IAAC - Institute for advanced architecture of Catalonia - Barcelona

Master in Advanced Architecture – MAA

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Master in Advanced Architecture

Our Academic Committee is still reviewing applications. In the meantime, we will keep IAAC’s application process open until all Masters courses are full. If you would like to apply, please complete our online application form as soon as possible.


The IAAC in Barcelona offers an international Master programme in Advanced Architecture (MAA) which is orientated towards architects, engineers and designers from all over the world who are all eager to imagine the future of our cities and societies and are committed to building them in the present.

Being the first Master’s in Advanced Architecture in the world, IAAC’s MAA has now reached its 18th edition. During this time, IAAC has received over 1000 students from more than 70 different countries, making it an exceptionally international and multicultural place.

There are two courses available, a 9 month (MAA01) and 18 month (MAA02) course in Advanced Architecture and both of them are accredited by the Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) with 75 ECTS and 130 ECTS respectively. The MAA is directed by the architect and researcher Areti Markopoulou.

The programme emerges as an innovative, open structure focusing on 3 selected research lines:

  • X-Urban Design
  • Self-Sufficient Buildings
  • Digital Matter

All of these research lines are led by internationally renowned experts and bring together students and faculty from different disciplines and origins, towards the creation of a networked hub of excellence, the IAAC Community, dedicated to research and innovation for the habitability of the 21st Century.


In order to allow the highest quality and applied research, the Master in Advanced Architecture proposes a multidisciplinary and multiscalar approach. This allows us to consider architecture as a transversal field, for which it is imperative to integrate all research and applications with the knowledge of specialists from a diversity of fields of expertise

In this sense, the Advanced Architecture Agenda establishes the responsibility to confront the process of global urbanisation from a multi-scalar and operational perspective, as well as through the development of prototypes that promote environmental, economic and social sustainability.


In the 20th Century, the concept of ‘dwelling’ was defined as a ‘machine for living’, a reference to a new way of understanding the construction of inhabitable spaces that characterised the Machine Age.

Today, a Century later, we face the challenge of constructing sustainable or even self-sufficient prototypes, living organisms that interact and interchange resources with the environment and that function as entirely self-sufficient entities, as trees do in a field. In this way, each action in the territory implies a manipulation of multiple environmental forces, connected with numerous flows and networks and energy, transport, logistics and information, generating newly inhabitable and responsive nodes with the potential to use and produce resources.

Territorial and urban strategies, as well as building operations, therefore call to be coordinated processes that extend architectural knowledge to new forms of management and planning, in which multi-scalar thinking also entails an understanding of shifting dynamics, energy and information transmission, as well as a continuous adaption.


Architecture is always facing the responsibility of responding to emergent needs, technologies and ever-changing programmes. We must ask more of architecture: We as architects should be required to design inhabitable organisms that are capable of developing functions and integrating the processes of the natural world that formerly took place at a distance, in order points of the surrounding territory.

The models created for the metropolis of the last Century are unable to accommodate new developments linked to contemporary urban lifestyles, more and more discontinuous in space and time. The rebuilding of the global landscape requires us to project at the same time the full and the empty, the natural and the artificial, in such a way as to make economic impetus compatible with sustainable development.

It is necessary to generate complex knowledge linked to a multi-layered reading of realities that have been traditionally thought of as separate, such as energy manipulation, nature, urban mobility, dwellings, systems of production and fabrication, the development of software, information networks, etc. This opens up the possibility of generating new prototypes, capable of engaging with complex and changing environments.

Finally, every new urban or architectural production needs to update its materiality and reinterpret construction techniques of the past Centuries, which are very directly based on the transformation of locally available materials. It is now time for interaction between disciplines and technologies to engage in a vision that embraces different fields of research.


Due to its multi-disciplinary and multi-scalar approach, the MAA is organised in an open academic structure which combines mandatory and elective courses around different main research lines:

Research Lines for MAA01 and MAA02 (first year)

Thesis Studios for MAA02 (second year)

Master Diploma issued by:

Collaborator of IAAC


EDITION: 18th edition

DIRECTOR: Areti Markopoulou

DEGREE: Master in Advanced Architecture accredited by School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)


DURATION: 9 months – From October 2018 to June 2019 – Full Time



Non-EU: 18.750 €

EU: 15.000 €

ADMISSION: Architecture degree, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions.


Edition: 8th edition

DIRECTOR: Areti Markopoulou

Degree: Master in Advanced Architecture accredited by School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

Credits: 130 ECTS

Duration: 18 months – From October 2019 to June 2021 – Full time

Language of instruction: English

Tuition Fee: 

Non-EU: 30.400€

EU: 24.350€

(Full Programme price)

Admission: Architecture degree, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions.