Last Friday, June 15th, IAAC opened its doors to conclude the 2017/2018 academic year with a very special and expected guest: the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, founder of the internationally renowned architectural firm BIG. The architect came back to IAAC after collaborating in March on the launch of the new Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings (MAEB), our new academic program led by IAAC founder Vicente Guallart that will begin in October 2018 focusing on sustainable architecture and the design and prototyping of self-sufficient buildings.

The conference was an absolute success – reaching a maximum capacity of 250 people in our main hall- and revolved around the projects promoted by BIG in different cities around the world. Bjarke Ingels placed special emphasis on his ecological and sustainable approach, which ensures the functionality and integration in the urban space of facilities with green areas, corridors and structures as well as transgressive designs aimed at bringing the cities closer to the people for their enjoyment and well-being.

Designing the Martian City will also be next challenge for Bjarke’s firm which today is releasing a full plan to bring large-scale 3D printing techniques on the red planet. The firm’s founder, Bjarke Ingels, talked about designing firstly a Martian architecture on Earth (United Arab Emirates is the country chosen as a testing ground for this project) focusing his research into sustaining human life on the red planet. According to the architect, this Martian city will be composed of open spaces carved out between round, red buildings, 3D-printed with sand from the desertic area and its development will also test out the feasibility of creating underground spaces.