SENSEable Cities Speaker Series

Project Description

The SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures is a collaboration between the MIT SENSEable City Lab and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) which kicked off in June 2010 and will extend through 2011. The collaboration is a comprehensive initiative that includes an exhibition, speaker series, and community-oriented programs that start in San Francisco and will travel the world.

The SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures Speaker Series will provide a forum for the multidisciplinary team of Urban Planners, Architects, Media Artists, Social Scientists and Designers to present research on how our cities are becoming real-time networks, which give us new insight into ourselves, our collective behavior, and our urban structures.

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Trash Track which foreshadows the internet of things and smart dust, where everything that can be instrumented will be Instrumented. Dietmar Offenhuber will present how his team instrumented thousands of pieces of garbage in NY & Seattle with small location aware tags. The trash trasnmitted its location and journey, revealing seldom observed phenonoma of the of the reverse supply chain.

The Copenhagen Wheel. and how its part of a global Mayors movement to reduce our dependence on cars towards embracing intelligent hybrid bicycles that participate in networks. This project is part of a more general trend: that of inserting intelligence in our everyday objects and of creating a smart support infrastructure around ourselves for everyday life. MIT Grad Christine Outram will present how this went from idea, to a project that debuted at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, and its implication for people transportation and urban systems.

New York Talk Exchange. This work which was debuted in New York’s Museum of Modern Art is known as a beautiful visualization of AT&T data created by artist Aaron Koblin. Now come here the rest of the story: MIT’s Francisca Rojas will discuss her deep dive into the data behind this work: What AT&T cellular & IP in/out of New York tells us about people and their real time behavior, the story of global trade and business between New York’s neighborhoods and the rest of the world, and how cell data may know a lot about Census that the Census doesnt even know.

Fly Fire. Imagine thousands of independent tiny helicopter-like devices each smaller than your hand. Glowing with LEDs so they light up the night. Flying in a precise network controlled formation so they become a giant display in the sky: able to show art, designs or TV overhead in 3 Space. Assaf Biderman of MIT will tell how its being done and brings together the work of three MIT labs to make this possible. How will this be unleashed on the urban environment? Find our Monday night.

All of these projects combine explore whats possible as our cities become instrumented, smarter, part of an until-now unimaginable feedback loop. These evenings will afford us an opportunities to hear from the researches directly and the the story of their “censors uncensored” and the process MIT uses to imagine and experiment with urban futures.

The program is generously underwritten by IBM which is partnering with GAFFTA on a wide ranging examination of Smarter Cities and community engagement throughout 2010-2011.

Keynote Speakers

The digital revolution has layered a vast system of sensors, phones, microcontrollers and cameras over our environment, enabling entirely new ways to monitor, understand, and imagine our cities. MIT’s senseable city lab recognizes this momentous shift and is at the forefront of asking – if this is the future, what’s next?

 

Assaf Biderman

Assaf Biderman is the Assistant Director of the SENSEable City Lab at MIT. Following his early education in physics, Assaf became involved in research and development of human computer interaction schemes. He spent several years at the MIT Media Lab and has been a researcher at the SENSEable City Lab since its establishment in 2004. Assaf has authored several papers in HCI, registered 3 patents, and won design awards. His work was featured in museums and exhibitions such as the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Centre Pompidou — Paris, and Ars Electronica Center —Austria. In addition to his direct involvement in research, Assaf is also in charge of technology transfer and commercialization at the SENSEable City Lab.

Christine Outram

Christine Outram’s practice and research focuses on tackling problems of sustainability and livability in urban areas through harnessing the power of emerging technologies and distributed computing (GPS, cell-phones, sensor systems etc). She runs her own practice (based in Los Angeles) and is also a Research Associate at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab. Currently, she is orchestrating the project ‘The Copenhagen Wheel’ – a wheel that turns ordinary bikes into electric hybrids with regeneration and real-time environmental sensing capabilities and where the aim is to make cycling more pleasurable and get more people on bikes. This work debuted at the COP15 United Nations Climate Conference during December 2009 and it is currently in the final prototyping/commercialization phase.Prior to Christine’s role at SENSEable City Lab, she received her SMArchS Architecture and Urbanism degree at MIT and her Masters of Architecture degree in Sydney, Australia. She has practiced in both architectural and urban design offices.
Dietmar Offenhuber

Dietmar Offenhuber is a media artist with a background in architecture and is interested in the spatial concepts of cognition, representation and behavior. He holds degrees from TU Vienna and the MIT Media Lab and was a founding member of the Ars Electronica Futurelab. In 2004, Dietmar was a Japan Foundation Fellow at the IAMAS institute in Gifu, Japan, followed by a professorship for Animation at the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg. From 2006 to 2008 he worked as a Researcher at the MIT Media Lab. Currently he is Professor at the Art University Linz and Key Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media Art Research. Received awards include nominations for the ZKMʼs International Media Art Award and the FEIDAD Award, Honorable Mentions at Transmediale, Ars Electronica and a Special Mention at the Wroclav Media Art Biennale, the Jury Award at the Melbourne International Animation Festival, the Art Directors Club Silver Award and the Joseph Binder Award for design. In 2004 and 2005, Dietmar was a jury member in the animation category of the Prix Ars Electronica. Dietmar collaborates frequently with the sound artist Markus Decker and with the composers Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl under the label “stadtmusik”, investigating the architectural qualities of sonic spaces.
Francisca Rojas

Francisca Rojas is a PhD candidate at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning in the City Design and Development group and a researcher in the MIT Senseable City Lab. Her research is motivated by an interest in how globalization is anchored in urban places and the role of information and communications technologies (ICTs) as a force in urban development. I am currently writing my dissertation, titled New York Talk Exchange: telecommunications and transnationalism in a globalizing city.