IAAC - Institute for advanced architecture of Catalonia - Barcelona

Visiting Schools

Imagine working with leading architecture and design experts and innovators to complete a real-world design project. Study with the latest thinkers and practitioners to gain an understanding of architecture and design within an emerging global context. Pursue hands-on design work in a state-of-the-art studio using the latest technology to address an aspect of the current global environmental crisis and observe 2,000 years of architectural history up close at historical and current architectural sites throughout Spain – all with CIEE.

Programme Overview

Study abroad in Barcelona and you’ll:

CIEE Global Architecture and Design


At the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), you’ll create projects that push the limits of what’s possible with technology today. You’ll design projects that optimise, conserve, or reuse natural and built resources, provide healthful environments, and reduce the environmental impact of the build environment through carbon-neutral design, bioclimatic design, and energy efficiency.


Attend open lectures and design critique sessions conducted by IAAC professors, visiting lecturers, and other teaching staff. These lectures and sessions build on material covered during excursions and coursework. Local architects, historians, and researchers also occasionally speak to the class, bringing a real-world connection to subjects being discussed. Plus, you’ll be virtually connected to your peers and faculty at our other Global Architecture and Design programmes in Berlin and Prague, so you can view all global lectures and workshops.


Come together and create. Join local architecture students to explore creative uses of technology for experimental and practical purposes. Learn-by-doing research integrates methods used in design, programming, and the social sciences to produce projects prototypes and products that will define the outer limits of what is possible to do imaginatively with technology today. You’ll also share knowledge, develop projects, and debate common questions with students on our other Global Architecture and Design programmes.


See how designs translate from the page to real life during visits to local studios and architectural projects under construction. You’ll also travel to historical sites like the Moorish palace of the Alhambra in Granada or the Jürgen Meyer’s Metropol Parasol, a contemporary addition in Seville. Enjoy an overnight trip to a site of major historic and architectural significance in locations that may include Madrid, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, Granada, or Bilbao/San Sebastian. And travel to one of the other CIEE Global Architecture and Design cities – Berlin or Prague – in the middle of the semester to meet and collaborate with peers studying there.


We believe in the power of collaboration. That’s why we developed this programme in partnership with LEED-certified, award-winning architect and urban designer Maria Aiolova, our Academic Director for CIEE Architecture and Design programmes. Maria is an award-winning educator, architect, and urban designer based in New York City. She is co-founder of Terreform ONE and chair of the ONE Lab NY School for Design and Science.

cie berlin in barcelona

Meet the staff

Magda Bernaus – CIEE Barcelona

Center Director
Magda Bernaus is the Center Director, and she has worked with CIEE since 2006. She She holds a degree in Tourism Management (Escola de Turisme – Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and worked in the tourism industry for several years. She also holds an Art History degree from the Universitat de Barcelona, where she is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on medieval architectural spaces of commerce. She has extensive experience developing and teaching courses at the university level, both for local and international students. She has collaborated as a researcher and assistant curator with several cultural insititutions in Barcelona, including the Museu Nacional de Catalunya and Museu d’Història de la Ciutat. She is an active member of a state-funded research team based at the Universitat de Barcelona (Magna Ars) and she has published articles, contributed to books and participated in conferences in her areas of expertise.

Maite Bravo – IAAC

Maite Bravo obtained the degree of architect with honors at the University of Chile; a Master of Advanced Architecture at IAAC; and also a Master in ‘Theory and Practice of Architectural Design’ at UPC. She is currently a PHD ‘European Doctor’ candidate at UPC (Architectural Design Department), studying under the co-direction of Prof. Hovestadt (ETH Zurich), focusing on new design methodologies and concepts emerging from Parametric Digital Design and its immersion into architectural praxis. Her teaching experience includes the University of Chile, BCIT, and IAAC since 2008. She was a lecturer at the First Parametric Design Seminar at HTWK Leipzig, the Festival of Architecture of Canada, and several Universities in Chile. She has over 10 years of experience practicing as an associate architect with GBL architects in Canada, later establishing her own firm. She is currently faculty at IAAC.

Luis Fraguada – IAAC

Luis Fraguada is Director of BAD (Barcelona)– Web: http://bad.ar.com BAD is an architectural practice situated in Beirut, Barcelona, and Chengdu focusing on embedding design intelligence in our projects. Ongoing work in Africa, the Middle East, and China. He is also the Global Co-Director of LaN | Live Architecture Network – Web: http://www.livearchitecture.net Description: LaN focuses on DIGITAL DESIGN + FABRICATION as a means to forwarding composite processes/collaborations driving architectural development. LaN recognises the power of digital fabrication, not merely as a toolset of a high technical caliber, but as the driver of particular groupings of resources–an organization of human, economic, and material assets–varying widely based on project circumstances. LaN’s mode of operation is PARAMETRIC in nature, and seeks to with re-associate architecture with a flexible, non-authoritative, temporal, & data-rich practice of SPATIAL DESIGN. Previously he worked for Robert McNeel and Associates (European Headquarters) Role: Advanced Professional Instructor for Architectural Programming and Associative Design (Certified Rhino Trainer) and Vicente Guallart Architects Role: Technical Investigator, associative design development, generative script development, prototype fabrication. Earlier, he was at U. of CO – College of Architecture & Planning Role: Information Technology Director / Electronic Media coordinator. He is currently faculty at IAAC.

Maria Kuptsova – IAAC

Academic Coordinator
Maria Kuptsova is the programme’s Academic Coordinator. Maria graduated as an architect from the St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design, in St. Petersburg, Russia. She holds a Master in Advanced Architecture from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia – IAAC (2013). She has worked as a Project Architect in Cloud9, Enric Ruiz-Geli, Barcelona. Maria has been assisting several seminars at IAAC as Light Weight Structures, Experimental Structures, “Self-Sufficient” studio led by Enric Ruiz-Geli in IAAC. She was coordinating and tutoring workshops in Russia, Egypt, and the Global Summer School 2014 in St. Petersburg. Currently Maria is working in the Academic Department at IAAC.

Mathilde Marengo, PhD – IAAC

Mathilde Marengo, PhD Architect, graduated Cum Laude in March 2010 from the Faculty of Architecture in Genoa, presenting a project studying the potentials of mega structures, in particular Stadiums, in the urban scape, tutored by Prof. Mosè Ricci, arch. Marco Carenzo. During her academic career she collaborated in several research projects investigating territorial and contemporary urban transformations such as ‘LUNGOILMARE: continuità, modificazione e permanenze. Un’ipotesi di sviluppo per 25km di fronte mare del Ponente Ligure’, scientific coordinator Prof. Arch. Franz Prati; research group coordinators: Prof. Arch. Mosè Ricci, Arch. Gianluca Peluffo; and “The Eco_Univercity Genoa Project”, scientific coordinators Prof. Mosè Ricci with Prof. Joerg Schroeder, Università di Genova, Technische Universitaet Munchen. She was also a part of the Inter-University Research team for the PRIN 2010-2011 managed by Ministry of Education, University and Research (Ministero dell’Università, dell’Istruzione e della Ricerca) RECYCLE research project, focusing on urban recycling as the generator for new infrastructure and creativity in urban contexts. She won a research grant co-financed by Comapgnia di San Paolo for the “Atlante Med-Net”project, and in support for the development of her PhD research, developed both at the PhD School of Architecture and Design at the University of Genoa, XXVI cycle, and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. She obtained her International PhD title in April 2014, with “Multi City Coast. The evolving forms and structures of the Mediterranean multi-city. New models of urban thinking and perspective.” Since 2012 she is enrolled in the certified chamber of architects in Genoa.

For more information on CIEE Global Architecture & Design, visit: www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/barcelona/global-architecture/