Not sure what program is right for you? Click Here

© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Study Abroad in

Back to Program Back to Blog Home

26 posts categorized "Global Architecture and Design"


Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2018, Newsletter III


Another edition of Global Architecture + Design has ended and our students have completed their academic work. On Monday, the IaaC hosted the final presentations of the CIEE Global Architecture and Design Program, with the participation of Enrich Llorach, Chiara Farinea, Mireia Luzárraga, Rodrigo Aguirre, Johana Monroy and Alex Mademochoritis as Jury members. In the next video, Mathilde Marengo, instructor of the Future Cities Studio, explains the nature of the project during the Final Presentations:

 WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)

The Studio project was oriented towards the development of a productive envelope, to be partially prototyped, with an ecological metabolism, aimed at putting into discussion the link and/or relationship between nature and artifice, and more specifically the future ecology and productivity in our urban areas. A large-scale propagation strategy was also developed, allowing for an impact evaluation of the proposal in an urban framework. 

The students explored various techniques to study the urban phenomena that are linked to digital tools in order to find site specific context-related data. They created apps or tools that were able to provide information, which can be mapped and represented through physical models, and applied this data in the formulation of parametric derived forms, which are responsive to local conditions.

With the instruction from leading designers and innovators in the field, students were able to broaden their perspective through cultural exploration, advance their academic studies with globally relevant issues, and gain a professional edge by learning advanced design techniques and cutting-edge technologies.

This term's 11 students where split in 4 groups, 2 of which focused on energy production and the other 2 on food production. Below you can check their final prototypes and final videos:


By Sarah and Jessica, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

 WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)


By Katina from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Gabriella from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and Christine from University of Colorado Boulder


WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)


By Carla and Madison from University of Colorado Boulder and Julia from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)


Joseph and Reid from University of Colorado Boulder, and Rohan from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 

  WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)


Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2018, Newsletter II



In the context of the the Future Cities Design Studio, the students had the opportunity to do a site visit to the exhibition "After the End of the World" at the CCCB. During the exhibition, CIEE students had an immersive experience on how the earth of 2017 has irreversibly transformed into the Anthropocene planet after two centuries of human impact on natural systems. It was an exhibition about how we will reach the world of the latter half of the 21st century, and about our society’s responsibility to the generations who will be born and grow up in it. The result was a hypnotic and startling experience, that on the one hand exposes the traumas caused by the magnitude of the crisis and on the other speaks of the opportunity for change and of the pressing need for an intergenerational pact.

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)

Sketching Abroad

One of the most valuable experiences for an architecture student while abroad is the prospect of appreciating some of the highlights of the history of architecture on-site and then sketching them. Sketching may be a good way to better understand architecture, shapes, colors and proportions. Rohan, from CalPoly San Luis Obispo, spent last semester in Rome where he worked extensively on his sketches. Of course, now in Barcelona, he is still improving his technique and getting the most out of his experience in the city. In fact, Rohan spent some time sketching during our weekend trip to Valencia at the end of February. For now, have a look at his drawings from Valencia! More sketches from Barcelona will be included in the next newsletter.



Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2018, Newsletter I

A (great) surprise from the past

The new semester has already begun and the students got a surprise visit from an alumni student... Cory, from the Colorado College, was a GAD student in Spring 2017, and while visiting Barcelona again this month, he stopped by for a visit. The new students had a chance to meet him at the IaaC where he gave a short lecture explaining his project "AlGaudí Tile", which he worked on while he participated in the program. Thus, they had the opportunity to not only see an excellent example of work firsthand but also to discuss the challenges of the program with him.


This is great news because last December, the IaaC published Cory's work in their “How to” Guide, part of the framework of the Active Public Space project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. It is led by IaaC, in partnership with the Centre for Central European Architecture and the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

You can check out "AlGaudí Tile" via this link (pages 280-283) or watch the video of the entire project.

Program visit

As part of the program, students participated in an optional activity that took them to the Montjuïc mountain area, where the Universal World Fair took place in Barcelona in 1929. Besides viewing some of the major monuments and facilities, such as the National Palace or the 4 Columns, students also had the chance to visit one of the most important historical structures from that world fair: the German Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe. Considered one of the four main buildings of the Modern Movement, the magic and relevance it holds in the history of architecture is more than well-known due to its symbolic significance and the revolutionary design of its time. For this group of students, who had studied the building and used it sometimes as reference for their projects, was highly useful to experience it first-hand and especially analyze the relationship inside and outside.




Global Architecture + Design, Fall 2017, Newsletter II


This semester has come to an end and students were fully immersed in their experience abroad and in their academic projects. As part of the program, Global Architecture students participated in their academic weekend trip at the end of November when they had the opportunity to visit Berlin, Germany and meet colleagues in the two other Global Architecture and Design programs, which are located in Berlin and Prague. The weekend trip included a combination of walking tours, site visits, student presentations and free time.



During the trip, students had the chance to visit the historic part of Berlin as well as architectural-related buildings, such as the Jewish Museum and the Sony Center. Also, our colleagues at the CIEE Berlin Global Institute organized an afternoon in which students exhibited their projects and later discussed them in proper presentation format.

Hannah, from Washington State University, wanted to contribute to this post with her impressions about the trip. Check them out in this video: 


Mathilde Marengo, instructor of the Future Cities Studio, explains in the video above the nature of the program and the project for this semester, which has had satisfactory results. Students worked under these parameters and showed their prototypes and implementation and a way to implement it in the site. Here you can find the results of their research throughout the semester.


 Project created by Craig and Esther, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and June, from Carnegie Mellon University

20171220_1121331HYDROCOOL PANELS

Project created by Jen, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and Hannah and Mira, from Washington State University20171220_11213320171220_112133


Project created by Sofía, from Portland State University and Jessica and Rebbeca, from Carnegie Mellon University

20171220_112133ALGAE FLOWER

Project created by Alice, from University of Massachusetts Amherst.



Global Architecture + Design, Fall 2017, Newsletter I


It’s already been a month into the program and the Global Architecture + Design students are fully immersed in their classes and their projects at the IaaC. This semester, one of the first activities that took place in the Future Cities Studio was a class presentation and debate called “What is architecture?”. Its purpose was to give them a deeper understanding of the discipline and their own personal perspectives. They needed to define how they understood architecture in ten words and select one of their previous projects to explain their ideas. The result was a wide approach to architecture, a first step in expanding their conception of this art.

Alice, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst explained her vision to us in the following video. Check it out! 

Images from Alice's project "Student's bridges", project selected to explain her understanding of what architecture is.Gad2Gad1




Spring semester has already finished and Global Architecture students have spent the time of their lives while abroad. As expected, they have learned new approaches to architecture and design at the IaaC, and they have also taken advantage of their time abroad to explore and discover other places around Barcelona and Europe. In the meantime, they have also discovered themselves to a great extent!

Final presentations

Students had been asked to improve the urban quality conditions of the “Superblock” initiative in the 22@ neighborhood of Barcelona. After their process of research, each of the four groups of students came up with an original and innovative solution for solving a different urban problem. They also fabricated prototypes for their proposed solutions.









  IAAC_CIEE_finalpres02_17 (1)

IAAC_CIEE_finalpres02_17 (31)



A fundamental part of being abroad resides in the potential for students to get to know themselves better. By being out of their comfort zone, students are put to test their intercultural skills and, generally speaking, to expand their horizons. Travelling, discovering new places and experiencing new realities first-hand is without a doubt a first step to achieving this. In the short videos below, Ryan and Connor (CalPoly, San Luis Obispo) talk about their interest in travelling while abroad, as well as about the many CIEE-organized cultural activities and trips. Check those out!



Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2017, Newsletter II



 The Global Architecture + Design group, in Copenhagen

 academic trip to copenhagen

As usual, Global Architecture + Design students keep working hard on their projects, focused on the sustainability of the cities of the future. Cory, from Colorado College, tells us about his (and his team’s) project: the “AlGaudí tile”, that uses algae to purify the city air while also providing a “soft element” to the urban setting.  

Cory also tells us about the weekend trip that the Barcelona Global AD students, along with their Academic Coordinator, did to Copenhagen two weeks ago. In Denmark, they met with students and Academic Coordinators in the Global AD programs from Berlin and Prague. They presented their projects to each other and they did quite a few academic (and fun!) activities. Biking around the city was without a doubt a favorite for everyone!

 Gad22Students during their presentations in Copenhagen

   WhatsApp Image 2017-03-08 at 19.25.12

 AlGaudí Tile. Poster of the project by Cory, Megan and Andrew


Bike tour in Copenhagen


Finally, we want to share with you images and impressions of an excursion that has already become a classic for the program: a visit to IaaC’s Green Fab Lab in Valldaura, on the hills overlooking Barcelona. Besides enjoying the natural scenery, students were able to realize the potential of 3D printing with natural materials. Again, Cory tells us everything about it.


 Global Architecture + Design students, during their visit to IaaC Valldaura campus



Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2017, Newsletter i


Barcelona Global AD students have been in the city for almost four weeks now, and we would like to share with you one of our Spring ‘17 students’ impressions. Curran (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo) talks in this short video about his thoughts and challenges for an adventure that has recently begun: how the Barcelona Global AD academic program is pushing him outside of his comfort zone and into areas he had never explored before, and how it is making him reconsider what architecture is and what technology can do. As it couldn’t be otherwise, in the video Curran also discusses his cultural and linguistic adjustment to Barcelona, and how Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s masterpiece, left him speechless!



Global Architecture + Design, Fall 2016, Newsletter III


The Fall semester has already gone, and students did very inspiring and interesting work while in Barcelona. In addition to the architecture classes that they were taking at the IaaC, they all took one elective course at CIEE and we would now like to share some of the work they did.  20161210_CIEESome students signed up for a class called “The city in visual culture”, and one of the most successful learning moments of this class took place during the visit to Palco Brand, a local design studio. While there, CIEE students were able to participate in a brainstorming session geared toward rebranding the Barcelona Kids brand. They were asked to think about something related to their childhood, and different potential slogans for the brand were subsequently discussed. At the time this post is being  published, the Barcelona Kids website has been not been fully updated yet, but Pol Guardia and his team will hopefully complete it very soon. For now, just enjoy looking at some pictures of that fantastic and inspiring session!

WhatsApp Image 2016-11-20 at 09.25.33WhatsApp Image 2016-11-20 at 09.25.59

We also want to share some of the work done by Mark and Elizabeth, both from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. For their last assignment, they created some very interesting images that reflected their critical thinking over the different ways of seeing and experiencing cities.

According to Mark, “Barcelona is a “City of Icons”. These icons, whether they be buildings, sports teams, food, etc., all have a part in producing a global image of the city which is then broadcast out to the world. Through these specific pictures and instances advertised, Barcelona has become a leading city not only in Europe but within the global context. The driving factor behind this success is the touristic market which has been drawn to the city based upon the icons created and consumed for a multitude of events. I have chosen five main icons and altered them to create a dialogue between Barcelona and other major cities. In these photos, I have chosen to replace Barcelona specific monuments with others from around the world to convey the idea that although this city is rich with culture and history, the main attractor elements are no different from that of places such as London or New York. The city functions using these icons to its advantage, however the icon itself has very little meaning. If one were to replace one with something similar, as I have in these photos, Barcelona would essentially function in a similar manner, highlighting the monuments to gain global recognition”. Mark

At her turn, Elizabeth explained that “From day one, I have loved the street tiles found throughout the city. In this project I use the idea of Barcelona’s eight tiles and the city’s other visual icons to describe the parts of the city I’ve found most meaningful during the past four months”. Here you can see some of the tiles she designed. Elizabeth


Global Architecture + Design, Fall 2016, Newsletter II


Barcelona, Berlin and Prague Global AD students get together!


A few weeks ago, an amazing event took place: students from the Global Architecture and Design programs in Barcelona, Berlin and Prague got together in Barcelona. Accompanied by all three program’s Academic Coordinators, students shared three days full of academic activities, visits to some of the city’s highlights … and of course a lot of fun!!


We kicked it off with  the students projects’ progress reviews at the IaaC, our host institution here in Barcelona. This was a great opportunity for all the students to see what their peers are working on. They discussed their work and received constructive criticism by the CIEE Global AD Academic Coordinators and by IaaC faculty in attendance. Right after, they all headed towards a restaurant in the city center, where they had a chance to enjoy a typical Spanish meal.

IMG_3479 IMG_3490

On the second day, a visit to Valldaura was organized. Valldaura is an estate in the middle of the Collserola mountains, just outside of Barcelona. It belongs to the IaaC, and it hosts a fabrication laboratory, an energy lab, a food lab and a bio lab. Students could experience Valldaura’s working flow directly, by fabricating digitally fabricated structures for Valldaura plantings.

On the last day of the trip, students had time to enjoy the architectural wonders that have made Barcelona famous as a capital of architecture and design. One of the CIEE Barcelona art history faculty lead a Gaudi tour which included visits to the Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera. What a great weekend everyone had!!