With industrialization came unchecked suburbia and car-centric lifestyles. But now, in the rapidly approaching age of the super city, our current standards of living will not suffice. According to MIT Research Scientist Kent Larson, 21st century cities will account for 90% of global population growth, 80% of all global CO2, and 75% of all global energy use.
Understanding that the global population faces serious issues of overcrowding, affordability and overall quality of life, Larson presents new technologies that intend to make future cities function like the small village of the past. Folding cars and quick-change apartments with robotic walls are just a some of the fascinating innovations he and his colleagues are currently developing.
Kent Larson has been the director of the MIT House_n research consortium in the School of Architecture and Planning since 1998 and is also the current director of the MIT Media Lab’s Changing Places group. Both projects are dedicated to developing technologies that solve contemporary issues in the home, the workplace, and the city. Larson practiced architecture in New York City for 15 years and wrote for several architectural publications and the New York Times. In 2000, his book, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks, was selected among the Ten Best Books in Architecture by the New York Times Review of Books. His current work has three focusses: responsive urban housing, ubiquitous technologies, and living lab experiments to test his group’s designs in practical environments.