Master in City & Technology Second Year 2018/20
Thesis Studio: 
Advanced Urban Design Thesis Studio
Thesis Advisors:
Areti Markopoulou & Mathilde Marengo


The massive generation of urban data allows for more optimized, self-sufficient and responsive urban designs that follow the needs of both environments and users. When urban design adapts to the environment it trespasses its artificial rigidity, becoming a living organism, able to breathe, filter, grow and be in resonance with users. The synthetic ecology created, uses both artificial and human intelligence in order to operate and thrive.

Within this context, a new paradigm arises for the design of the future urban environment which redefines the form and performance of buildings and public spaces. It leads us to question the ways in which the production of resources can be integrated into new urban landscapes and the ways in which temporal dynamics will affect the creation of masterplans in the future.

The agenda of this studio line seeks to investigate how big data and urban analytics can provide a new base for the advancement of urban design by investigating the way that neighborhoods, public spaces, infrastructure, and masterplans are currently being generated. The projects developed within this theme will focus on creating design proposals for the urban environment, by looking into big data, nature-based solutions, urban densification, new infrastructure as well as territories and landscapes.

Thesis Advisors

Areti Markopoulou

Areti Markopoulou is a Greek architect, researcher and urban technologist working at the intersection between architecture and digital technologies. She is the Academic Director at IAAC in Barcelona, where she also leads the Advanced Architecture Group, a multidisciplinary research group exploring how design and science can positively impact and transform the present and future of our built spaces, the way we live and interact. Her research and practice seeks to redefine architecture as a performative “body” beyond traditional notions of static materiality, approximate data, or standardized manufacturing.

Areti is the founder and principal of the multidisciplinary practice Design Dynamics Studio, and co-editor of Urban Next, a global network focused on rethinking architecture through the contemporary urban milieu. She is the project coordinator of a number of European Research funded Projects on topics including urban regeneration through technologies and multidisciplinary educational models in the digital age.

Areti has also served as a curator of international exhibitions such as the On-Site Robotics (Building Barcelona Construmat 2017), Print Matter (In3dustry 2016), HyperCity (Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale, 2015) and MyVeryOwnCity (World Bank, BR Barcelona, 2011).

She holds a Bachelor of Architecture & Engineering from DUTH – the Democritus University of Thrace, a MArch from IAAC, and a Fab Academy diploma on Digital Fabrication offered by the Fab Lab Network. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the UPC, researching the topic of Responsive Environments and Smart Cities. Areti has served as an external examiner, visiting jury and lecturer in various universities such as the UCLA, SCI-Arc, University of Applied Arts Vienna, TUDelft, UPenn and AA, among others. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions worldwide, such as the Venice Biennale, Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, Festival of Science, Beijing Design Week, Tallin Biennale and the 3d print show, among others.

Dr. Mathilde Marengo

Mathilde Marengo is an Australian – French – Italian Ph.D. Architect whose research focuses on the Contemporary Urban Phenomenon, its integration with technology, and its speculative implications on the future of our planet – or the next. She is currently the Head of Studies and Faculty at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s Advanced Architecture Group, as well as being a Ph.D. Supervisor within the InnoChain EU research project.

Mathilde has been at IAAC since 2013, where, until 2015, she was in charge of Communication & Publications, and was Academic Coordinator from 2015 till early 2017. She won a research grant co-financed by Compagnia di San Paolo for the “Atlante Med-Net” project, and in support for the development of her PhD research, developed both at the PhD School of Architecture and Design at the University of Genoa, XXVI cycle, and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. She obtained her International PhD title in April 2014, with “Multi-City Coast. The evolving forms and structures of the Mediterranean multi-city. New models of urban thinking and perspective.”

During her academic career, she collaborated on several research projects investigating territorial and contemporary urban transformations such as ‘LUNGOILMARE: continuità, modificazione e permanenze. Un’ipotesi di sviluppo per 25km di fronte mare del Ponente Ligure’, scientific coordinator Prof. Arch. Franz Prati; research group coordinators: Prof. Arch. Mosè Ricci, Arch. Gianluca Peluffo; and “The Eco_Univercity Genoa Project”, scientific coordinators Prof. Mosè Ricci with Prof. Joerg Schroeder, Università di Genova, Technische Universitaet Munchen. She was also a part of the Inter-University Research team for the PRIN 2010-2011 managed by Ministry of Education, University and Research (Ministero dell’Università, dell’Istruzione e della Ricerca) RECYCLE research project, focusing on urban recycling as the generator for new infrastructure and creativity in urban contexts.

Her work has been published internationally, as well as exhibited, among others: Venice Biennale, Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, Beijing Design Week, MAXXI Rome.