We offer different classes, workshops and seminars for different target audiences.

2016

Model Cities: Rapid Urban Prototyping for ‘Innovation Districts’
 

A City Science Design Workshop | Units (3-0-9), Fall 2016
Wednesdays 2:00 – 5:00pm, Room E15-359 (MIT Media Lab)

Instructors – Kent LarsonJoost Bonsen
Contact — kll@mit.edu, jpbonsen@alum.mit.edu

Co-Instructors – Ariel Noyman, Carson Smuts, Ira Winder, Luis Alonso, and Arnaud Grignard

Summary:
Cities all over the world are developing “innovation districts” where a critical mass of creative people can live, work, play and share ideas in compact, vibrant communities. Kendall Square, Boston’s Seaport District, Somerville’s future Brickbottom District, and Harvard’s expansion into Allston have all been referred to as
innovation districts.

But what actually enables innovation?

In this course, students will explore a data-drive, evidence-based approach to modeling and simulating creative, entrepreneurial, livable communities. Participants will gain experience with data collection, data visualization, and dynamic urban simulation using various tools developed for our CityScope platform. The impact of urban interventions will be modeled, ranging from micro-apartments for Millennials to shared-use autonomous mobility networks.

Enrollment:

This class seeks highly motivated students with the necessary skills to dive deep into an aspect of this problem.  Designers with a background in data analysis and visualization, or computer scientists interested in urbanism, design and human dynamics are especially welcome. Participants will be required to submit a short essay of interest, CV and portfolio.  Prior experience with Rhino, Grasshopper, GIS, processing, or Unity is particularly useful.

Class Description:
The class will consist of the three phases:

1. Collecting and Visualizing Data – What are the important variables? Beginning with Kendall Square, which is often cited as a model urban innovation district, students will make use of readily available data as well as new sources, which may include Google Maps, telecom data, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, and CrunchBase to better understand the qualities and social dynamics of a place. See: http://cp.media.mit.edu/mit-observatory

2. Modeling Interventions
Students will propose and model the impact of selected interventions that could improve the creative potential and livability of a district.  Interventions may be related to design, infrastructure, technology, or public policy.

3. Developing Dynamic CityScope Models
Students will develop dynamic, parametric models for urban interventions using using variations of the CityScope platform developed by the Changing Places Research Group at the MIT Media Lab.

Class Syllabus:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l7i0g6iy2upuy5o/MAS552_Workshop_Syllabus.pdf?dl=0


CREATIVE PLACES:
Understanding and Enabling Vibrant and Entrepreneurial Urban Hot Spots

A City Science Design Workshop (MAS 552 / 4.557) 

Instructors – Kent LarsonJoost Bonsen
Contact — kll@mit.edu, jpbonsen@alum.mit.edu

Co-Instructors – Agnis Stibe, David Rose and Ariel Noyman

Prerequisites – Permission of Instructor, Units (3-0-9), Spring 2016
Class Days – Wednesday, 2:00 – 5:00pm, Room E14-633 (First Class February 3)

Class Description – Mayors and developers all over the world are proposing urban “innovation districts” where a critical mass of creative people can live, work, play and share ideas in compact, vibrant communities.  But the relationship between innovation and public policy, design, urban systems, economic assets, entrepreneurial development and cultural values is poorly understood.  With billions of dollars being committed to fostering innovation in cities, it is imperative that we move towards an evidence-based process of understanding and enabling more entrepreneurial, livable, high-performance communities.

The class will consist of the three phases: 

  • Deconstructing Creative Places
  • Visualizing and Evaluating Creative Places
  • Designing Interventions to Improve Creative Places

 Most classes will feature an invited speaker from the MIT, Harvard, and entrepreneurship community.  We are seeking highly motivated students with the necessary skills to dive deep into an aspect of understanding and enabling vibrant and entrepreneurial urban hot spots.  Students with a background in data analysis, visualization, urban design, architecture, public policy, or entrepreneurship are preferred. Class participants will be divided into small teams to focus on one or more research areas based on their interest, experience and skill sets. Student teams will make regular Pecha Kucha style presentations, with a final publication-quality paper.

Course Syllabus description, schedule, readings, etc.

Enrollment – This class seeks highly motivated students with the necessary skills to dive deep into an aspect of understanding and enabling vibrant and entrepreneurial urban hot spots. Students interested in joining the class will be required to submit a short essay of interest, CV and/or portfolio. Students with a background in data analysis, visualization, urban design, architecture, public policy, or entrepreneurship are preferred.

Mentors – Waleed Gowharji, Mario Siller, Yan Zhang, Nai Chun Chen


Future cities will reshape human behavior in countless ways. Persuasive urban systems will play an important role in making cities more livable and resource-efficient by addressing current environmental problems and enabling healthier routines. Therefore, future research should be directed towards exploring how urban design might be combined with persuasive technology [2] and socially influencing systems [3-4] to encourage healthy behaviors at scale.

More effort has to be put into studying how quality of life and the health of the individual and communities might be improved through the creation of persuasive cities, streets, buildings, homes, and vehicles [5-6]. Information technology and computer systems are increasingly designed to support everyday routines and advance user experience in multiple ways [1]. Novel computer systems can be also intentionally designed to influence how users think and behave. Theories of persuasion and social influence provide various strategies for the developers of such systems to facilitate desired effects on users.

 

Empowering Cities for Sustainable Wellbeing
Agnis Stibe, Samir Chatterjee, Katja Schechtner, Matthias Wunsch, Alexandra Millonig, Stefan Seer, Ryan C. C. Chin, Kent Larson
MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA, USA
Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA
Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria
University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria
Vienna University of Technology, Human Computer Interaction, Vienna, Austria

Persuasive Cities: Health Behavior Change at Scale
Agnis Stibe
MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA, USA

LITERATURE

  1. Chatterjee, S. and Price, A.: Healthy Living with Persuasive Technologies: Framework, Issues, and Challenges. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) 16, 171–178 (2009)
  2. Fogg, B.J.: Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann (2003)
  3. Stibe, A.: Towards a Framework for Socially Influencing Systems: Meta-Analysis of Four PLS-SEM Based Studies. In: MacTavish, T., Basapur, S. (eds.) Persuasive Technology. LNCS, vol. 9072, pp. 171–182. Springer, Heidelberg (2015)
  4. Stibe, A. Advancing Typology of Computer-Supported Influence: Moderation Effects in Socially Influencing Systems. In: MacTavish, T., Basapur, S. (eds.) Persuasive Technology. LNCS, vol. 9072, pp. 253-264. Springer, Heidelberg (2015)
  5. Wunsch, M., Stibe, A., Millonig, A., Seer, S., Dai, C., Schechtner, K., and Chin, R.C.C.: What Makes You Bike? Exploring Persuasive Strategies to Encourage Low-Energy Mobility. In: MacTavish, T., Basapur, S. (eds.) Persuasive Technology. LNCS, vol. 9072, pp. 53–64. Springer, Heidelberg (2015)
  6. Wunsch, M., Millonig, A., Seer, S., Schechtner, K., Stibe, A., & Chin, R.C.C. Challenged to Bike: Assessing the Potential Impact of Gamified Cycling Initiatives. Transportation Research Board (TRB) 95th Annual Meeting, January 10–14, 2016, Washington D.C., USA (2016)

 


 

How to design Electric vehicles (EVs)

IAP Non-Credit Course

Instructors
Ryan Chin, Managing Director & Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab, City Science Initiative
Lennon Rodgers, Research Scientist, MIT International Design Center
Sanjay Sarma, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT Mechanical Engineering
 
Guest Instructors
Rick Chamberlain, Chief Technology Officer, Boston-Power Inc.
Eric Carlson, Senior Fellow, Boston-Power, Inc.
Craig Carlson, Executive Advisor, Parthenon EY

Schedule  
Lectures – 9am to 12pm on January 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 in E15-341
Labs – 9am to 4pm on January 22, 25, 29 in the International Design Center (IDC) in N52, 3rd floor

Syllabus – [PDF],  MIT IAP Listing

   How to Design EVs (IAP Class Poster)

   How to Design EVs (IAP Class Poster)

Course Description
If you are interested in designing and building electric vehicles (EVs), then this IAP class is for you.
 
This hands-on course brings together industry experts, MIT faculty, staff, and students to present the basic building blocks to EVs including: battery systems, electric motors, motor controllers, and the overall vehicle systems integration. Each session will delve into practical engineering issues through interactive presentations by instructors and guest speakers. There will also be working sessions conducted by student mentors. The course will address the following questions:
 
How to specify batteries, motor controllers, and motors to satisfy vehicle performance and efficiency goals
How to integrate cooling, electrical, and communications systems that are crucial to the operation of EVs
How to evaluate technology options
How to make design decisions related to overall system and subsystem specification and selection
 
In addition to lectures, this year we will be offering three “hands-on” lab sessions in order for participants to apply lessons from the talks to practical in-class exercises that emphasize learning by doing and peer-to-peer collaboration.
 
The remaining sessions will focus on current market trends, cost challenges, competitive technologies, and future applications including urban mobility, EV infrastructure, energy storage for utilities, and the role of policy and incentives.


Enrollment – Advance sign-up required by Jan. 15th, 2016. Course size is limited to 40 (lecture) and 14 (labs). Students can sign up for both lecture and lab sessions. If the course is oversubscribed, a short essay will be required for selection. Register here

Prerequisites – Permission of Instructor
Attendance – Participants welcome at individual sessions
Sponsors – Mechanical Engineering
 
Contacts
Ryan Chin, E15-368D, rchin@media.mit.edu
Lennon Rodgers, N52-387A, rodgers@mit.edu

 

 

Persuasive Cities for Sustainable Wellbeing

IAP Non-Credit Course

Instructor — Dr. Agnis Stibe — Social Engineer at MIT Media Lab
Sessions — 10am-12pm on Jan 6, Jan 8, Jan 13, and Jan 15, 2016

Syllabus | MIT IAP Listing

Do I want to shape my behavior? Or influence behaviors of other people?

Have I ever tried to change something in my behavior or to alter what others think or do? Has my experience been successful so far? If you would like to improve your chances, then you are welcome to practice and learn ways to reshape human behaviors (at scale).

Can you imagine a city that feels, understands, and cares? Many of us live and work in an urban environment, however we often are not aware of how hugely our behavior is influenced by the environment. Future cities will alter human behavior in countless ways and Socially Influencing Systems (SIS) will play an important role in making urban spaces more livable and resource-efficient by addressing current environmental problems and enabling healthier routines.

In this highly interactive course, we will discuss ways for reshaping our current environments and designing future Persuasive Cities to help people become healthier and to acquire sustainable lifestyles. We will explore how good urban design can be combined with Socially Influencing Systems (SIS) to encourage healthy behaviors at scale. We will study how quality of life can be improved through the creation of persuasive cities, streets, buildings, homes, and vehicles.

Each session will delve into practical design issues through interactive presentations and collaborative work.

References

Stibe, A. (2015) Towards a Framework for Socially Influencing Systems: Meta-Analysis of Four PLS-SEM Based Studies. In Persuasive Technology (pp. 172-183). Springer International Publishing [PDF]

Stibe, A. (2015) Advancing Typology of Computer-Supported Influence: Moderation Effects in Socially Influencing Systems. In Persuasive Technology (pp. 253-264). Springer International Publishing [PDF]

Wunsch, M., Stibe, A., Millonig, A., Seer, S., Dai, C., Schechtner, K., & Chin, R. C. C. (2015). What Makes You Bike? Exploring Persuasive Strategies to Encourage Low-Energy Mobility. In Persuasive Technology (pp. 53-64). Springer International Publishing [PDF]

Slides

Class 1 - Jan 6 | Class 2 - Jan 8 | Class 3 - Jan 13 | Class 4 - Jan 15


2015

autonomous urban delivery
new systems for moving people, goods, and services

A City Science Design Workshop (MAS 552 / 4.557) 

Instructors – Kent Larson, Ryan Chin
Contact — kll@mit.edu, rchin@media.mit.edu
Guest Instructors – Sertac Karaman, Matthias Winkenbach, and Edgar Blanco

Prerequisites – Permission of Instructor, Units (3-0-9), Fall 2015 

Class Days – Wednesday, 2:00 – 5:00pm, Room E15-341 (First Class September 9th) 

MAS.552 / 4.557 Course Poster (click above to download PDF)

MAS.552 / 4.557 Course Poster (click above to download PDF)

Class Description – This course will focus on the design of new systems for achieving low-cost, low-speed autonomous delivery of people, goods, and services in dense urban environments. Today’s rapidly urbanizing cities face many challenges in mobility networks including excessive congestion, carbon emissions, energy inefficiency, poor land-use, noise pollution, and a low quality of life for many citizens. Autonomous technology holds much promise to address these problems, however, the focus of much of the driverless technology has been targeted at moving passengers in private vehicles at high speed, long-distances, and at high cost (e.g., use of LIDAR systems). However, in cities where speeds are lower, distances are shorter, and the movement of goods and services significantly impacts congestion and the environment, the opportunity is to develop new-shared concepts for disrupting current transportation paradigms.  

Working in small teams, students will select from the following research topics for their area of focus:

●    Design of new lightweight electric vehicles for autonomous delivery
●    Low-cost sensing technologies and autonomous control
●    System modeling and simulations of people/package movement
●    Design of new user interfaces and apps
●    Development of new markets (e.g., on-demand robotic coffee) 
●    Desktop research on existing case studies in urban delivery
●    Design of urban infrastructure (e.g., pathways, charging stations, loading docks, handling systems, autonomous intersections)

Course Syllabus [PDF] – Course description, schedule, readings, etc. 

Enrollment – This class seeks highly motivated students with the necessary skills to prototype new urban systems. Students interested in joining the class will be required to submit a short essay of interest, CV and/or portfolio, and sign up for a short 15-minute interview to be held on either Sep 10th or 11th.  Students with a background in mechanical engineering, computer science, robotics, architecture, urban planning, transportation, logistics, engineering systems, management, product design, and human machine interface are preferred. 

Mentors – Michael Lin, Ariel Noyman, Mario Siller, Agnis Stibe, Franziskus Wiedemann, Yan Zhang


HEALTH BEHAVIOR CHANGE at SCALE
Persuasive Urban Systems for Healthy and Sustainable Routines (MAS.S60)

Instructors — Agnis Stibe, Niaja Favre
Advisors — Kent Larson, Rosalind Picard, Ryan Chin, Kevin Slavin

Class Description – We all live and work in an urban environment. Oftentimes, we are not aware of how hugely our behavior is influenced by the environment. For example, if stairs are inconveniently located, we take an elevator. If bicycle lanes are dangerous, we prefer to drive a car. Future Persuasive Cities will alter human behavior in countless ways. Innovative urban systems will play an important role in making cities more livable and resource-efficient by addressing current environmental problems and enabling healthier routines. 

In this course, we will work on reshaping our current environments and designing future spaces to help people become healthier and to acquire sustainable lifestyles. We will explore how good urban design might be combined with Socially Influencing Systems (SIS) to encourage healthy behaviors (such as walking, bicycling, stair-use) at scale. We will study how quality of life and the health of the individual and communities might be improved through the creation of persuasive cities, streets, buildings, homes, and vehicles.

This course combines weekly attendance at the Advancing Wellness seminar series (Tuesdays) with weekly interactive class activities and discussions (Thursdays) intended to help launch successful projects in health behavior change at scale. We will cover readings from persuasive technologies, socially influencing systems, and positive computing as well as from theories of motivation and behavior change studies in psychology. Most of the class is focused on small group projects where we will work together to learn how to create better tools, technologies, media, and cultural influences that bring about higher success rates. Students will be expected to deploy these projects in order to bring about behavior change, and to analyze and understand the factors that influence success.

 


 

ANDORRA LIVING LAB:
Prototyping new urban systems for a capital in the pyrenees

A City Science Design Workshop (MAS 552 / 4.557) 

Instructors – Kent Larson, Ryan Chin
Contact — kll@mit.edu, rchin@media.mit.edu 

Prerequisites – Permission of Instructor, Units (3-0-9), Spring 2015 

First Class – Wednesday, 2:00 – 5:00pm, Room E15-341 (First Class Feb 4th) 

MAS.552/4.557 Course Poster (Andorra Living Lab)

MAS.552/4.557 Course Poster (Andorra Living Lab)

Class Description – The European micro-nation of Andorra, with a population of fewer than 80,000 people, receives about 8 million visitors per year. With no airport or train service, most people arrive by automobile and concentrate in the commercial center of the capital, making traffic management and parking some of the most important challenges to overcome in the future. Andorra has demonstrated a commitment to innovation by creating new events and initiatives such as Scalada, and by taking steps to diversify its economy and to draw in foreign investment. As a sovereign nation and a city-state, Andorra is able to expeditiously cut through bureaucratic barriers in order to resolve regulatory issues, provide public policy and create incentives. This course will investigate the application of urban innovation in the capital of Andorra, with an emphasis on mobility, entrepreneurship, and urban simulation for decision-making and community engagement.

Today’s rapidly urbanizing cities need disruptive innovation that can move beyond “Smart Cities” solutions that have traditionally focused on optimization of cities rather than inventing new urban systems. This course will focus on the design and prototyping new systems to address the problems of urban mobility, live/work spaces, and creative interaction through technology. This course will also develop urban analytical tools to inform the design of semi-autonomous, resilient, dense, and entrepreneurial neighborhoods where places of living, work, culture, shopping, and play are within a 20-minute walk. 

This course will focus on the following research areas:

●    New urban mobility systems that are autonomous, shared, and electric
●    Urban analytical tools (CityScope) to visualize data and simulate urban interventions
●    Public Engagement with non-expert stakeholders using the CityScope platform
●    Innovation districts that incorporate co-working spaces, fab-labs, and micro-units
●    Transformable, hyper-efficient, live/work spaces

Class participants will be divided into small teams to focus on one research area for the duration of the semester based on their interest, experience and skill sets. Each area will be lead by a mentor(s) from the City Science Initiative. Student teams are expected to work together as a unit to conceptualize, design, fabricate, and assemble a series of working prototypes throughout the term. 

Enrollment – This class seeks highly motivated students with the necessary skills to prototype new urban systems (see pre-requisites for each module below). Students interested in joining the class will be required to submit a short essay of interest, CV and/or portfolio, and sign up for a short 15-minute interview to be held on either Feb 9th or 10th.  

Travel – A limited number of course participants will travel to Andorra over spring break (March 21st to 28th) to conduct an on-site design workshop with the municipality of Andorra, local universities, and local companies.


How to Design electric Vehicles

IAP Non-Credit Course

Instructors
Sanjay Sarma, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT Mechanical Engineering
Ryan Chin, Managing Director & Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab, City Science Initiative

Guest Instructors
Rick Chamberlain, Chief Technology Officer, Boston-Power Inc.
Eric Carlson, Senior Fellow, Boston-Power, Inc.
Craig Carlson, Automotive Consultant, Craig Carlson LLC 

Course Description
If you are interested in designing and building electric vehicles (EVs), then this IAP class is for you. 

This hands-on course brings together industry experts, MIT faculty, staff, and students to present the basic building blocks to EVs including: battery systems, electric motors, motor controllers, and the overall vehicle systems integration. Each session will delve into practical engineering issues through interactive presentations by instructors and guest speakers. There will also be working sessions conducted by student mentors. The course will address the following questions:

•    How to specify batteries, motor controllers, and motors to satisfy vehicle performance and efficiency goals
•    How to integrate cooling, electrical, and communications systems that are crucial to the operation of EVs
•    How to evaluate technology options
•    How to make design decisions related to overall system and subsystem specification and selection

Guest speakers include industry experts from Boston-Power, Protean Electric, Sevcon, Ford Motor Company, and Nest. The last session will focus on current market trends, cost challenges, competitive technologies, and future applications including urban mobility, EV infrastructure, energy storage for utilities, and the role of policy and incentives. 


Schedule – Jan 20 (9am-4pm), Jan 22 (9am-12pm), Jan 27 (9am-12pm), Jan 29 (9am-12pm)
Location – E15-341
Enrollment – Advance sign-up required by Jan. 15th, 2015. Class size limited to 40 participants. Prospective students can sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/RmZbhNUM8l
Prerequisites – Permission of Instructor
Attendance – Participants welcome at individual sessions
Sponsors – Media Arts and Sciences, Mechanical Engineering
Contact – Ryan Chin, E15-368D, rchin@media.mit.edu
MIT IAP Website – http://student.mit.edu/iap/ns199.html
Course Outline and Detailed Agenda [PDF]

Student Mentors
Michael Lin, PhD Candidate, MIT Media Lab
Dylan Erb, PhD Candidate, MIT Mechanical Engineering
Roberto Melendez, Student Clubs and Teams Coordinator

"How to Design Electric Vehicles (EVs)" - 2015 IAP Non-Credit Course

"How to Design Electric Vehicles (EVs)" - 2015 IAP Non-Credit Course


Socially Influencing Systems (SIS) for Improved Urban Mobility

IAP Non-Credit Course

Dr. Agnis Stibe  –  Postdoctoral Associate, MIT Media Lab, City Science Initiative, Changing Places, Persuasive Urban Mobility
Emily G. Martin  –  Assistant, MIT Education Arcade

Syllabus  –  PDF
MIT IAP Website  –  Course description

Guest Instructors

Nicole Freedman  –  MIT Road Cycling Coach and Director of Boston Bikes
Scot Osterweil  –  Computer Game Designer and Creative Director at MIT Education Arcade
Jinhua Zhao  –  PhD, Edward H. and Joyce Linde Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
Dr. Sebastian Deterding  –  Assistant Professor, Game Design Program, Northeastern University
y.t.  –  SCUL Controller and Project Manager at MIT Education Arcade

Austrian Institute of Technology

Stefan Seer  –  Scientist in Crowd Dynamics
Alexandra Millonig  –  Scientist in Human Factors
Matthias Wunsch  –  PhD Candidate in Persuasive Urban Mobility project

Course Description

Do I want to shape my behavior? Or influence behaviors or other people?

Have you ever thought of changing something in your behavior or influencing what others think or do? Has your experience been successful so far? If you’d like to have more success, then you are welcome to take this course to practice and learn about shaping human behaviors.

This highly interactive course combines an extensive body of knowledge from social psychology – focusing on social influence, behavioral change, persuasion, and hands-on development of socially influencing systems for urban mobility in modern cities.

The course explains the role of persuasive technologies and their applications to various problem domains, such as mobility, health and wellbeing, energy conservation and efficiency, safety, education, etc. Each session will delve into practical design issues through interactive presentations and collaborative work. The course will address the following questions:

  • How can I design technologies to influence what people think and do?
  • How can people be persuaded to increase their bicycling behavior?
  • What kind of socially influencing systems has greater potential to shift people’s attitudes and behavior?
  • How can these systems improve city living and other aspects of modern times?

References

Stibe A (2014) "Socially Influencing Systems: Persuading People to Engage with Publicly Displayed Twitter-based Systems." Acta Universitatis Ouluensis.

Fogg BJ (2003) "Persuasive Technology: Using Computers To Change What We Think And Do." Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA.


2014

CHANGING CITIES: 
How to Prototype New Urban Systems 

A City Science Design Workshop (MAS 552 / 4.557) 

Instructors – Kent Larson, Ryan Chin
kll@mit.edu, rchin@media.mit.edu 

Prerequisites – Permission of Instructor, Units (3-0-9), Fall 2014 

First Class – Wednesday, 2:00 – 5:00pm, Room E15-341 (First Class Sept. 3rd) 

Class Description – Today’s rapidly urbanizing cities desperately need disruptive innovation that move beyond “Smart Cities” solutions that have traditionally focused on optimization of cities rather than inventing new urban systems. This course will focus on how to design and prototype new systems to address the problems of urban mobility, food production, and live/work spaces. This course will also develop urban analytical tools to inform the design of semi-autonomous, resilient, dense urban neighborhoods where places of living, work, culture, shopping, and play are within a 20-minute walk. 

This course will focus on five “How to” modules:

•    How to prototype autonomous, shared, electric mobility systems 
•    How to prototype hyper-efficient, transformable spaces (robotic architecture)
•    How to prototype controlled environment urban food systems
•    How to realize computational urbanism using augmented tangible models 
•    How to quantify innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative vitality in cities

Class participants will be divided into small teams (2-4 students) to focus on one “How to” module for the duration of the semester based on their interest, experience and skill sets. Each module will be lead by a mentor(s) from the City Science Initiative. Student teams are expected work together as a unit to conceptualize, design, fabricate, and assemble a series of working prototypes on throughout the term. 

Enrollment – This class seeks highly motivated students with the necessary skills to prototype new urban systems (see pre-requisites for each module in the syllabus below). Students interested in joining the class will be required to submit a CV and/or portfolio, a short essay of interest, and sign up for a short 15-minute interview to be held on either September 4th or 5th. 

Module Mentors – Daan Archer, Joost Bonsen, Rich Fletcher, Wolfgang Gruel, Caleb Harper, Dan Harple, Carson Smuts, Michael Lin, Jason Nawyn, Jennifer Saura, Hasier Larrea-Tamayo, Ira Winder

Course Advisor – Ramiro Almeida 

Course Syllabus [PDF]

How to Prototype New Urban Systems Poster 

How to Prototype New Urban Systems Poster 



Beyond Smart Cities

MIT Professional Education Short Program, June 16-18, 2014 

Description: Today, academic research and industrial applications in the area of “Smart Cities” seek to optimize existing city infrastructure, networks, and urban behavior through the deployment and utilization of digital networks. Cities that employ optimization techniques have reported improvements in energy efficiency, water use, public safety, road congestion, and many other areas. However, optimization has its limits. For instance, the improvement of traffic flow in most cities can approach 10% based on current “Smart Cities” approaches such as sensing the road network, predicting the demand, and controlling traffic signaling. Research and investments in new urban systems are fundamentally critical because optimization will have little effect for rapidly urbanizing cities such as Bangalore, India, which experience around the clock congestion. This course moves beyond “Smart Cities” by focusing on disruptive innovations in technology, design, planning, policy, and strategies that can bring dramatic improvements in urban livability and sustainability.

This course aims to develop a holistic model for high-performance urban living based on the concept of “Compact Urban Cells” – a neighborhood area of approximately one square kilometer in diameter containing most of what citizens need for everyday life within a 20-minute walk. This course will introduce the following key elements for Compact Urban Cells: Resilient Urban Cells, New Mobility Systems, Resilient Energy Systems, Living Space on Demand, Shared Co-Working Facilities, Urban Food Production, Responsive Technologies, Trust Networks. 

Course Website

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators: Caleb Harper, Hasier Larrea-Tamayo, and Ira Winder.


Innovation Hubs, Integrating Technology + Design [QUITO LAB]

MAS.552/4.557: Spring 2014

Description: The world is experiencing a period of extreme urbanization and we are radically changing the way we live.  There is a unique opportunity to design innovation districts to spur economic growth, attract new talent and foster creativity. We want to explore potential strategies for defining how cities best undertake “innovation” activities in existing urban environments. This semester, we will focus on the historical center of Quito, Ecuador, the first World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 1978. 

Experts from relevant fields will conduct guest lectures. We will engage students in the process of identifying relevant problems, designing project ideas, and evolving them to a detailed set of digital technology and design scenarios for urban and technology ventures. To capture the multi-disciplinary nature of such projects, students are challenged to focus on diverse fields for their proposals, such as social innovation, city planning, architecture, engineering, computer science, and social science. The concepts developed will be evaluated and critiqued throughout the semester. Students will be asked to develop project proposals to support their initiatives, and focus on the design of resilient, scalable, adaptable, and reconfigurable systems.

We will focus on themes and challenges defined by the city. Quito is looking to attract 21st century industries and activities to build a new Innovation District as well as improve the quality of life for existing residents, students, and workers in the historic town center.

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin, Ramiro Almeida

MIT Course Collaborators: Sussana Pho, Alicia Rouault

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

Quito Lab course poster.

Quito Lab course poster.


2013

Innovation Hubs: Kendall Square as a Laboratory for High-Density Urban Living

MAS.552/4.557: A City Science Workshop, Fall 2013

Description:  This course will utilize CityScope, an urban simulation tool, which consists of physical scale models (built of LEGO bricks) and 3D projection mapping (based on 3D parametric modeling) to prototype the design of Compact Urban Cells – a neighborhood area of approximately one square kilometer in diameter that contains most of what citizens need for everyday life. Compact Urban Cells are walkable neighborhoods with a diverse mix of live/work areas that utilize shared mobility systems, distributed renewable power generation, shared spaces, and integrated vertical urban farming.

As a test case, the course will focus on the redesign of Kendall Square as a new sustainable model for developing hyper-dense urban environments in the U.S. and abroad. Students will initially study precedents for innovation hubs in other cities, and then they will build LEGO scale models and accompanying 3D models (in Rhino) that can be visualized in the CityScope platform to represent their design interventions and illustrate system-level affects. The application of parametric modeling tools like Grasshopper will allow students to build a virtual 3D model that can simulate major design changes in population density, resource consumption, street design/patterns, volume/size of buildings, etc. By using LEGOs and Grasshopper, we can quickly prototype "sketch" models at various scales, document, critique/learn from each design, suggest improvements, and make further iterations. 

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators: Michael Lin, Daniel Goodman, Kamal Farrah, Sandra Richter, Katja Schechtner, Praveen Subramani, Hasier Larrea-Tamayo, Oier Arano, Caleb Harper, Ira Winder, Mohammad Hadhrawi 

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

Innovation Hubs course poster.

Innovation Hubs course poster.

Innovations in Personal Urban Mobility

MIT Professional Education Short Program, June 24-27, 2013

Description: This workshop-style course will focus on the development and deployment of innovations for achieving sustainable personal mobility in cities. We will examine the latest “in-the-box” innovations in technology, designs, strategies, and policies employed by cities to increase energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and improve overall access and mobility for increasingly dense and crowded urban environments. We will also explore “out-of-the-box” innovations that go beyond incremental improvements and utilize system-level integration, holistic thinking, ecosystem solutions, and cutting edge technology. Finally, this course will introduce the concept of City Science – a new discipline developed at the MIT Media Lab that leverages Big Data approaches to create an evidence-based approach for the design of urban systems like mobility, energy, live/work spaces, and food production.

Course website

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators:  Ira Winder

 

Urban Systems Prototyping: Using LEGOs and Parametric Modeling to Design Systems for New Cities in China 

MAS.552/4.557: A City Science Workshop, Spring 2013

Description:  The world is experiencing a period of extreme urbanization. In China alone, 300 million rural inhabitants will move to urban areas over the next 15 years. This will require building new infrastructure to accommodate the equivalent of the current population of the United States in a matter of a few decades. Cities will account for nearly 90% of global population growth, 80% of wealth creation, and 60% of total energy consumption. It is a global imperative to develop systems that improve livability while dramatically reducing resource consumption. This workshop will explore new housing, mobility, energy, and food production systems for high- density cities. These systems should be resilient, scalable, adaptable, and reconfigurable. 

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course CollaboratorsMichael Lin, Sandra Richter, Praveen Subramani, Lucy Lynn Zhao, Chen Chen, Tyrone Yang, Carlos Maria Olabarri Santos, Jenny Broutin, Shaun Salzberg, Ira Winder 

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

Urban Systems Prototyping course poster.   

Urban Systems Prototyping course poster. 

 

Urban PrototypingUsing LEGOs and Parametric Modeling to Design Cities 

IAP workshop (non-credit course), January 2013

Description:  Students explore urban systems at both the neighborhood and block scale. Participants will develop a process for understanding and resolving a set of independent urban parameters including building massing, space use, shared mobility networks, streets cape types, parks, urban food production, and energy generation nodes. Students may elect to work with either 3D physical models using color-coded LEGO bricks as an abstract framework, or parametric computation software such as Grasshopper. Precedents from existing cities and current urban theory will be used to inform the development of urban strategies that maximize livability and positive human interaction while minimizing the consumption of resources. 

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin, Ira Winder. 

Urban Prototyping: Using LEGOs and Parametric Modeling for Designing Cities.

Urban Prototyping: Using LEGOs and Parametric Modeling for Designing Cities.


2012

Post-Oil Shanghai: Designing Systems for New Resilient Cities in China  

MAS.552/4.557: A City Science Workshop, Fall 2012

Description:  Participants of the course will have the opportunity to travel to Shanghai, China, October 20-28, for a design charrette with students from Tonji University (Shanghai) and Aalto University (Helsinki). During this week, students will work at the Tonji-Aalto Design factory, and apply their ideas to a selected site in Shanghai. Students will work in small teams throughout the semester led by project liaisons from the Changing Places research group at the MIT Media Lab. Projects will run the throughout the term with reviews with invited academic and industry guests. With previous high-demand for the class, students will be required to apply and interview for placement into the course. The instructors will formulate teams based on student interest, background diversity, and skill sets. 

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators: Michael Lin, Sandra Richter, Praveen Subramani, Carlos Maria Olabarri Santos, Jenny Broutin, Shaun Salzberg, Ira Winder 

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

Post-Oil Shanghai course poster.   

Post-Oil Shanghai course poster. 

 

Innovations in Personal Urban Mobility

MIT Professional Education Short Program, June 18-21, 2012

Description: See website. 

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators:  Ira Winder, Marcus Martinez

 

MIT Living Labs: Post-Tsunami Japan - Designing New, Resilient Cities

MAS.552/4.557: Spring 2012

Description: The destruction from the events of 3.11 in Japan has forced communities to re-question the concept of resiliency. This class will focus on the design of resilient communities in Tokoku, Japan, by developing new and scaleable housing, mobility, and energy systems. These systems should be designed to be adaptive, robust, reconfigurable, redundant, and exhibit self-healing much like wireless mesh networks in computing. Participants of the course will have the opportunity to travel to Japan during spring break for a one-week design charrette. We will work with sponsors and Miyagi University to design “Living Lab” experiments that can be deployed and tested in Tohoku. Prior to going to Japan, teams will focus on developing key components of a resilient city – in a generalizable fashion – that could scale to new cities in China, India, and Latin America. 

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators: Nicholas Pennycooke, Daniel Smithwick, Praveen Subramani, Jenny Broutin, Brandon Martin-Anderson, Shawn Salzberg, Topper Carew, Tyrone Yang, Haiser Larrea Tamayo, Jet SiZhi Zhou, Ira Winder

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

Post-Tsunami Japan course poster. 

Post-Tsunami Japan course poster. 


2011

MIT Living Labs: Mobility, Energy, and Housing Innovations

MAS.552/4.557: Fall 2011

Description: MIT has made a major commitment to long-term breakthrough research on energy. However, we propose that the MIT campus should be a living laboratory to explore how dramatic reductions in energy use can be achieved today. Students will be challenged to develop mobility, energy, and housing innovations that including new lightweight electric vehicles, electric charging and smart grid technologies, transformable high performance housing, persuasive interfaces for energy conversation, and incentives to encourage the use of more energy efficient mobility systems. The potential benefits of an integrated ecosystem approach may include, for example, the freeing up of land for new housing by reducing parking through transportation modal shifts or the introduction of bike sharing programs.

The Living Labs course this term will focus on two major innovations in urban systems: 1) Mobility-on-Demand (MoD) Systems and 2) the CityHome. MoD systems consist of a fleet of Lightweight Electric Vehicles (LEVs) distributed at charging stations in an urban service area.

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course CollaboratorsJoost Bonsen, Virot Chiraphadhanakul, Karthik Dinakar, William Lark, Jr., Nicholas Pennycooke, Praveen Subramani, and Daniel Smithwick

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

MIT Living Labs course poster. 

MIT Living Labs course poster. 

 

MIT Urban Ventures: Commercializing Innovations for Clean, Green, Responsive Cities

Description: Urban Ventures (UV) is an exploratory entrepreneurship seminar, an Action Lab on founding, financing, and building high-impact viable ventures that will improve urban living. The core class assignment is to research and prepare a business plan and presentations for either an intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial urban venture (i.e. within an existing firm or a stand-alone startup).

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators: Dimitris Papanikolaou, Nicholas Pennycooke, Chris Post, Praveen Subramani, and Daniel Smithwick

 

Mobility-on-Demand Systems in Vienna, Austria

MAS.552/4.557: Spring 2011 

Description: This workshop will explore Mobility-on-Demand (MoD) systems for new urban villages. Each student will focus on the design of one selected system component, which may include charging stations, an all-weather electric vehicle for bike-lanes, building design for autonomous parking, mobility pathway and streetscape typology, fleet management, MoD interfaces, and vehicle-to- grid energy systems. We will explore how MoD systems can be divided into a number of key elements that work together under a set of established rules, and how this component typology can be applied to the new neighborhood of Aspern in the City of Vienna, Austria.

The class will travel to Vienna during MIT’s spring break (March19-27) for a one-week design charrette. Travel and accommodations will be funded by the City of Vienna. Travel is not mandatory to participate in the course. Enrollment will be limited to 15 students. 

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin, Katja Schechtner

MIT Course Collaborators: Joost Bonsen, Virot Chiraphadhanakul, Karthik Dinakar, William Lark, Jr., Nicholas Pennycooke, Praveen Subramani, and Daniel Smithwick

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

Mobility-on-Demand Systems in Vienna, Austria course poster. 

Mobility-on-Demand Systems in Vienna, Austria course poster. 

 

2010

Mobility on Demand: New Urban Village

MAS.552/4.557: Fall 2010

Description: This workshop will explore how architectural and mobility interventions might transform the municipality of Óbidos in Southern Portugal into a model for the urban village of the future – a globally connected center of living, work, culture, and creative entrepreneurship. The municipality of Óbidos, 80 km north of Lisbon, includes one of the most beautifully preserved hill towns of Portugal, beaches, a lagoon, and the Bom Sucesso resort consisting of several thousand modernist homes designed by over twenty Portuguese and international architects. We will coordinate the workshop with a parallel studio at the Technical University (TU) of Lisbon. Portuguese students will focus on site analysis and the urban plan while MIT students will focus primarily on mobility systems and their interface to buildings and the “smart grid.” If funding can be secured, MIT students will travel to Portugal during the third week of October to participate in one-week MIT-TU Óbidos charrette. The Mayor of Óbidos and key members of his staff will participate in sessions.

Instructors: Kent Larson, Ryan Chin

MIT Course Collaborators: William Lark, Jr., Dimitris Papanikolaou, Raul-David “Retro” Poblano, Nicholas Pennycooke, and Praveen Subramani

Course Syllabus: [PDF]

New Urban Village course poster.

New Urban Village course poster.