In Barcelona, IAAC offers an international Master program in Advanced Architecture (MAA). The MAA is oriented towards architects, engineers and designers from all over the world, eager to imagine the future of our cities and societies and committed to building it in the present.
The Master in Advanced Interaction (MAI) is a unique opportunity for Designers, Visual and Performing Artists, Choreographers, Dancers, Architects, Interaction Designers, VJs and DJs, Sound Artists, Scenographers, and profiles from related backgrounds to explore creative uses of technology for experimental and practical purposes.
The course is aimed at developing and exhibiting projects which define meaningful interaction through novel technological solutions, performances, and installations. The ambition of these projects go well beyond digital media and are communicated through software and hardware development, solid theoretical foundations, and prototypes completed in IAAC’s digital fabrication laboratory. The theoretical basis of the course is to question how current technology can augment the agency and impact of all kinds of interactions around us.
Our learning-by-doing research integrates methods used in design, programming and social sciences to produce projects, prototypes, and products that will define the outer limits of what is imaginatively possible to do with technology today. Wearables, artificial intelligence, human-machine interaction and augmented environments are some of the key topics which form the agenda of the Master of Advanced Interaction. Students who attend the Master in Advanced Interaction join an international group, including faculty members, researchers and lecturers investigating critical issues that face modern society. Their aim is to develop the skills necessary to implement practical solutions in diverse professional environments.
The Master in Advanced Interaction (MAI) is a 9 month program accredited by the Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) with 75 ECTS. The MAI program is directed by Klaus Obermaier and Luis Fraguada.
MAI IN BRIEF
|Degree||Master in Advanced Interaction accredited by School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)|
|Duration||9 months – From October to June – Full Time|
|Admission||Bachelor or higher degree from Art, Design, Architecture, other related professions.|
CONTEXT & AGENDA
The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia has evolved from an institution that simply questioned architecture and territory to a place where new architectural solutions are conceived. There is a space between the built environment, the territories we inhabit, and the technology we confront, that nowadays needs to be addressed. Therefore, after the successful pilot-program in 2008, the Institute officially launched the Master in Advanced Interaction as a natural evolution of the domains it was looking to further explore.
Today, we communicate and interact with smart devices, physical and virtual environments, and the Internet of Things. User-generated content mixes with professional contributions. In our Age of Participation, mostly driven by social media and gaming, but also by interactive arts and performances, passive recipients turn into active participants by becoming creative players. Interactive environments go beyond the passive reception by creating an immersive, communicative and social experience.
All fields of study and practice require the skills to make meaningful use of available and forthcoming technologies. This is mainly due to the increased adoption of technology in our daily lives. Data and Information now encompass a sort of Metadata Layer, which crosses all aspects of our existence.
The Master in Advanced Interaction questions the limits of this contemporary technological phenomena and prepares candidates to be the key actors capable of making connections between disciplines where none were possible or even considered before.
The Master in Advanced Interaction is organized around three terms, each including a Research Studio and a series of Seminars and related events.
The Research Studios are the main part of the program: they focus on building technical, aesthetic and conceptual skills by working on real-life situations. Seminar sessions are designed to transmit specific domains of knowledge from relevant experts involved in practice and academia.
Throughout the academic year we invite artists and practitioners in interaction arts and related fields to talk about their work. While the primary activities of the course are in Barcelona, Spain, we look to international events to form part of our discourse and inspiration.
With 7 day access to the IAAC Studio working space and its prototypes fabrication lab, students have the opportunity to be part of a highly international group, including faculty members, researchers and lecturers, in which they are encouraged to develop collective decision-making processes and materialize their project ideas.
The aim of the Institute is to form graduates who, after the completion of the program, will be able to develop their acquired skills in a diversity of professional environments.
The Master in Advanced Interaction comprises the following elements:
- Interactive Studio IS
- Interaction Tools and Methods IT
- Physical Computing PC
- Applied Theory AP
- Lecture Series LS
- Research Trip RT
The program is organized in four phases, including a final exhibition:
- Phase 1: Introductory Studio and Seminars (20 ECTS credits)
- Phase 2: Research Studio and Seminars (19 ECTS credits)
- Phase 3: Research Studio and Seminars (19 ECTS credits)
- Phase 4: Final Exhibition
- Lecture Series (throughout the year) (2 ECTS credits).
The body of the students of this Master Program will be multi-disciplinary. The program is aimed at Professionals and Graduate Students of any design-related discipline (Architects, Designers, Interior Designers, Engineers, Software Developers).
Program Organisation - MAI
The Advanced Interaction Boot Camp is a one week workshop in IAAC’s Valldaura Labs.
For one week, we will address the ambitions of the program and the new candidates through a series of discussions, presentations, technical sessions, and projects making full use of this unique location.
INTRODUCTORY STUDIO AND SEMINARS
The first term is an intense introduction to a broad range of tools and techniques relevant to the Master in Advanced Interaction.
Candidates will not only learn new skills, they will also apply them in the Interactive Agency Studio, resulting in a complete project.
The physical Computing seminar will introduce some of the hardware concepts which will be utilized throughout the course, as well as the means by which they will be programmed.
The interaction tools seminar will focus on software based concepts for interaction such as computer vision and augmented reality.
- IS.1 | INTRODUCTORY RESEARCH STUDIO – Interactive Agency (8 ECTS credits)
- IT.1 | INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING – Computer Vision (6 ECTS credits)
- PC.1 | INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL – COMPUTING (6 ECTS credits)
RESEARCH STUDIOS AND SEMINARS
The Second Term builds upon the Introductory Seminars and Studio by expanding the focus on spatial interventions.
This requires further development of conceptual approaches to embedding agency into a spatial experience through communication protocols, localized sensing, light and audio usage, and the physical actuation of mechanisms such as motors and relays.
The careful consideration of data as a medium will also play an important role in the research projects undertaken in the Interactive Space Studio.
- IS.2 | RESEARCH STUDIO – Interactive Space (9 ECTS credits)
- IT.2 | INTERACTION TOOLS AND METHODS Interop (3 ECTS credits)
- PC.2 | PHYSICAL COMPUTING – Making Things Talk (3 ECTS credits)
- AP.2 | APPLIED THEORY (4 ECTS credits)
- LS.1 | LECTURE SERIES (1 ECTS credits)
DEVELOPMENT STUDIOS AND SEMINARS
The Third Term will be the most ambitious segment of the Master of Advanced Interaction. Candidates will have a variety of tools at their disposal to conceive of an Interactive Performance in the research studio.
This work will conclude in the Final Exhibition where candidates will demonstrate a critical work of Interaction. The hardware knowledge will expand as well, bridging into larger scale through the control of industrial robots.
- IS.3 | INTERACTIVE STUDIO – Interactive Performance (9 ECTS credits)
- IT.3 | INTERACTION TOOLS AND METHODS (3 ECTS credits)
- PC.3 | PHYSICAL COMPUTING – Wearables (3 ECTS credits)
- AP.3 | APPLIED THEORY (5 ECTS credits)
- LS.2 | LECTURE SERIES (1 ECTS credits)
FINAL EXHIBITION – MASTER PROJECT
The Final Exhibition will be the culmination of the Master of Advanced Interaction. Candidates in the course will use this as their platform for demonstrating a critical work pushing the limits of Interaction.
Through this exhibition we have the opportunity to redefine Interaction as we know it by inviting the community to participate. The design of the exhibition experience will be addressed as well as the proper framing of each Candidate’s final project.
Master in Advanced Interaction (MAI), is oriented to Designers, Visual and Performing Artists, Choreographers, Dancers, Architects, Interaction Designers, VJs and DJs, Sound Artists, Scenographers, and profiles from related backgrounds wishing to move to Barcelona and to develop their design research skills exploring creative uses of technology for experimental and practical purposes.
Candidates for the Master of Advanced Interaction have a deep curiosity to explore the creative limits afforded by current technologies, have prior academic or professional experience with interactive arts and a desire to combine this experience.
Once successfully finished the master, IAAC students will join the IAAC Alumni Community. This is today is an active and dynamic network of visionary professionals distributed around the world, promoting principles and applications of Advanced Architecture, exploring new academic and research initiatives, leading award winning practices or working for internationally acclaimed firms and institutions.