Master in City & Technology – Term 2
Studio Name: Internet of Buildings
Total Hours: 40 hours
Senior Faculty: Areti Markopoulou
Faculty Assistant: Alex Mademochoritis
Studio Support Seminar: Cristian Rizzuti
Fabrication Support: Ricardo Mayor Luque –

Context & Agenda
Our cities are changing and society is trying to keep up with this rapid pace of transformation as different disciplines are coming together in order to shape the way that the Digital Era of Big Data will radically alter the urban environment. From the Internet of Cities to the Internet of Buildings this studio of IAAC’s Master in City & Technology aims to continue the exploration of our cities’ future by defining new methodologies of designing buildings in the digital era, as well as visualizing the inherent benefits that can emerge by redefining “how” and “for what” built-structures would communicate between each other.
The Internet of Things has paved the way for us to rethink how building communication systems can improve the livability of a built space by creating efficient connections between the user and his/her devices. However, this studio’s goal is to envision the ways in which the already existing infrastructure of Barcelona can be enhanced by creating a network of buildings that are not only self-sufficient but also collaborative in an essential effort of tackling pressing urban issues such as urban atmospheric pollution, urban heat-island effect, traffic congestion, resource insufficiency, economic austerity, material deterioration, sea-level rise, environmental emergencies and others.
Therefore, rather than defining buildings as built structures which act as hubs of contained social activities, urban resources, and information this innovative studio sets out to redefine the role of buildings as single nodes in a larger network of communication and exchange of not only energy and resources but more importantly of data and information related to the overall conditions of the city itself.

source: Luisa Roth – Dynamic Cityscape – IAAC’s MAA02 2016

During the studio, students will be asked to create their own visions of the Internet of Buildings by:

  1. Conducting an investigation of:
    1. Barcelona’s Morphology
    2. Different typologies of Barcelona’s buildings
    3. State-of-the-art technologies
  2. Collecting data on the scale of:
    1. A district
    2. A neighborhood
    3. A building
  3. Designing the:
    1. Systems and Flows of Communication of the overall network of buildings
    2. New Building typologies based on the type of communication-actions that would define specific buildings
    3. The Final Vision of Barcelona
  4. Fabricating a Physical Model on which they display through Arduino control-boards the data flows and system of communications that defines their network of buildings
  5. Simulating the exchange of information on an interactive digital platform

Studio Support:
Parallel to the studio, students will have a Studio Support Seminar of 20 hours on Physical Computing, during which they will develop all the necessary skills to physically compute and visualize the technological interaction as well as the exchange of data/information between buildings on a large physical model.

source: Luisa Roth – Dynamic Cityscape – IAAC’s MAA02 2016

Final Deliverables:
Students will work in teams of 4-5 members and submit their final project proposal, presenting a concept for the Internet of Buildings at the end of the studio. The final deliverables are:

  1. A PDF presentation showing:
    1. Data journalism on the urban conditions of Barcelona
    2. An identification of an issue that should be tackled, and for which big data should be available to collect or use for mapping and identifying the existing risk areas in the city. Examples include:
      1. Atmospheric pollution
      2. Waste Management/Generation
      3. Energy Consumption/Generation
      4. Water Consumption/Generation
      5. Future Mobility Infrastructure (including aerial, self-driving cars, electric vehicles etc)
      6. Food production/scarcity
      7. Urban heat-island effect
      8. Traffic congestion,
      9. Resource insufficiency,
      10. Economic austerity/GDP,
      11. Types of Built Materials
      12. Urban flooding
      13. Environmental emergencies
    3. List of state of the art technologies that could potentially reduce the impact of the selected issue on the city. (new materials for filtering air/generating energy/conduct data/biodegrade, biomass stations, drones parking, vertical agriculture, humidity caption for water generation, circular economy, biophotovoltaics, robotics, …..
    4. Current typology of Barcelona’s Buildings
    5. Definition of new typologies needed in Barcelona. Examples include:
      1. Mobility Centers
      2. Biodomes
      3. Waste Management Centers
      4. Energy Production Hubs
      5. Amazon Distribution Centers
      6. Water Filtration & Distribution Centers
      7. Social Housing
      8. Food Productivity
      9. Fish Farming
      10. Marine Preservation
      11. Drone Centers
    6. Selection of specific buildings in Barcelona to create a network of buildings
    7. The strategy of implementing the listed technologies in the different building typologies
    8. A description of how data could potentially activate specific technological implementations by designing the network’s Systems of Communication with interactive diagrams, Charts & Graphs visualizing data of the:
      1. Network’s status before the implementation of the SoC (risk areas)
      2. Network’s status after the implementation of the SoC
    9. Design of new Building Typologies with plans, sections, masterplans, illustrations, digital media, infographics etc
    10. The final Vision of the city in a 3D model of Barcelona
  2. A Physical Model of the Buildings’ Network
  3. An interactive simulation of the Communication systems
  4. A final 1,5-minute video showcasing the existing conditions, the strategy of implementation of the Internet of Buildings, proposal operation

The Internet of Buildings strategy is to use buildings as nodes for a network that impacts neighborhood and city scale. The new Internet of Buildings protocols will become part of a new City OS (Operating System).

Studio Structure:
Session 1
Thursday 10th of January // 15:00 – 19:00
Introduction to the Internet of Buildings
Group Formation – Total 5 Groups: 4 Groups of 3 Students & 1 Group of 2 Students
Selection of Risk Topic by each group
Session 2
Thursday 17th of January // 15:00 – 19:00
Presentation of Risk Topic by each group
Session 3
Thursday 24th of January // 15:00 – 19:00
Session 4
Thursday 31st of January // 15:00 – 19:00

Session 5
Thursday 14th of February // 15:00 – 19:00
Phase 3 Initiation:
1st Tests for Physical Model – Students will be provided with:

  • a Spool of White ABS filament 800gr with which they will have to make the first tests for the physical model.
  • A 3D model of the district.

Session 6
Thursday 21st of February // 15:00 – 19:00
Phase 1 Finalization:
In a PDF include the following:

  1. Narrative Definition
  2. District Data Analysis:
    1. Maps and/or Charts of KPIs related to the district of Saint-Marti.
    2. Maps and/or Charts of KPIs that visualize how your risk topic affects the district of Saint-Marti 

Phase 2 Finalization:
In the same PDF include the following:

  1. Diagrammatic proposal of a network of selected Buildings with a description of their Communication Protocol. This should include:
    1. A description of the network actuators (technologies that are activated by the network), the control signal and the energy source,
    2. A quantified description of how selected inputs activate the network’s actuators,
    3. A quantified description of the outputs  selected inputs activate the network’s actuators
  2. Quantify and Visualize the impact of your proposal (Before and After the implementation of the IoB):
    1. On the district of Saint-Marti (map)
    2. On the various building and/or block typologies (sections & axonometric)

Phase 3 Initiation:

    1. Start building an interactive map that will at the end be able to simulate the effects of the IoB on the District of Saint-Marti. Students should deliver the following (*** Note: Students will be provided with a common base map for the interactive map):
        1. A web link to their interactive map.
        2. A folder that contains the editable HTML file: what is expected is a basic development of the HTML and CSS. At this stage here is no need to develop the interactivity of your map on Javascript.
        3. One/multiple JPEG/PNG file(s) that show(s) the final desired structure of your interactive map and its controls.

Session 7
Thursday 28th of February // 15:00 – 19:00
Phase 3 Development
Refinement of Interactive Map, Typologies design, Effect of proposal in the urban and building scale.
Plus everybody working on the Interactive Physical model development with Studio and Seminar Faculty. Development of Design, and fabrication of the base of the physical model.

Session 8
Thursday 7th of March // 15:00 – 19:00
Phase 3 Interactive Map Finalization:

  1. An interactive map that visualizes the effects of the IoB on the District of Saint-Marti. Students should deliver the following:
    1. A web link to your interactive map.
    2. A folder that contains the editable HTML file.

Phase 3 Physical Model Development
Interactive Physical model development with Studio and Seminar Faculty. Development of fabrication and interactivity. 

Session 9
Thursday 14th of March // 15:00 – 19:00
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3 Finalization:
All teams should work together to produce:
The final interactive physical model
Basic user interaction either based on Arduino controls or Projection mapping 

Session 10
Thursday 21st of March // 15:00 – 19:00
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3
Deliverables: Digital Presentation, Interactive IoB Map, Physical interactive model and 1,5-minute video.