Magic Carpet : Public Furniture for Barcelona!

Public furniture for under-utilized public spaces in Barcelona by a group of international students.


Magic Carpet is a project developed for Mushrooms Seminar under Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona. It is a structural system which consists of wooden elements and steel cables. The Magic Carpet is designed to be a flexible structural system which could act as various surfaces for seating and resting according to the geometry. Its flexible wavy nature makes it a perfect fit for a public furniture wherever and whichever form it’s needed to be.

We are a group of international students and budding architects pursuing our masters degree at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Our aim is to revive urban spaces in Barcelona with a strategic and aesthetic addition of public furniture coupled with novel structural principals and advanced fabrication methods.

We are a small group of students coming from 37 different countries. This is our little way of giving back to the city, its people and YOU!

We’ve done a prototype of this structural system as a part of our seminar, having built and tested the prototype, we’re certain that we could use the same principles to build public furniture in Barcelona and for this we’re asking for YOUR support in bringing this project to life and leaving a mark in Barcelona.


Barcelona is a city blasting with energy and excitement, there are fun activities and numerous things happening around every corner. Whether you’re a tourist, an international student or a local, there are always places to go, things to do and experience. The constant swarm of people roaming around the coastline keeps it active almost always throughout the day. Although there’s always something happening around the shore, there’s a lack of utilization of the boardwalk near the Nova Icaria Beach, especially towards the end. The boardwalk contains many cafes and restaurants and is on a great location to hang out, relax and take pictures though there are no steps taken to make it more utilized in this way. For these reasons we’ve chosen the boardwalk adjacent to Moll de Gregal to place the Magic Carpet. Our proposition is to build a Magic Carpet for one of the 4 locations marked in the illustration above.

Marked Location / Proposal


Funds Distribution






About the Magic Carpet:

3D Model

Magic Carpet was developed with the help of 3D Modeling and analysis software such as Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and Karamba. Digital and robotic fabrication tools were used for manufacturing the prototype.

Line Model

Unlike how the structure seems to span through the length by the wooden elements, which seems impossible considering the elements aren’t fixed to each other, the structure is held by steel cables which span through the width.

Not Unfoldable demonstration

Seeing that the elements are only held by the cables on both sides, this type of joinery acts like hinges, in order to keep the structure from deforming and collapsing, the structure depends on geometric locking which comes from “not unfoldable” surfaces. These principles combined, create the illusion or the “Magic” in Magic Carpet.

Deformation Analysis

As a result of the analysis, additional measures were taken to avoid deformations, heavy utilization of some elements and unforeseen forces on the cables.

Bending Moment Analysis


Shear Force Analysis


Business Model Canvas

Risks and Challenges:

Magic Carpet is a first of its kind project that has been developed by a proficient and enthusiastic team of faculty and students at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IaaC). Since the project was initially conceived and developed as a part of the seminar, with the fabrication of a 1:1 scaled prototype, during which we faced certain challenges and difficulties and have efficiently resolved them. Through our experience of constructing the prototype, we have gained sufficient skill and expertise to design and fabricate numerous Magic Carpets for Barcelona.
Since the project is focused on building Urban Furniture for the city of Barcelona, it is mandatory to obtain permissions from the Municipality of Barcelona. The grant of these permissions is one of our key concerns and the process to obtain them is already in place.


The Team

Magic Carpet is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Developed at: Master in Advanced Architecture (2017-2018).

Faculty: Anna Pla Catala

Students: Oğulcan Üneşi and Bhakti Vinod Loonawat