The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is proud to announce the participation of IAAC’s Academic Director, Areti Markopoulou, in PUZZLE X, an international event set to take place from November 7th to 9th in Barcelona as part of the Smart City Expo 2023. On Wednesday, Areti Markopoulou will give a talk on the theme of ‘Digital Matter,’ and she will also take part in a fireside chat alongside Amir Alexander Karim, discussing Artificial Intelligence for the Built Environment. This year, PUZZLE X will bring together 3,000 visionaries and technologists from more than 80 countries to explore new horizons in exponential technologies.

Digital Matter

Final Presentations of Digital Matter Research Studio at IAAC. On the left, Areti Markopoulou, IAAC Academic Director, on the right Zina Cinker, Chief Creator of Puzzle X. Photos Clara Orozsco.

The field of architecture is undergoing a paradigm shift in which technology, ecology and novel materials drive design solutions that follow performance rather than mere form. In the talk titled ‘Digital Matter’ that Areti Markopoulou will present at PUZZLE X on Wednesday at 10:30 at the Innovation Stage, she will share the possibilities of physical space intertwining with digital content, with matter placed at the core of architectural design and produtcion. She will envision a future where architecture merges with material and computer science including applications of smart, upcycled and bio materials as well as the use of big data for urban mining materials for reuse. Digital Matter is also part of the Research Studios of the Master in Advanced Architecture, directed by Areti Markopoulou.

In the afternoon, at 18:30 in the Innovation Space, Areti will engage in a fireside chat with Amir Alexander Karim. The discussion will revolve around Artificial Intelligence for the Built Environment.

IAAC has recently launched a Master’s programme called AI for Architecture & the Built Environment (MaAI) oriented towards leading the charge in decarbonising human activities and crafting a more resilient future for our planet through an innovative curriculum deeply rooted in AI applications. As the co-director of this master’s programme, Areti will leverage this platform to discuss deeper into AI-driven solutions, setting a new standard for environmentally and socially conscious co-design and planning.


PUZZLE X is a global event and 365-day venture builder fast-tracking the development of Frontier & Materials DeepTech for the future. The initiative is a Frontier Tech ecosystem generator aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), interfacing with bleeding-edge start-ups, corporates, leading scientific institutions, tech hubs, investors, governments, and civil societies. Supported by the Government of Spain, Generalitat of Catalonia and Barcelona City Hall, MATTER, Inc. leads the initiative in partnership with Fira Barcelona and Mobile World Capital to create the world’s first Frontier Materials hub in the heart of Barcelona. Featuring a vibrant international event, a start-up accelerator, venture builder and year-around engagement, PUZZLE X leverages the transformative power of Frontier Tech to drive the next chapter for citizens, cities, industries and societies.