacuum Robot. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Strengthening layers added by Vacuum Robot. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia +14