The Master in City & Technology (MaCT) began this Academic Year with new leadership and programme direction. Mathilde Marengo, IAAC Head of Studies and a long-term member and contributor to the programme, along with Eduardo Rico-Carranza, a collaborator for the past three years, have been appointed Co-Directors and they have established four thematic areas, reflecting the programme’s dedication to innovation, multidisciplinary collaboration, and addressing real-world urban challenges.

MaCT Introduces Four thematic Areas of Expertise

To foster in-depth exploration and expertise, MaCT adopts a new structure with four thematic areas, each led by a specialized leader. Mathilde Marengo leads the Urban Ecologies area, Eduardo Rico-Carranza takes charge of Urban Communities. Iacopo Neri, MaCT alumni, leads Urban Computation, bringing his expertise at the intersection of architecture, computer science, and urban planning. Finally, Mariano Gomez-Luque, Director of IAAC’s Urban Sciences Lab, heads Urban Theories, exploring intersections between design disciplines, critical urban theory, and science fiction studies.

Shaping the Future of Urban Environments

The goal of the programme is to refine the future of the urban, through innovative, evidence based and experimental approaches to understand, design and materialise cities. The programme sits at the intersection of data science and urban design, training professionals capable of critically and creatively managing uncertainty in design. The programme develops cutting-edge tools, designs and approaches to effectively design in the context of planetary scale urbanisation, the climate change crisis and rapid technological development. MaCT is a platform to shape multidisciplinary leaders empowered to pioneer the transition of the urban environment in the era of big data, towards resilient & circular cities, inclusive & just communities and adaptive & more than human urban environments.

Connecting to Real-World Issues: Bridging Education, Research, and Practice

Rooted in the agenda of MaCT is the ambition of reducing the distance between education, research, and practice. The programme functions as a platform to apply innovative ideas to real-world problems, operating through a decidedly industry-oriented approach. Collaboration with expert faculty, professionals from architecture and urban design firms, NGOs, and networking organizations ensures that MaCT’s agenda remains sharp, critical, and relevant.

Technical and Creative Integration: Professionals that make Impact

MaCT distinguishes itself by offering students a blend of computational and creative design skills, coupled with critical research and communication methods. The curriculum includes computer simulation, 3D modeling, data analytics, and visual reporting, equipping students to deliver impactful ideas and projects across all professional tiers. In a context of growing social unrest and a worsening climate-driven crisis, the program introduces contemporary ideas of urbanization grounded in a critical foundation of theory, enabling students to articulate a coherent and mature urban discourse.

Multi-disciplinary Approach: A Programme for Urban Thinkers

MaCT is a programme for urban thinkers, welcoming individuals with diverse backgrounds, including urban designers, environmental engineers, architects, economists, sociologists, and data scientists. The Master provides a platform for immersion in current debates and technological tooling, encouraging students to question and discuss the future of urban environments. Through this multi-disciplinary lens, MaCT seeks to shape professionals capable of addressing the complex challenges of our urbanizing world.

From Left: Mathilde Marengo, Eduardo Rico-Carranza, Maria Isabel da Rocha Lima

Mathilde Marengo focused her recent research on leveraging digital technologies to develop evidence-based design approaches, fostering urban environments for the implementation of healthy large-scale ecological systems. She navigates the complexities of this design approach across various physical and temporal scales.
Eduardo Rico-Carranza provides technical expertise in the application of new technologies, especially to enhance collaboration among non-experts or citizens in design processes. He identifies and experiments with new technologies, translating diverse information and inputs into usable design content.
Complementing this leadership, the programme introduced Maria Isabel da Rocha Lima as the new MaCT coordinator. Lima specializes in public participation and engaging workshops, focusing on urban rehabilitation, capacity building, the right to the city, and sustainable development. Her expertise extends to roles such as a moderator, project manager, or researcher. Lima has developed these skills notably in Portugal and Brazil, and she remains dedicated to this mission, actively engaging with NGOs.