Interwoven Purposes: Elements of Intelligent Infrastructure

On November 4th, an important conversation about future directions in design and research will occur around the theme of integrated infrastructure: "Interwoven Purposes: Elements of Intelligent Infrastructure". There has been considerable hype about infrastructures that serve several differing goals simultaneously. For instance, roadway surfaces that also absorb energy lost in the resistance between rubber and asphalt; or train stations that capture more broadly, connecting energy, transportation, and data. What are some of the recent concepts for such devices and forms? Which “interwoven infrastructure” will enable a non-compact durable suburbia? What formal consequences emerge from these new intelligent infrastructure?

Monday November 4, 2013

Nov 04, 2013 - 3:00 PM

Cultures of Infrastructure

Prof. James Wescoat, Mary Anne Ocampo, Stephen Gray

Moderated by Alan Berger

Nov 04, 2013 - 3:50 PM

Mobility and Materials

Associate Professor John Fernandez, Associate Professor P. Christopher Zegras
Moderated by Professor Eran Ben-Joseph

Nov 04, 2013 - 4:40 PM

Anticipating Obsolescence: Integrated Infrastructure for a Resilient Future

Associate Professor Brent Ryan, Professor of the Practice Sheila Kennedy
Moderated by Associate Professor Andrew Scott

Nov 04, 2013 - 5:30 PM

Infrastructure and Interface

Associate Professor Meejin Yoon, Assistant Professor Sarah Williams
Moderated by Assistant Professor Jinhua Zhao

Nov 04, 2013 - 6:30 PM


Henk Ovink
Senior Advisor to Secretary of HUD Shaun Donovan
Chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force

Nov 04, 2013 - 7:30 PM


Eran Ben-Joseph

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Eran Ben-Joseph is a Professor and Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research and teaching areas include urban and physical design, standards and regulations, sustainable site planning technologies and urban retrofitting. He published numerous articles, monographs, book chapters and authored and co-authored the books: Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities, Regulating Place: Standards and the Shaping of Urban America, The Code of the City, RENEW Town and ReThinking a Lot. Eran worked as a city planner, urban designer and landscape architect in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States on projects including new towns and residential developments, streetscapes, stream restorations, and parks and recreation planning. He has led national and international multi-disciplinary projects in Singapore, Barcelona, Santiago, Tokyo and Washington DC among other places. Eran is the recipient of the Wade Award for his work on Representation of Places – a collaboration project with MIT Media Lab and the Milka Bliznakov Prize for his historical work on Pioneering Women of Landscape Architecture. He holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Chiba National University of Japan. Current Research: Urban Form and Health, Urban Form and the Aging Population, Urban Form and Ecological Models of Development, Urban Form and Visualizing Change

Alan Berger

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Alan Berger is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he teaches courses open to the entire student body. He is founding director of P-REX lab, at MIT, a research lab focused on environmental problems caused by urbanization, including the design, remediation, and reuse of waste landscapes worldwide. He is currently Head of the famed City Design and Development Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He is also Research Director of CAU, MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism. All of his research and work emphasizes the link between our consumption of natural resources, and the waste and destruction of landscape, to help us better understand how to proceed with redesigning around our wasteful lifestyles for more intelligent outcomes. Unlike conventional practice, there are no scalar limits in his outlook or pedagogy: projects are defined by the extent of the environmental problems being addressed. He coined the term “Systemic Design” to describe the reintegration of disvalued landscapes into our urbanized territories and regional ecologies. In addition to his award winning books Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America, and Reclaiming the American West, his other books include Designing the Reclaimed Landscape, Nansha Coastal City: Landscape and Urbanism in the Pearl River Delta (with Margaret Crawford). His most recently published books are Systemic Design Can Change the World and Landscape + Urbanism Around the Bay of Mumbai (with Rahul Mehrotra). He has also established, (in collaboration with USEPA Superfund Region 8 and Tiffany & Company Foundation) the world's first web portal for community-based reclamation design advocacy at Prior to MIT he was Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard-GSD, 2002-2008. He is a Prince Charitable Trusts Fellow of The American Academy in Rome.

John Fernandez

MIT, Department of Architecture

John E. Fernandez is an Associate Professor and member of the Building Technology Program in the Department of Architecture. He has been a member of the faculty since 1999 teaching in the design studio and numerous technology courses including Integrated Building Systems, all department structures courses, construction and materials and various workshops.

His research has been focused on the materials and physical elements and components of the assemblies and systems of buildings. A culminating publication of his research of the past several years is the newly published book, "Material Architecture: emergent materials for innovative buildings and ecological construction." (2005. Architectural Press: Oxford).

Currently, Professor Fernandez is engaged in the articulation of concepts of the ecology of contemporary construction. This effort involves identifying the distinct consumption profile and resource requirement attributes of our existing anthropogenic stock of buildings while formulating design strategies that contribute to reuse and recycling of building materials and components. Accepting the essential tenets of the field of industrial ecology, Fernandez is involved in two primary initiatives intended to bring forth real change in the ways in which material and energy networks are configured toward the making of contemporary buildings.

First, he believes that each anthropogenic product possesses characteristics of resource consumption that are particular to the satisfaction of the set of needs that artifact addresses. Architecture's primary and timeless purpose has been the production and stewardship of habitable space capable of reliably sheltering the vast array of human activities. This is a function that no other human artifact delivers with the same mandate. To fulfill this need, buildings consume resources - and do so in very particular ways. For example, the products of architecture consume resources at their distinct, generally immutable spatial locations - their individual sites. For the most part, buildings do not change their locations during their service lives. Materials and energy are harnessed and delivered to these countless sites. Also, buildings often serve useful lives of several generations and much longer, far outlasting the firms that design and construct their assemblies and systems. Fernandez has identified these characteristics, among several others, as the constitutive attributes of building metabolism.

Second, Professor Fernandez is intimately involved in developing real partnerships between the academy and industry for the purpose of establishing productive real-world projects of construction ecology. He is actively engaged in introducing the essential elements of industrial ecology to the construction industry and design profession in the US. Through an articulation of the constitutive attributes of the metabolism of contemporary buildings, academics working on concepts of industrial ecology and industry experts can begin to formulate a common ground for establishing real collaboration.

Both of these initiatives are intended to establish the Department of Architecture at MIT as a center of research and teaching about the resource demands of our contemporary buildings and formulate pathways toward more responsible production and consumption norms in the generation of future buildings.

During the last few years, Fernandez has been directing research focused on emerging and nontraditional materials (including natural and synthetic fibers, new laminated glass assemblies, textile building enclosures), innovative architectural assemblies, sustainable materials and the technical and design opportunities offered by the continuing exploration of contemporary materials. Recently he has been collaborating in the development of software designed to assist designers in the assessment and selection of material

Stephen Gray

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Stephen is an urban designer and planner with Sasaki Associates, a multidisciplinary firm with an integrated design philosophy. Practicing both internationally and domestically, Stephen has extensive experience working in complex urban environments where he represents a broad base of constituents including municipal agencies, colleges and universities, private developers, non-profits and the public. He is an active member of the Boston Society of Architects with the Urban Design Committee and Innovation District Sub-Committee, and he was tapped to serve on a ULI expert panel providing direction to the City of Fremont, CA as they establish a new innovation district. Stephen has been a Lecturer in urban design at Northeastern University and a visiting design critic at several Boston area architecture and planning schools. His interests center on the intersection of design and engagement as tools for empowerment as well as drivers for the production of progressive urbanism. He holds a B. Arch. Degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) Degree with distinction from Harvard University where he received the Thesis Prize for Urban Design and the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Urban Design.

Sheila Kennedy

MIT, Department of Architecture

Sheila Kennedy received her Bachelor's Degree in history, philosophy and literature from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. Kennedy studied architecture at the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris and received the Masters of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where she won the SOM National Traveling Fellowship and was graduated with Distinction, the School's highest academic honor. In 1990, she founded Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA MATx) in partnership with Juan Frano Violich. As an Associate Professor at Harvard's GSD, Kennedy was Director of the M Arch II Program from 1991-1995 and is Professor of the Practice of Architecture at MIT.

As a founding Principal of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd. (KVA), Sheila Kennedy has established a new model for an interdisciplinary design practice that explores architecture, digital technology and emerging public needs. Designated as one of Fast Company's Masters of Design, Kennedy is described as an “insightful and original thinker who is designing new ways of working, learning, leading and innovating”. In 2000, Kennedy established MATx, a pioneering materials research unit at KVA which engages applied creative production across the fields of design, electronics, and architecture and material science. MATx works collaboratively with business leaders, manufacturers, cultural institutions and public agencies to create designs building components and architecture that advances the widespread implementation of sustainable digital materials. MATx has developed designs and technology applications for Dupont, Siemens, Osram, Herman Miller, Saint-Gobain, The North Face, the City of Porto in Portugal, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States Department of Energy. The MATx Portable Light Project, a non-profit global initiative that enables people in the developing world to create and own portable energy harvesting solar textile kits has been recognized with a 2009 US Congressional Award, a 2009 Energy Globe Award and a 2008 Tech Museum Laureate Award for technology that benefits humanity.

Kennedy's work has been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the International Rotterdam Biennale, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MoMA), and the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) “Design & the Elastic Mind” exhibition on breakthrough designs for new technologies. Kennedy has served as an advisor to the United States Department of Energy, the National Academy of Sciences' Government-Industry Partnerships, and the Vision 2020 National Technology Roadmap. She is the author of multiple patents for the integration of digital technologies into architecture, building materials and textiles. Kennedy's research and work in architecture have been recognized by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Academy of Sciences.

Kennedy's writings and work have been published in Material Misuse (S. Kennedy; Architectural Association of London), Material Ultra Material (Harvard University, 2002), Extreme Textiles, (M.McQuaid; Princeton, 2005), Open House: Designs for Intelligent Living, (Vitra Design Museum, 2006), Design for the Other 90% (C. Smith; 2007), and Digital Culture in Architecture, (A. Picon; Birkhauser, 2010) Kennedy lectures widely and her work has been featured in journals of architecture, design culture, anthropology and optoelectronics, as well as National Public Radio, CBS News, CNN Principal Voices, BBC World News, Wired, Science News, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and The New York Times.

Mary Anne Ocampo

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Mary Anne Ocampo is a designer of architectural, landscape, and urban environments. Her work focuses on uncovering historic and future narratives in the urban fabric through community engagement, research, and representation. She has participated in conferences and lectures at Cornell University, Syracuse University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Ocampo has been an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University, a Teaching Associate at Cornell University, and a Lecturer in Architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Her work has been exhibited in Cambridge, New York, and Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Architecture II from Cornell University, and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University. Ocampo is currently practicing urban design and planning at Sasaki Associates, focusing on higher education and the relationship of the campus to the city.

Brent Ryan

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Professor Ryan is Associate Professor of Urban Design and Public Policy. Ryan's research focuses on emerging urban design paradigms, with a particular focus on postindustrial cities and neighborhoods. His book Design After Decline: How America rebuilds shrinking cities, was published in 2012 by the University of Pennsylvania Press and was selected by Planetizen as a Top Ten Book of 2012. Ryan has worked as an urban designer and city planner in New York City, Boston, and Chicago. He was previously Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as co-director of the UIC City Design Center. Ryan has published in edited volumes including The City After Abandonment and the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning as well as in the Journal of Urban Design, Journal of the American Planning Association, Urban Morphology, Journal of Planning History, and Urban Design International. Ryan received his B.S. degree in Biology from Yale in 1991, his M. Arch. from Columbia in 1994 and his Ph.D. in Urban Design and Planning from MIT in 2002.

Andrew Scott

MIT, Department of Architecture

Andrew Scott is a registered architect and Associate Professor with Tenure in the Department of Architecture at MIT. He is currently the Master of Architecture Program Director, and teaches graduate design studios and design research workshops, and advises MArch design theses. He is also affiliated with the Center for Advanced Urbanism.

The focus of his work is around broad interpretations of sustainability in design education, research, and practice in relation to the design for buildings, urban housing and communities, and urban systems within the context of the contemporary and future city. He has completed several design studios, design research studies and projects that explore the relationship of architecture to climate change, and demands for significant reductions in energy use, carbon footprint, resource depletion, and ecological systems. He has worked and consulted extensively with industrial partners in China, Japan and in the UK- and has organized the MIT international symposiums ‘Dimensions of Sustainability’ and ‘Mass Impact: Cities and Climate Change’.

Andrew Scott’s recent publications includes the production of ‘RenewTown : Adaptive Urbanism and the Low Carbon Community’; ‘Urban Metrics 1.0’ : a data, resource and mapping atlas examining the progress and challenges for regional urban climate change; ‘Galapagos: Architecture at the intersection of Biodiversity and Encroachment’ (from MIT's Spring studio 2011). Recent project work includes: Sweetwater Mesa eco-housing, Malibu; SUHPA urban housing prototype assembly; Technology Innovation Campus, Shanghai. His current studio (Spring 2012) is set in Barcelona and is looking into new self sufficiency concept for rethinking the architecture of the urban block typology.

Andrew Scott has held several teaching appointments in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada since 1982, and has been an External Examiner to the architecture program at Chinese University of Hong Kong 2002-05. He received both his undergraduate degree in Architecture and his professional degree from the University of Manchester in the UK. Prior to his appointment to MIT in 1993, his professional career in the UK included extensive practice work with Foster and Partners, Aldington + Craig, and as a principal of Denton Scott Associates, Architects.

James Wescoat

MIT, Department of Architecture

His research has concentrated on water systems in South Asia and the US from the site to river basin scales. For the greater part of his career, Professor Wescoat has focused on small-scale historical waterworks of Mughal gardens and cities in India and Pakistan. He led the Smithsonian Institution's project titled, "Garden, City, and Empire: The Historical Geography of Mughal Lahore," which resulted in a co-edited volume on Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, Prospects, and The Mughal Garden: Interpretation, Conservation, and Implications with colleagues from the University of Engineering and Technology-Lahore. These and related books have won awards from the Government of Pakistan and Punjab Government. The overall Mughal Gardens Project won an American Society of Landscape Architects national research merit award, as did a project on The Moonlight Garden: New Discoveries at the Taj led by Elizabeth Moynihan. This work has been generously supported by fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks, the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Asian Art, and the American Academy in Rome. In 2002, Professor Wescoat became head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois t Urbana-Champaign where he taught courses on "Landscape Experience, Inquiry and Design," the "Theory and Practice of Landscape Architecture," and design studios on urban ecological design in Chicago. Together with colleagues and students at the University of Illinois he contributed to a cultural landscape heritage conservation project at the Champaner-Pavagadh World Heritage Site in Gujarat, India, for the Baroda Heritage Trust. More recently, he has organized a garden and waterworks conservation workshop at the Nagaur palace-garden complex in Rajasthan for the Mehrangarh Museum Trust; and a workshop on the "Three Shalamar Baghs of Delhi, Lahore, and Srinagar" with colleagues from those cities. At the larger scale, Professor Wescoat has conducted water policy research in the Colorado, Indus, Ganges, and Great Lakes basins, including the history of multilateral water agreements. He led a USEPA-funded study of potential climate impacts in the Indus River Basin in Pakistan with the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). More recently, he led an NSF-funded project on "Water and Poverty in Colorado." He is currently conducting comparative research on international water problems. In 2003, he published Water for Life: Water Management and Environmental Policy with geographer Gilbert F. White (Cambridge University Press); and in 2007 he co-edited Political Economies of Landscape Change: Places of Integrative Power (Springer Publishing) for LAF Landscape Futures Initiative.

Sarah Williams

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Sarah's work involves translating data visualizations into policy tools and prototyping technologies for advocacy and research, using survey and census data, GPS information, maps, high- and low-res satellite imagery, analytic graphics, photographs and drawings, along with narratives and qualitative interpretations to produce images. She has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University and co-director of its Spatial Information Design Lab. She holds a BA in history and geography from Clark University (1997) and an MCP from MIT (2005) with a certificate in urban design (2005).

J. Meejin Yoon

MIT, Department of Architecture

J. Meejin Yoon is an architect, designer and educator. She is the founder of MY Studio, co-founder of Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LLP and an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Awarded the United States Artist Award in Architecture and Design in 2008, the Athena RISD Emerging Designer Award in 2008, Architecture Record’s Design Vanguard Award in 2007, the Architecture League’s Emerging Voices Award in 2007, and the Rome Prize in Design in 2005, Yoon’s work has been widely recognized for its innovative and interdisciplinary nature. Her design research investigates new intersections between space, technology and materiality.

Yoon is currently the Director of the Department of Architecture Undergraduate Program and has taught at Graduate Level Architecture Design Studios at MIT for the past 10 years. She is the author of Expanded Practice: Projects by Höweler + Yoon and MY Studio (Princeton Architectural Press 2009), Public Works: Unsolicited Small Projects for the Big Dig (MAP Book Publishers 2008), and Absence, a World Trade Center Memorial artist book (Printed Matter and the Whitney Museum of Art 2003). Her work has been exhibited in the National Design Triennial at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Institut Valencia d’Art Modern in Spain, and the National Art Center in Tokyo.

Yoon received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University with the AIA Henry Adams Medal in 1995, a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from Harvard University in 1997, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Korea in 1998.

P. Christopher Zegras

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Christopher Zegras’ teaching and research interests include the inter-relations between transportation and the built and natural environments, transportation system finance and policy, and integrated system modeling. He has co-taught urban design and planning studios and Practica in Beijing, Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, and Cartagena, Colombia. His journal articles have been published in Energy Policy, Journal of Urban Planning and Development, Transport Policy, Transportation Research Record, and Urban Studies; he has numerous book Chapters; and he co-edited the book, From Understanding to Action: Sustainable Urban Development in Medium-Sized Cities in Africa and Latin America. Current research projects include: Future Urban Mobility; Making the “Clean Energy City” in China; Travel Behavior of the Baby Boomers; and, Implementing Bus Rapid Transit: The Institutional Dimensions. Zegras has consulted widely, including for the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Canadian, German, US, and Peruvian Governments, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the United Nations Center for Regional Development. Zegras previously worked for the International Institute for Energy Conservation in Washington, DC and Santiago de Chile and for MIT’s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment. He currently serves as the MIT Lead for the MIT-Portugal Program Transportation Systems Focus Area, on the Faculty Advisory Council of the Transportation@MIT Initiative, and on the Transportation in Developing Countries Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council.

Jinhua Zhao

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Jinhua Zhao is the Edward H. and Joyce Linde Career Development Assistant Professor of urban planning at DUSP. He holds Master of Science, Master of City Planning and Ph.D. degrees from MIT and a Bachelor's degree from Tongji University. He studies travel behavior and transportation policy, public transit management, and China’s urbanization and mobility. He sees transportation as a language, to describe a person, to characterize a city, and to understand an institution. His current project examines the interaction between policy making by the governments and behavioral response from the public in the context of China’s urban development. He very much enjoys working with students.