IAAC’s Master in City & Technology (1 or 2-year program) is a unique program oriented towards redefining the analysis, planning, and design of twenty-first-century cities and beyond. The program offers expertise in the design of digitally enhanced, ecological and human-centered urban environments by intersecting the disciplines of urbanism and data science. Taking place in Barcelona, the capital of urbanism, the Master in City & Technology is training the professionals that city administrations, governments, industries, and communities need, to transform the urban environment in the era of big data.
Master in City & Technology (1-year Program)
Master in City & Technology + Thesis Project (2-year Program)
|Degree||The Master in City & Technology is accredited by the School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)||The Master in City & Technology + Thesis Project is accredited by the School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)|
|Edition||8th edition||5th edition|
|Credits||75 ECTS||120 ECTS|
|Duration||9 Months – From October 2023 to June 2024 // Full time||18 Months – From October 2023 to June 2025 – Thesis Final Submission: September 2025 // Full time|
|Tuition Fee||Non-EU: 19.875€
|Admission||Architects, Urbanists, Designers, Computer Scientists, Engineers, Data Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Economists.||Architects, Urbanists, Designers, Computer Scientists, Engineers, Data Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Economists.|
CONTEXT & AGENDA
The digital revolution coupled with the unforeseen environmental, economic and social challenges that our world and cities face today, urge the practices of urban design and planning to rethink many of the traditions and bases upon which they operated over the past decades. We believe that when we train urbanists, architects, engineers, computer scientists and technologists in the same arena, placing them in one single team, we have the potential to radically transform the urban and built environment.
The Master in City & Technology programme focuses on training the new professionals that will be able to accelerate urban innovation through the use of big data and digital technologies while following the principles of human-centered, ecological and intelligent design.
With a focus on three main fields of operation, The Internet of Cities, The Internet of Buildings and The Internet of People, the programme explores digital technologies (from data analytics and Artificial Intelligence to generative and parametric design) to develop holistic urban and architectural projects that bring a positive impact to the built environment and the society that inhabits it.
Each year, the programme aims to create new categories of urban and building projects, technologies, and solutions that can be extended systematically to the cities of the world, with the aim of creating applied visions of more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and responsive urban environments.
The Internet of Cities
First Term Design Research Studio
The Internet of People
Second Term Design Research Studio
The Internet of Buildings
Third Term Design Research Studio
TOOLS & SOFTWARE
Students of the Master in City & Technology are introduced to a large variety of technological tools and software that are imperative for the multi-scalar representation and understanding of the urban environment. During the programme students are trained on the latest tools for computational design, urban simulations, and spatial data science by attending seminars on programming, dynamic mapping, big data analytics and visualization, as well as parametric urban design. Seminars on the following tools and software are conducted:
The Master in City & Technology’s academic structure is based on IAAC’s innovative, learn-by-doing and design-through-research methodology which focuses on the development of interdisciplinary skills. During the Master in City & Technology students will 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. In this way, IAAC has put together an experimental learning environment which equips professionals with both the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to face the increasing complexity of the contemporary urban environment and to define the future of urbanism.
MASTER IN CITY & TECHNOLOGY (1-Year Program)
The Master in City and Technology comprises the following elements:
- Research & Design Studios
- Technology Seminars
- Strategic Planning Seminars
- Urban Design Seminars and Workshops
- Theory Seminars and Master Classes
- IAAC Lecture Series
DESIGN STUDIO AND SEMINARS
The Internet of Cities Term focuses on the development of strategies, analytics, and planning proposals for urban regeneration, new urban metabolisms, future mobility, and ecological transformation. It is structured by a Research & Design Studio and obligatory complementary seminars. Students will be introduced to the principles of strategic planning, urban design, and theory of cities, as well as new tools for coding, cartography, urban analytics, and computational design.
TERM 1 COURSES:
- Research & Design Studio – Internet of Cities – New Urban Metabolisms (9 ECTS)
- Technology Seminar – Digital Tools & Big Data I (3 ECTS)
- Technology Seminar – Computational Urban Design I (3 ECTS)
- Strategic Planning Seminar – Conceptual Mapping (2 ECTS)
- Urban Design Seminar – Future Mobility (3 ECTS)
- Theory Seminar – Sustainable Urban Economies (3 ECTS)
NOTE: Design Studio and Seminars of Term 1 are obligatory.
DESIGN STUDIOS AND SEMINARS
The Internet of People Term is structured by one Research & Design Studio and five complementary obligatory Seminars. Students will continue developing technical skills in data analytics and computational design while introducing decentralised resource management tools such as blockchain. Novel processes for citizen participation in the development of sustainable, open, and user-driven urban environments will be introduced for human-centered planning.
TERM 2 COURSES:
- Research & Design Studio – Internet of People – Human-Centered Dynamic Design (9 ECTS)
- Technology Seminar – Digital Tools & Big Data II (3 ECTS)
- Technology Seminar – Computational Urban Design II (3 ECTS)
- Strategic Planning Seminar – Blockchain 4 Cities (3 ECTS)
- Urban Design Seminar – Data-Driven Resilient Urban Design (3 ECTS)
- Theory Seminar – Participatory Design (3 ECTS)
NOTE: Design Studio and Seminars of Term 2 are obligatory.
DESIGN STUDIO AND SEMINARS
The Internet of Buildings Term is focused on developing hyperconnected building typologies for new urban infrastructure, including urban sensing methodologies for data-driven environments. It is structured by a Research & Design Studio and four complementary obligatory Seminars. Students will continue developing technical skills in data analytics, urban simulations, and computational design, as well as being introduced to new projects for designing intelligent buildings, services infrastructure, user interaction, and information technologies.
TERM 3 COURSES:
- Research & Design Studio – Internet of Buildings (12 ECTS)
- Technology Seminar – Digital Tools & Big Data III (3 ECTS)
- Technology Seminar – Computational Urban Design III (3 ECTS)
- Strategic Planning Seminar – Urban Sensing (3 ECTS)
- Urban Design Seminar – Integrated Urban Design (3 ECTS)
NOTE: Design Studio and Seminars of Term 3 are obligatory
Throughout all three terms, the Master in City & Technology students will attend transversal theoretical courses, which aim to bring them in direct contact with the front running professionals of this multidisciplinary field. Through masterclasses and lectures, they will be presented the challenges and learnings of professionally engaging with real case applications. All classes throughout all the terms are mandatory.
- Theory Master Classes – Theory of Cities (2 ECTS)
- IAAC Lecture Series (2 ECTS)
MASTER IN CITY & TECHNOLOGY + THESIS PROJECT (2-Year Program)
Master in City & Technology + Thesis Project – FIRST YEAR
The first year of the Master in City & Technology + Thesis Project is the same for both programmes and has a structure of 3 terms of 3 months each.
Master in City & Technology + Thesis Project – SECOND YEAR
During the Master in City & Technology + Thesis Project, students have the unique opportunity to work for an additional time of 9 months on an Individual Thesis Project, focused on the development of one research or pilot project based on the student’s interest. IAAC supports the student in selecting their Thesis Project topic in order to better orient them according to their future career interests and opportunities. Each student is assigned one or more Thesis Advisors that follow the development of the work throughout the year.
In parallel to the development of the Thesis Project Studio, the second year of the Master in City & Technology offers a series of seminars enhancing both the theoretical, practical and computational skills of the students.
The Second Academic year of the Master in City & Technology comprises the following elements:
- Thesis Project Studio
- Digital Tools Seminars and Master Classes
- Urban Design Workshops
- Theory Seminars and Master Classes
The programme is organized into three terms.
Throughout all three terms, the Master in City & Technology + Thesis Project students will attend transversal sessions which bring them in direct contact with their thesis advisor(s) as well as front running professionals in the fields of research and development, innovation, strategic planning, economics, and sustainability. All classes throughout all the terms are mandatory.
- Thesis Project Studio – Advanced Urbanism (30 ECTS)
- Theory Seminar – Research & Methods (3 ECTS)
In parallel to the Thesis Project Studio sessions and the Theory Seminars, the first term consists of two complementary obligatory Seminars and one workshop. Students will be introduced to strategic urban design principles, as well as new tools for urban analytics, programming, and computational design.
TERM 1 COURSES:
- Digital Tools Seminar – Design for Interaction & Fabrication (3 ECTS)
- Workshop – Landscapes in Transition (1 ECTS)
In parallel to the Thesis Project Studio sessions and the Theory Seminars, the second term consists of two complementary obligatory Seminars and one workshop. Students will attend advanced classes of computational design and will be introduced to systemic urban design principles, as well as to the theory and initial applications of artificial intelligence into urban environments.
TERM 2 COURSES:
- Digital Tools Seminar– Design for Interaction & Fabrication (3 ECTS)
- Digital Tools Seminar– Artificial Intelligence in Urbanism I (3 ECTS)
- Workshop – Urban MR (1 ECTS)
- Workshop – Business Innovation (1 ECTS)
In parallel to the Thesis Project Studio sessions and the Theory Seminars, the third term consists of one complimentary obligatory Seminar and one workshop. Students will be introduced to digital urban design principles, as well as to advanced applications of artificial intelligence in urban planning and urban design.
TERM 3 COURSES:
- Digital Tools Seminar – Artificial Intelligence in Urbanism II (3 ECTS)
- Workshop – Impact & Economics (1 ECTS)
- Workshop – Circular Economy (1 ECTS)
The Master in City and Technology is a programme for architects, urbanists, designers, computer scientists, engineers, data scientists and entrepreneurs that want to become urban technologists and lead the future of urban environments. If you are passionate about combining design and data science in order to lead the positive transformation of cities and you are willing to work together with multidisciplinary experts, industries and city administrations on real case studies for the acceleration of urban innovation and intelligent design, then the Master in City & Technology is made for you.
The Master in City & Technology structure links our students to an interconnected network of professionals, companies, as well as academic and research centers. Through this network, they directly have the opportunity to be professionally integrated into both the public and private sectors in fields related to urban design & planning, urban intelligence, and urban analytics. Furthermore, with the support of IAAC, students have the possibility to create their own practices in the above-mentioned fields.
Saulė Gabrielė Petraitytė – Co-Founder & CEO at Datahood
Master in City & Technology 2017/18 Alumna
Alejandro Quinto Ferrández – Urban Technologist & Computational Designer at YemeArchitects
Master in City & Technology 2019/20 Alumnus
Irene Rodriguez Vara – Urban Data Specialist at O-HB
Master in City & Technology 2017/18 Alumna
Our scholarship competition has now finished and we’re unable to accept any more scholarship applications for this year. If you would like to find out when the competition is reopening, please subscribe to our newsletter where we will make the announcement.
PROJECT PROPOSAL: “BIG DATA URBANISM”
The theme of the scholarship offered by the Master in City and Technology programme is focused on Big Data Urbanism: Big data has become an essential tool for the understanding of the urban environment and the generation of accurate decision-making processes for their transformation.
Participants are asked to use Big Data as a tool which informs an urban planning and/or urban design proposal for a city of their choice. In their proposals, they are asked to showcase how through the use of big data they can:
1. Visualize a city’s layers (i.e mobility & transportation, vegetation, road network, waste management infrastructure, energy consumption/generation, housing, tourism, economic activities etc.) through the use of maps and charts.
2. Create a strategy which informs an urban planning/design proposal for the transformation of a city.
- A pdf file, A3 format, 3 pages max (max 8MB) containing: a short description in English of the project and the strategy/rationale behind the proposal; images, plans or diagrams of the designed elements.
Start and end dates to be released soon.
PROGRAMME DIRECTOR & FACULTY
Dr. Areti Markopoulou is a Greek architect, researcher and urban technologist working at the intersection between architecture and digital technologies. She is the Academic Director at IAAC in Barcelona, where she also leads the Advanced Architecture Group, a multidisciplinary research group exploring how design and science can positively impact and transform the present and future of our built spaces, the way we live and interact. Her research and practice focus on redefining the architecture of cities through an ecological and technological spectrum combining design with biotechnologies, new materials, digital fabrication and big data.
Areti is the founder and principal of the multidisciplinary practice Design Dynamics Studio, and co-editor of Urban Next, a global network focused on rethinking architecture through the contemporary urban milieu. She is the project coordinator of a number of European Research funded Projects on topics including urban regeneration through technologies and multidisciplinary educational models in the digital age.
Winy Maas – MVRDV & The Why Factory
Master in City & Technology Interview
with Dr. Areti Markopoulou
Carlo Ratti – Carlo Ratti Associati & MIT Senseable City Lab
Master in City & Technology Interview
with Dr. Areti Markopoulou
Adriana Aguirre Such
Dr. Areti Markopoulou – Design Research Studio Leader – Responsive Cities
Dr. Mathilde Marengo – Design Research Studio Leader – Architecture & Urbanism
Eduardo Rico – Design Research Studio Leader – Digital Landscapes (Space Syntax UCL & Architectural Association)
Luis Falcon – Design Research Studio Leader – Big Data Analytics (InAtlas)
André Resende – Data Science and Cartography (InAtlas)
Eugenio Bettucchi – Parametric Urban Design (Noumena)
Iacopo Neri – Urbanism and Data Science
Milad Showkatbakhsh – Evolutionary Multi-Objective Optimization (Wallacei)
Alex Mademochoritis – Urban Design and Theory
Prof. Manuel Gausa – Urbanism and Theory
Oana Taut – Computational Urban Design
Bruno Moser – Urban Planning and Design (Foster + Partners)
Dr. Laura Narvaez Zertuche – Urban Planning and Design (Foster + Partners)
Federico Parolotto – Future Mobility (MIC-HUB)
Francesca Arcuri – Mobility and Transportation (MIC-HUB)
Federico Marcantognini – Sustainable Mobility & Mobility on Demand (MIC-HUB)
Angelos Chronis – Artificial Intelligence in Urbanism (City Intelligence Lab – AIT)
Serjoscha Duering –Artificial Intelligence in Urbanism (City Intelligence Lab – AIT)
Dr. Lluisa Marsal – Blockchain Technologies (Catalan Institute of Energy, Government of Catalonia)
Ramón Gras – Urban Innovation (Aretian)
Felipe Vera – Dynamic Urban Development (Inter-American Development Bank)
Jan Bunge – Entrepeneurship & Business innovation (Squint/Opera)
Jonas Schorr – Smart Cities and Urban Tech Startups (Urban Impact Agency)
Nico Schouten – Circular Economy & Urban systems (Metabolic)
Ilaria Vigo – Environmental Economics (Barcelona Supercomputing Center)
Shyam Zonca – Digital Fabrication
Cristian Rizzuti – Physical Computing
Leyla Saadi – Urbanist (Urban Col.labs)
Daniil Koshelyuk – Mixed Reality Expert & Computational Designer
Every year the Master in City & Technology collaborates with a network of professionals from the worlds of industry, research and academia and the European Community. Through this network and a solid collaboration with the city council of Barcelona, students have a unique opportunity to study with professionals coming from the fields of architecture, urban planning, urban design, urban technologies, mobility and transportation, data science, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, urban innovation and economics.
Smart City Live aims to be the place to collectivize urban power, to increase the strength of cities, to identify business opportunities, to establish partnerships and contribute to enacting common policies. A place to share research, best practices contribute and potential common solutions, achieved through effective collaboration.
Carlo Ratti Associati is a rapidly growing architectural practice based in Turin, Italy, with branches in Boston and London. Drawing on Carlo Ratti’s research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the office is currently involved in many projects across the globe. Embracing every scale of intervention, ranging from city masterplans to furniture design, the work of the practice focuses on revolutionizing the use of digital technologies in our built environment and daily lives.
Implementing projects aimed at domestic and international public institutions, foundations, organizations, and companies by applying a systemic approach for reorienting the management of cities towards a more sustainable model, contributing solutions for mobility, energy, waste, urban planning, water, biodiversity, and social cohesion.
Mobility In Chain is an international transport planning firm founded in 2009 by Davide Boazzi, Federico Cassani and Federico Parolotto who decided to open a new firm after 10 years of experience in the field. The MIC team is strongly focused on international work, providing transport consultancy to developers, master planners and public bodies all around the world. MIC introduces a new innovative and sustainable vision for mobility, a vision that is based upon understanding the need of the client and focused on both functional matters and urban quality.
inAtlas is a Big Data and Location Analytics company that offers strategic business solutions. It has created a proprietary technology that increases the speed of geospatial data processing. Since 2010, it has designed and developed customized tools for private companies like Heineken, Northgate, Prisa Radio, Informa D&B, among others; and public governments like those of the Barcelona City or Santa Cruz de Tenerife City.
Rapid urbanization across the globe has a direct impact on our future mobility needs. 75% of the infrastructure needed for urban environments by 2050 is not built yet, which offers substantial potential for new business models and ideas.
Urban Standards is a specialist in finding new ways of value creation through the systemic integration of technologies, services and partners in the urban real estate. We develop and assess solutions for mobility/transport service providers, real estate developers, and cities that match future needs and create new user experiences.
Foster + Partners is a global studio for sustainable architecture, engineering, urbanism and industrial design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Since then, he, and the team around him, have established an international practice with a worldwide reputation. With offices across the globe, they work as a single studio that is both ethnically and culturally diverse.
BuroHappold Engineering is an international, integrated engineering consultancy operating in 23 locations worldwide, with 60 partners and over 1700 employees including some of the world’s leading consulting engineers. For over 40 years we’ve been building our reputation for delivering creative, value led building and city solutions for an ever-changing world.
Ideas for Change is a consulting and research company that works in the intersection between innovation, strategy, and design. We have pioneered research on collaborative strategies and exponential growth; we’ve also consulted for big and small size clients looking to transition to more contributive and open models while sustaining competitiveness. Our in-house innovation projects have been recognized and used to drive innovation worldwide.
RESEARCH & ACADEMIA
The Why Factory (T?F) is a global think-tank and research institute, run by MVRDV and Delft University of Technology and led by professor Winy Maas. It explores possibilities for the development of our cities by focusing on the production of models and visualizations for cities of the future. Education and research of The Why Factory are combined in a research lab and platform that aims to analyze, theorize and construct future cities.
The City Intelligence Lab (CIL) is an interactive digital platform to explore novel forms and techniques for the urban development practice of the future. As incubator for intelligent solutions the lab fosters the co-creation of digital urban planning workflows and processes, applying augmented reality and interactive design interfaces to create simulations, generative design and artificial intelligence solutions. The CIL is past of the Digital Resilient Cities Competence Unit anchored in the Center for Energy of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.
Established in 2016 by [Shift] Process Practice, Tehran Urban Innovation Center (TUIC) is a design-by-research, research-by-design practice, dedicated to providing innovative, feasible, and replicable solutions for urban challenges of Tehran. TUIC aims at creating value across the global network of urban innovation, through producing, exchanging and implementing knowledge within the framework of mode-2 knowledge production.
URBiNAT | Urban Innovative and Inclusive Nature focuses on the regeneration and integration of deprived districts in urban development through innovative Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) – an Urban Inclusive Nature – ensuring sustainability and mobilising driving forces for social cohesion; specifically, on “public space” and on creation of new urban, social and nature relations with and between different neighbourhoods.
Creative Food Cycles enhances innovative and creative practices between food, architecture, and conviviality in a transnational and European perspective. New devices and rituals in urban food production, distribution, consumption, and disposition are designed and implemented, for extended and training and audience development, fostering the exchange of ideas and creatives in Europe. The approach merges new ways of design and digital interaction in a transdisciplinary way, exploring cultural, social, and economic innovations accelerated through the activities.
BUILD solutions aim to offer an educational programme engaging students, teachers and researchers and providing them with the necessary entrepreneurial skills and connections to bring intelligent living solutions for cities to the market, investigating biological systems, creating prototypes based on information technology and digital manufacturing, business plans and working with accelerators. Solutions which in turn can help us overcome the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation.
The Knowledge Alliance for Advanced Urbanism (KAAU), aimed to develop an educational and training platform, in partnership with HEIs and well-established industrial partners and companies. The objective of this platform is to offer participants the possibility to engage in a semi-professional environment, developing projects with the support and expertise of institutions that are commercially involved in their field of expertise. In this manner, it provides a potential jumping platform into future professional opportunities, while offering companies a fresh R+D environment where to propose new design challenges and applications.
IAAC, in partnership with the Centre for Central European Architecture in Prague and the University of Applied Arts Vienna, is coordinating the project Active Public Space, launched within the framework of the Creative Europe Programme.Europe’s towns and cities today face major challenges: demographic change and its implications for urban sprawl, environmental issues and climate change mitigation, maintaining social cohesion and the protection and development of architectural and cultural heritage.
Public Play Space promotes innovative and creative practices for the co-design of inclusive, cohesive and sustainable public spaces, through the use of games and digital technologies, in a transnational and European perspective, fostering the process of placemaking.