On Monday 11th of April we had the honor to host the event “MRAC Meetup. Learning from the Alumni Community” in which some of the best Alumni of the Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia had the chance to present their past MRAC projects focused on Human-Machine interaction and Machine learning, and tell theaudience about their academic and professional life after the MRAC experience.


The event was part of the Studio III “Robotic Craft Interactions” led by faculty Alexandre Dubor together with faculty assistants Marielena Papandreou and Vincent Huyghe and was showcased live on the IAAC Facebook channel. Focusing on Human-Machine interaction and Machine learning, the Studio leads toward their 1st year Final project combining the knowledge acquired through a one year of studios, workshops, and seminars and producing a clear proposal for a better AEC industry. 

The Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction (MRAC) seeks to train a new generation of interdisciplinary professionals who are capable of facing our growing need for a more sustainable and optimized construction eco-system. Focusing on the emerging design and market opportunities arising from novel robotic and advanced manufacturing systems, the master program investigates how advances in robotics and digital fabrication tools change the way we build and develop processes and design tools for such new production methods.

Robotics IAAC

A number of MRAC Alumni from the last four years of running of the master were invited to present their work at the MRAC Meetup event, and five projects were presented by groups who worked together in developing extremely interesting ideas and visions for an innovative construction industry.

The project Still Alive offers a new way to transform un-standard material of waste into a new resource for the construction sector. Rather than using extra energy, cost, and chemical processes on natural material, they upcycle the material in energy-intensive processes. The solution is adding value to the waste material through a process of ‘autonomous’ 3D scanning and robotic fabrication.

Focusing on datasets informed by culture and the built heritage with the example of the Catalan Modernism, the project Arena Robòtica – Robotic Sandcast seeks to develop a data driven enhancement of intricate surface topologies,. The use of sand plays a key role in the project, aiming to become a simple, efficient, low-cost process allowing to quickly fabricate intricate surfaces without the need of expensive molds.

Robotics IAAC

The project Robotic Hybrid Manufacturing combines two or more established manufacturing processes into a new combined set-up whereby the advantages of each discrete process can be exploited synergistically. The freedom of a subtractive and additive process in one setup could also create the possibility of producing designs which were not feasible before.  

Focusing on the local artisanal character of makers and craftsmen throughout history as a manifestation of our cultural identity, the project Homo Robo Faber deconstructs the craft concept into three main processes: Sense, Think, and Do and imagine the robot as a collaborator and interpreter for the master craftsman. 

Lastly, the project Matter Site employs an automatic digitization method for the near-end-of-life stage of a building, and considers it as a source of high value assets, with the aim to diminish dependency on newly-extracted natural resources and reduce the overall environmental costs of the industry.

Robotics IAAC

The projects presented a variety of approaches and interpretations of the Humane-Machine interaction. They were the starting points for future investigation and future steps in the Alumni careers. 

When introducing themselves, Alumni narrated their personal journey after the MRAC experience, offering inspiring insights on how they could apply the knowledge acquired during the one year master program to different contexts, both in the professional and academic realms.  Some of the Alumni are now pursuing a PhD in which they investigate further some of the topics studied during the MRAC, some others are applying the knowledge to tech companies, and some others are continuing their studies deepening their knowledge. 

A sense of community was perceivable during the MRAC Meetup event, a new generation of students and alumni shared ideas and solutions, establishing a collaborative and inspiring environment.

Moreover, the event was very inspiring for current MRAC students who could hear stories of life after MRAC and could start imagining their own future and reflecting on what direction they would like to give to their career and how they can use their last MRAC project to pursue this intention.

We look forward to sharing with you the outcomes of Studio III “Robotic Craft Interactions”, stay tuned!

Robotics IAAC

Interested in the emerging design and market opportunities arising from novel robotic and advanced manufacturing systems?

The application for the next edition of the Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction (MRAC) is already open!

Arrange a call with Cecilia, MRAC Coordinator, and learn more about the programme.