MIT develops interactive digital environment to understand Brazil’s favelas

More information

Project team
Carlo Ratti. Fábio Duarte. Arianna Salazar Miranda. Guangyu Du. Claire Gorman.
BRTech3d. Washington Fajardo.
Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Carlo Ratti Associati

Carlo Ratti Associati is an international design and innovation office based in Torino, Italy, with branches in New York and London. Drawing on Carlo Ratti’s research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Senseable City Lab, the office is currently involved in many projects across the globe, embracing every scale of intervention – from furniture to urban planning. The work of the practice merges design with cutting-edge digital technologies, so as to contribute to the creation of an architecture “that senses and responds”.

Noteworthy achievements at the urban and architectural scale include the masterplan for a creative hub in the City of Guadalajara, the renovation of the Agnelli Foundation HQ in Torino, the Future Food District at Expo Milano 2015, and the Digital Water Pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008. Product design projects range from experimental furniture for Cassina to light installations for Artemide, to responsive seating systems with Vitra.

In all these circumstances, the studio investigated the ways in which new technologies, including digital sensors and portable devices, are changing both the built environment and everyday life. The works of the practice have been featured in publications worldwide, including The New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, BBC, Wired, Boston Globe, Der Spiegel, Corriere della Sera, Domus. The projects of the studio have been exhibited in cultural venues such as the Venice Biennale, New York’s MoMA, Istanbul Design Biennial, and many others.

Carlo Ratti Associati is the only design firm whose works have been featured twice in TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year” list – respectively with the Digital Water Pavilion in 2007, and the Copenhagen Wheel in 2014. In the last years, the office has been involved in the launch of Makr Shakr, a startup producing the world’s first robotic bar system.

Arianna Salazar Miranda

Arianna Salazar Miranda is Ph.D. student at MIT interested in cities. She studies the effect that the physical environment has on people. In particular, her research focuses on how the form of cities and buildings shape behavior, social interactions, and people’s access to economic and social opportunity. She studies these topics primarily through the use of spatial techniques of analysis on large datasets gathered from social media or collected by sensors and remote sensing.

Before her Ph.D., she completed a Master of City Planning degree at MIT and was awarded the Outstanding Master Thesis Prize for the 2016/17 academic year. Herthesis analyzed the relationship between urban form and segregation. Recently, she co-founded Bitsence, a startup that develops technology to understand human behavior and measure the impact of urban interventions. For this initiative, she was named one of the Innovators Under 35 by the MIT Technology Review in Latin America.

Claire Gorman

Claire Gorman is a creative technologist. She currently works at MIT's Senseable City Lab. She studied Computer Science and Architecture (focused on urban studies) through the Computing and the Arts program at Yale, graduated 2020. She is passionate about learning from the built environment, conducting interdisciplinary research, and exploring creative technology broadly defined.

Guangyu Du

Guangyu Du, just graduated with a Master in Design Studies Degree (MDes Technology) from Harvard Graduate School of Design and joined MIT Senseable City Lab as a Data Visualization Specialist. Beyond architectural design, she also explores spatial and temporal experience design though computational and interactive media.(Efface, Loneliness: A Social Story, TA for GSD6338 Intro to Computational Design). Her interest lies in the hybrid of the physical and virtual world that helps forge long-lasting social connections. (Xenolith, LikeMountainLikeSea, Interspace, Journey, Ghost Bookstore, Sunday Encounter, Sense, Agora).



Our selection