The IAAC installation, developed in the occasion of the Festival des Architectures Vives 2014 in Montpellier, proposes to create a space within space, a pavilion in a courtyard, to enhance the intimacy and privacy suggested by the existing courtyard, opened to the public exclusively for the festival itself.

The pavilion is a textile construction, generated through the use of the least possible structural elements, floating in equilibrium like a sheet strewn in the wind. The structure is lightweight and collapsible, designed and built by students in the framework of the Experimental Structures academic course in the Master in Advanced Architecture course. When installed in the courtyard, the pavilion develops its interactive potential through a sensorial experience.

Entering this new living space in the courtyard and touching the fabric walls, the courtyard takes life under the form of a soundscape from the outside world. The textile structure reacts to the users incorporating the senses of sight, touch and hearing, finally evoking a diverse reality.


The Unfolding Senses is constructed from wooden beams and fabric. The fabric is designed to be both lightweight and removable and it touches the floor on four different points. The 72m2 textile membrane is a special fabric for facades (Stamisol FT Serge Ferrari). The 35 wooden beams provide stiffness only at points where the structure requires support compression.



A space inside a space. Intimacy. Architecture considered as something that is alive and interactive, closer to a person’s everyday life. You feel the materiality as you move closer, and understand the structure, the architecture while touching the soft textile that, in turn, reacts with sound. A sensorial experience implemented through touch and sound, and generating a new, more personal, soundscape.


The technology which is implemented into the structure is based on a custom board called TOMO which is developed in the Fab Lab Barcelona. TOMO is a standalone touch and processor, integrating two Arduino processors, one running a 2-touch detection algorithm based on the Touché principle (developed by Disney Research 2012) and the other dedicated to sound generation. The system is completely standalone and can be deployed on any structure, running batteries which last for more than a week.

The initial pavilion developed in the Experimental Structures seminar has been hacked with conductive paint and two TOMO boards and implemented with balloon speakers to create an intimate and vivid space, finally, unfolding senses.

iaac installation unfolding senses

Design Team:

IAAC – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia / MAA01 12-13

  • Program Director: Areti Markopoulou / Experimental Structure Seminar


  • Silvia Brandi,
  • Josep Miàs


  • Ibrahim Berkay,
  • Zeynep Birgönül,
  • Harsh Boghani,
  • Elif Gungor,
  • Marjan Jelveh,
  • Kismir Selcuk,
  • Anand Singh,
  • Angeliki Terezaki.

Interaction Team:

  • IAAC – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
  • Guillem Camprodon,
  • Alexander Dubor,
  • Luis Fraguada,
  • Clemens Niemeyer

Production Team:

  • IAAC – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
  • Rodrigo Aguirre,
  • Karen Beyens,
  • Anastasia Pistofidou,
  • Anna Popova