The Master in Advanced Architecture (MAA) programme enriches its academic curriculum with annual Research Trips. This year, students explored the innovative landscapes of Iceland, the dynamic architecture of Bilbao and northern Spain, and the complex urban environments of Berlin and London. They visited their project sites and different research facilities and architectural landmarks, and studied the art and urban design of various cities and towns.

Digital Matter Studio: Iceland

This year’s research trip took the students of the Digital Matter Studio to Iceland. The most significant part of the trip was realizing how nature, technology, and science can work together to adapt to and reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment. Students explored advanced geological simulations and predictive modeling for forecasting eruptions, as well as innovative methods for trapping CO2 in the volcanic rock of Iceland. This trip served as a case study for their work on new materials, geopolymers, circularity, and decarbonization.

The trip’s highlight was a visit to the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant, where Carbfix technology is used. Carbfix captures and permanently removes CO2 by dissolving it in water and injecting it into the ground. There, it reacts with the rock to form solid carbonate minerals within about two years.

Learn more about Digital Matter Studio by clicking here.

Self Sufficient Buildings Studio: Bilbao & northern Spain

This year, the Self Sufficient Buildings Studio travelled to the Northern Spanish Coast, from Bilbao to the Picos de Europa, one of Spain’s highest mountain ranges, located very close to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. The trip, organised as an adventurous expedition, had one main goal – to experience energy in the most active manner possible, by articulating a series of collective experiments. This trip has also been the occasion to explore local pre-industrial architecture, observe their relationship to context and to climate, as well as to visit several sites of contemporary architecture.

Learn more about the Self Sufficient Buildings Studio by clicking here.

Artificial Intelligence in Architecture Studio: London

Students of the Artificial Intelligence in Architecture Studio visited leading architecture offices such as Foster+Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, and Hassell Studio. They attended lectures by notable figures in computational departments and digital design groups, including Xavier de Kastelier, Laura Narvaez, Ivana Petrusevski, and Zrinka Radic.

The students also toured the Alan Turing Institute, the Bartlett, and the AA, where they engaged with lead faculty and researchers through presentations and lectures.

Additionally, they explored London’s landmarks such as the Barbican, the Elizabeth Olympic Park, and the National Gallery. Their visits to exhibitions included “Tropical Modernism” at the V&A, the Future Observatory Display at the Design Museum, the “Hello Brain! Exhibition” at the Francis Crick Institute, and tours of the Barbican, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and the Tate.

Learn more about the Artificial Intelligence in Architecture Studio by clicking here.

X-Urban Design Studio: Berlin

Aligned with the class’s focus on urban collectives, this year’s destination of IAAC’s X-Urban Studio trip was Berlin, a city renowned for its strong tradition in social housing. Students explored key architectural experiments in collective living, such as Bruno Taut’s Hufeisensiedlung and Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation, alongside various other relevant cases from different historical periods. The trip also included visits to the Berlin International University of Applied Sciences, where students were received by Dean Javier Martin and Urban Design Professor Lukas Staudinger, as well as office tours hosted by GRAFT Architects and TOPOTEK 1.

Learn more about the X-Urban Design Studio by clicking here.

About the Master in Advanced Architecture

The Master in Advanced Architecture focuses on training architects, designers and engineers, acquiring multidisciplinary skills, to practise radical architecture that creates positive cultural, environmental and social impact.

Are you interested in studying MAA? Do you want to explore how to using the latest advances in technology, design for sustainable and resilient futures?

Find out more about the Master in Advanced Architecture.