• As a dynamic center for education, investigation, innovation and dissemination in Barcelona, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), which already proposes a varied educational offer – advanced and self-sufficient architecture, design, robotics and urbanism – will now provide a top-level PhD program pioneering in the fields of Advanced Architecture & Urbanism.
  • Standing for the highest degree and level of competence, the integration of the Phd Program is a significant step contributing to IAAC’s academic excellence. Together with the Swinburne University of Technology, located in Melbourne, Australia, IAAC now offers a PhD programme exploring various areas of research, ranging from advanced computation for responsive architectural  and urban design to advanced manufacturing and novel materials for sustainable construction.

From the academic year of 2019/20, selected professionals and researchers around the world will have the opportunity to follow a PhD programme at IAAC in order to reach full competency and mastery in critical aspects for the future of architecture and urbanism. Developed in partnership with the Australian Swinburne University of Technology, the programme stands for a significant step forward for IAAC as it contributes in its consolidation as a leading European Research Centre. The PhD programme runs in an OffShore modality, allowing researchers to develop their research in IAAC’s Barcelona campus, developing a period of research in the Melbourne based facilities of Swinburne, and receiving the title from this same university, ranked in the top 3% of universities worldwide.

“IAAC has always been on the forefront of applied research in the field of Architecture and Urbanism through the agile and rigorous work developed in our experimental educational programs, european funded research projects and industry collaborations. 

This new PhD program in collaboration with the strong multidisciplinary design work of Swinburne is one more step towards IAAC’s goal to take this work outside the laboratory to impact positively society and the built environment. The joint effort of IAAC and Swinburne targets collaborative work with leading international professionals and PhD students to change the world through the application of innovative and meaningful research agendas. Closely connected with other research centers, as well as with city administrations, industries and the society, we are developing this PhD program as a leading laboratory for real world solutions.”

Areti Markopoulou – Academic Director, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

DegreePhD (Doctor of Philosophy) – issued by the Swinburne University of Technology
Edition2nd edition, start January 2021
DurationMinimum 3 years – Full Time
Fess & FundingFor information on registration fees and/or possible funding, please contact us at [email protected]
AdmissionsEngineering, Design or Architecture Bachelor’s and Master’s or Honour’s degree, or higher degree from other related professions, as well as complying with the Entry Requirements below.



Founded in 2001, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is a centre for research, education, production and outreach, with the mission of envisioning the future habitat of our society and building it in the present. IAAC follows the digital revolution at all scales (from bits to geography, from micro-controllers to cities, from materials to the territory) to expand the boundaries of architecture and design and meet the challenges faced by humanity. IAAC is an experimental and experiential centre where one learns by doing, through a test methodology that promotes real solutions. IAAC is an open, independent and radical non-profit foundation; inspired by the values of Barcelona, the capital of architecture and design, where urbanism was invented and where a local high quality and innovation-oriented research is connected to an international network of excellence in technology, architecture and society fields.

Swinburne University of Technology

More than 100 years ago Swinburne opened its doors with a simple premise in mind: to provide education to a section of society otherwise denied further education. More than a century later, the Swinburne University of Technology, based in Melbourne, Australia, continues to persevere in its commitment to not only provide, but also transform education through strong industry engagement, social inclusion, a desire to innovate and, above all, a determination to create positive change.

Swinburne is a large and culturally diverse organisation, embracing sustainability, cross-cultural partnerships and equal opportunity. A desire to innovate and bring about positive change motivates all students and staff, resulting in an institution that grows and evolves each year.


The IAAC-SWIN offshore PhD programme allows you to complete your research degree jointly at IAAC and Swinburne. If successful, you will receive a single doctoral degree from Swinburne.

Swinburne’s offshore PhD programmes allow students who are based predominantly offshore (outside of Australia) to enrol in a Swinburne PhD.

As a candidate of the IAAC-SWIN OffShore PhD programme, you will be jointly supervised by IAAC and Swinburne. You will have access to the same supervisory support and research training as an onshore student, and will spend time in Australia as part of the programme.

“The Offshore PhD programme with IAAC offers Swinburne collaboration with top PhD scholars and supervisors tackling the leading edge of research in advanced architecture. A perfect marriage of IAAC, as world-leading centre for hands-on experimental and experiential research in the digital in architecture, and Swinburne’s interdisciplinary technology-led approach to joining up ‘industry 4.0’ in design and construction to benefit people and planet. The partnership builds on previous IAAC-Swinburne collaborations, such as the Bifurcation studio, and Melbourne node of IAAC Global Summer School: Coding to Cultivating.” 

Jane Burry – Dean, School of Design, Swinburne University of Technology.


The IAAC-SWIN offshore PhD gives the possibility to explore a wide range of topics:

  • Architecture,
  • Design,
  • Urban Design,
  • Computational Design,
  • Digital Fabrication for Construction,
  • Internet of Things,
  • Urban Technologies,
  • Advanced Materials,
  • Robotic Fabrication,
  • Sustainable Construction.

The PhD programme will allow to merge the experience and experimental approach of both IAAC and Swinburne, further enhancing their shared research agendas through a collaborative approach to the highest level of education.


Students wanting to enrol in the IAAC-SWIN offshore PhD research degree must have a demonstrated ability to undertake significant research in a defined area of interest.

Research ability may be demonstrated in a variety of ways. When applying to undertake a higher degree by research, you must:

  1. comply with Swinburne’s English language requirements
  2. have met one of the minimum entry requirements listed in one of the study areas (see above) or demonstrate equivalent prior learning and research experience as set out in Swinburne’s required standards of achievement and research experience.

View Swinburne’s required standards of achievement and research experience here.


As a candidate of the IAAC-SWIN OffShore PhD programme, you will be jointly supervised by IAAC and Swinburne. You may also be assigned secondary support, on behalf of an Early Career Researcher with specialisation in your field of research.

PhD Candidates will follow various training activities, including theoretical, methodological and practical training workshops, held at IAAC, oriented to support their applied research development.

Candidates will also have access to the same research training as an onshore candidate through Swinburne, and will spend time in Australia as part of the programme.

To view Swinburne training sessions, workshops and seminars for research candidates, click here.


PhD candidates are required to make a significant and original contribution to a discipline or profession by submitting one of the following, equivalent to 70,000 – 100,000 words:

  • a written research thesis
  • a written research thesis including associated papers
  • an artefact, such as a creative work or design product, with an accompanying exegesis (critical explanation).

As a PhD candidate, you’re expected to:

  • conduct independent research of high originality and quality
  • independently conceive of, design, conduct and complete a research project or programme
  • develop a critical knowledge and understanding of the research area and methodological approaches
  • communicate convincingly with clarity and relevance to appropriate audiences.


Academic Director / MAA01, MAA02, MaCT Programme Director and Studio Faculty / DMIC Leader / Board of Trustees Member / PhD Supervisor

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Mark Burry

MAA Senior Faculty / PhD Supervisor

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Mathilde Marengo BW

Head of Studies / MAA, MRAC, MaCT, CIEE Studio & Theory Faculty / Research Methodology Advisor / PhD Supervisor

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Manuel Gausa

MAA Senior Faculty / Advanced Theory Director / MaCT Seminar Faculty / PhD Supervisor

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SECONDARY SUPERVISORS (Early Career Researcher)


PhD Candidate: Aldo Sollazzo

Supervisors: Mathilde Marengo (IAAC), Jane Burry (SWIN)

Working Title: ROBOTIC SENSING – machine cognification for advanced spatial planning


PhD Candidate: Alexandre Dubor

Supervisors: Manuel Gausa (IAAC), Mark Burry (SWIN)

Secondary Supervision: Gergana Rusenova

Working Title: Robotic Craft – Negotiating design and fabrication of natural and recycled materials through sensor feedback in robotic construction processes


PhD Candidate: David Gomez

Supervisors: Areti Markopoulou (IAAC), Mark Burry (SWIN)

Secondary Supervision: Sascha Bohnenberger

Working Title: Extraterrestrial Soil Mechanical Properties, its Relation with 3D Printed Structures for Human Habitats and its influence in Extraterrestrial Construction-Architecture


PhD Candidate: Eduardo Chamorro

Supervisors: Mathilde Marengo (IAAC), Mark Burry (SWIN)

Secondary Supervision: Gregory Quinn

Working Title: HIGH-PERFORMANCE FREEFORM SPATIAL 3D PRINTING – Towards a material Structurally Optimised Architecture


PhD Candidate: Nikol Kirova

Supervisors: Areti Markopoulou (IAAC), Jane Burry (SWIN)

Secondary Supervision: Mehrnoush Latifi

Working Title: Organic waste by-products as aggregates for carbon neutral cementitious composites within a material performance-driven design framework