MIT Media Lab Dubai: Redefining cities

In order to rebuild ancient cities and accommodate rapid population growth, we need to develop truly innovative approaches to urban planning, design, architecture, mobility, farming, and so much more: approaches that will last into the future.

As the populations of cities increase, so does a growing list of challenges - pollution, transportation, security, and more. In an effort to address these challenges, Community Jameel and Wamda are bringing the MIT Media Lab to Dubai to host the MIT Media Lab Dubai Workshop.

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Track 1:MIT Media Lab Dubai: Redefining cities

Access to education is a basic human right. It enables individual freedoms, gives people a sense of agency and self-determination, and yields important development benefits for communities.

Yet, many groups remain excluded. In this track we will explore the use of virtual reality (VR) technology such as Google Cardboard, to open up learning opportunities to underserved communities in general and refugees in particular.

We will visit a refugee camp in Jordan, and workshop ways for refugees to become co-designers of their own learning experiences, rather than remain consumers of content produced for them by others.

  • Terry Ferguson
  • Christian Harris
  • Michael Carlson
  • Walter Olson

Track 2:Digital tools for a cooperative society

The rapid regional proliferation of social media and mobile connectivity presents opportunities for such digital tools to be used as enablers and guidance mechanisms in urban expansion, transformation, modernization, organization, and sustainability.

We will investigate regional urban ecosystems facing a youth bulge and a shifting social and political landscape, and conceive of ways to utilize such tools to foster and scale up cooperation among the denizens thereof, in order to generate lasting, participative solutions. Topics will include safety, infrastructure, conservation, commerce, and education.

  • Terry Ferguson
  • Christian Harris
  • Michael Carlson
  • Walter Olson

Track 3:Developing smart communal spaces

With the rapid explosion of population affecting almost every metropolitan city around the world, highly dense cities will soon become the norm. This extreme densification of cities comes at a cost to the livelihood of its residents, often negatively affecting and disrupting their daily cycles. As our cities are growing, our spaces are shrinking. How can we create affordable, high-quality transformative spaces that allow residents to live together comfortably, and help make living and working more efficient, comfortable and enjoyable? How can we allow for people to “live large in a small space?”

We will explore design solutions that enable communal spaces to function as if they were much larger, utilizing technological approaches such as augmented reality, architectural robotics and sensor based actuation. Our investigation will explore topics around micro-living, kinetic spaces and smart homes, ultimately resulting in prototypes that examine agile, effortless and smart transformation solutions for daily living.

  • Terry Ferguson
  • Christian Harris
  • Michael Carlson
  • Walter Olson