Changing Places! By Kent Larson
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Changing Places! By Kent Larson

Changing Places! By Kent Larson
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Speakers Kent Larson: Architect

Kent Larson directs the Changing Places research group at the MIT Media Lab. He is also director of the MIT House_n Research Consortium and the MIT Living Labs initiative in the School of Architecture and Planning. Current research is focused on three related areas:

1. Responsive Urban Housing :

Strategies to disentangle places of living into three independently configured layers: high performance chassis, integrated infill, and responsive façade modules to create zero-energy, mass-customized, scalable housing. The group’s Open Prototype Initiative has completed several prototypes created with these concepts, including a zero-energy home at Unity College, Maine for the school’s president.

2. Ubiquitous Technologies :

Wireless sensing, algorithms, and interfaces to understand and respond to human activity.  Projects range from fine-grain activity recognition using wearable accelerometers, a persuasive thermostat using GPS location of occupants, and a context-aware tunable LED lighting for office environments.

3. Living Lab Experiments : 

Deploying and testing design and technology solutions in actual living environments.   Studies have been conducted at the scale of the person, home, office, and city.

Larson practiced architecture for 15 years in New York City, with work published in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Global Architecture, the New York Times, A+U, and Architectural Digest.  His book, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks was selected as one of the Ten Best Books in Architecture, 2000 by the New York Times Review of Books.  Related work was selected by Time magazine as a “Best Design of the Year” project.

Cities - MIT Media Lab

Changing Places

How new strategies for architectural design, mobility systems, and networked intelligence can make possible dynamic, evolving places that respond to the complexities of life.

The MIT Changing Places group proposes that fundamentally new strategies must be found for creating the places where people live/work, and the mobility systems that connect them, in order to meet the profound challenges of the future. We are investigating how new models for urban architecture and personal vehicles can be more responsive to the unique needs and values of individuals though the application of disentangled systems and smart customization. We are developing technology to understand and respond to human activity, environmental conditions, and market dynamics. We are interested in finding optimal combinations of automated systems, just-in-time information for personal control, and interfaces to persuade people to adopt sustainable behaviors.

MIT Website Project : changing places

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