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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.

IaaC Students Develop a Passive Cooling System from Hydrogel and Ceramic

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

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

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