Carlo Ratti directs the MIT SENSEable City Lab, which explores the "real-time city" by studying the way sensors and electronics relate to the built environment.

Why you should listen

Carlo Ratti is a civil engineer and architect who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the SENSEable City Laboratory. This lab studies the built environment of cities -- from street grids to plumbing and garbage systems -- using new kinds of sensors and hand-held electronics that have transformed the way we can describe and understand cities.

Other projects flip this equation -- using data gathered from sensors to actually create dazzling new environments. The Digital Water Pavilion, for instance, reacts to visitors by parting a stream of water to let them visit. And a project for the 2012 Olympics in London turns a pavilion building into a cloud of blinking interactive art. He's opening a research center in Singapore as part of an MIT-led initiative on the Future of Urban Mobility.

For more information on the projects in this talk, visit SENSEable @ TED >>

Carlo Ratti’s TED talk

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