This is part of an ongoing series of Q&A interviews with members of the Memolane community who are doing amazing things with lanes and stories.

We came across the IAAC’s story of the MAA Research Trips 2011 and were intrigued by the daily check-ins around the world, the architectural photographs, and the mix of tweets and videos that really capture the narrative of these three simultaneous trips. Tom Zydel of the IAAC, pictured below, was kind enough to answer our questions and tell the story behind the MAA Research Trips 2011.

1) How did you find out about Memolane and how long have you been using it?

I found Memolane through the Foursquare applications page. I was looking for a tool to visualize our Foursquare Check-ins and I came across Memolane which ended up doing that and a lot more. It turned out to be the perfect tool for this particular project.

2) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the IAAC?

IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) is a cutting edge education and research centre dedicated to the development of an architecture capable of meeting the worldwide challenges in the construction of habitability in the early 21st century.

IAAC’s projects and programs include the Masters in Advanced Architecture program with students from over 25 countries along with various workshops and exhibitions in Barcelona and around the world. We are home to the Fab Lab BCN and last year the Fab Lab House was created at IAAC before it was entered in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 where it received 1st place in the People’s Choice Award. In 2012 IAAC will introduce a masters program of Green Innovation at the new Green Fab Lab located in Collserola Park in Barcelona.

I manage IAAC’s social media, email, and various other things related to communications and administration (small staff!).

3) What was the purpose of the trip, whom did you travel with, and
where did you go?

This Story follows the 2011 Masters in Advanced Architecture program on their Research Trips. There are three research groups in the masters program and each were in a different part of the world: Hong Kong; Dubai, Abu Dhabi; and Switzerland, Germany (pictured in order below).

We created a competition between the IAAC staff from each group keeping track of who created the most social content from around the world: Tweets, Check-ins, photos, videos, etc. I was in Barcelona organizing all of their content, publishing their photos on Facebook and Picasa, writing the blog entries and keeping score…the research group that went to Switzerland and Germany won the competition, but not without much debate on the scoring system!

4) What was your favorite memory from the trip?

Since I wasn’t on any of the trips it was just great to see all of the Tweets and Check-ins from my colleagues as they happened from back in Barcelona. This was our first major social media project and it is always great to see enthusiasm from everyone involved.

5) Has the Memolane story helped you to relive your trip and share it with friends and colleagues?

On May 6th we held an exhibition at a gallery in Barcelona which featured student photos taken on the trip and research videos created by some of the students. The Memolane Story was also on display and was then featured (embedded) in the blog post recapping the evening. Aside from allowing me to gather all of the social media efforts from the trips, it ended up being a great way for staff and students to look back at everything the three groups learned along the way.

A huge thanks to Tom for creating the IAAC’s MAA Research Trips 2011 story and to the students at IAAC for their participation. All photos are courtesy of Tom Zydel.

To see the entire gallery of featured stories and lanes visit the Memolane site, and to submit your suggestions for featured lanes and stories send us an email at