Keynote speakers

Edith K. Ackermann, MIT Architecture / Media Lab / HGSD Cambridge, MA. USA
“Digital Portraiture and the Quantified Self: Paradoxes and Ironies of Living by the Numbers”

Edith K. Ackermann is a Prof. of Psychology, University of Aix-Marseille, France, and former Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT Media laboratory. She worked a Scientific Collaborator at the Centre International d’Epistémologie Génétique, under the direction of Jean Piaget, in Geneva, Switzerland. Current appointments include: The “Responsive Environments’ Group at HGSD, The “Personal Robots” group at the MIT Media Lab, and the “Computing” group at the MIT School of Architecture.

Mario Carpo, Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural History and Theory, The Bartlett, UCL, London
“Computation, Simulation, Optimization, and the New Style of Big Data”

After studying architecture and history in Italy, Dr Carpo was an Assistant Professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and in 1993 received tenure in France, where he was first assigned to the École d’Architecture de Saint-Etienne, then to the École d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette. He was the Head of the Study Centre at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal from 2002 to 2006, and Vincent Scully Visiting Professor of Architectural History at the Yale School of Architecture from 2010 to 2014. Mr. Carpo’s research and publications focus on the relationship among architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology. His award-winning Architecture in the Age of Printing (MIT Press, 2001) has been translated into several languages. His most recent books are The Alphabet and the Algorithm (MIT Press, 2011); and The Digital Turn in Architecture, 1992-2012 (Wiley, 2012).

Panel speakers

Rahul Bhargava and Emily Bhargava, MIT Center for Civic Media, Connection Lab, Cambridge, MA
“Data Analysis as Civic Engagement: a new arts ­based approach”

Rahul Bhargava is a computer scientist and educator with a special interest in data literacy. Rahul is a Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Civic Media, where he builds tools and social processes to support and understand media, technology, and civic engagement.

As Director of Connection Lab LLC, Emily Bhargava works to improve community health through organizational development, capacity building for coalitions and collaborative art projects. Emily’s work builds bridges between public health, community organizing, anthropology and art.

Andrea L. M. Hansen,  Harvard Graduate School of Design and Fluxscape
“Visualizing Systems: Reading and Representing the Human Environment”

Andrea Hansen is the principal of Fluxscape (www.fluxscape.net), which focuses on data visualization, web-based mapping, and data-driven landscapes. She is also the editor of Visualizing Systems (visualizingsystems.com) and was a 2014 Code for America Fellow. In addition to her practice, Andrea lectures and teaches widely, most recently at Harvard GSD, California College of the Arts, and LSU, where she was the 2013-2014 Marie M. Bickham Chair.

Michael Hansmeyer, Benjamin Dillenburger
“Mesh Mining”

Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form. His projects include the Sixth Order installation of columns at the Gwangju Design Biennale, the Digital Grotesque installation at the FRAC Archilab 2013 exhibition, and the Platonic Solids Series. He recently exhibited work at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, Art Basel / Design Miami, and the Trondheim Kunstmuseum.

Benjamin Dillenburger is a practicing architect and assistant professor in architecture at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. He previously worked as a senior lecturer in the CAAD group at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s architecture department in Zurich. He holds a Master of Advanced Study degree from ETH Zurich and a Master of Architecture Degree of the Technical University Kaiserslautern.

Paul Keel, Jeffrey Huang, Jianxi Luo, Patrick Winston
“Design Decoder: Mapping the Genealogy of Design Ideas”

Paul Keel is a Research Scientist at MIT CSAIL. His work explores theoretical and applied models for knowledge construction, collaborative sense-making and visual analytics for defense and education environments. His expertise draws from different disciplines including artificial intelligence, cognitive science and architectural design. He holds a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Design and Computation from MIT.

Panagiotis Michalatos, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA
“The environment as a signal: design in scale spaces”

Panagiotis Michalatos is an architect registered in Greece and UK. He holds an MSc in applied IT from Chalmers Technical University in Sweden. He is currently working as a computational design researcher for the London based structural engineering firm AKT. Their work with colleague Sawako Kaijima, in the development of computational design as a quasi-discipline in-between disciplines has been published and presented in international conferences. They have also developed a range of software applications for the intuitive and creative use of structural engineering methods in design. Panagioti’s work in interaction design and digital media has resulted in a long collaboration with Stockholm based contemporary dance production company CCAP, most recently for the performance “cut-outs and trees” that was shown in Venice dance Biennale 2010.

Sarah Dickinson, Janina Mueller, Ann Whiteside and Inés Zalduendo, Loeb Library, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA
“Data Projections: The Case for Open Access”

Sarah Dickinson is the Research Support Services Librarian at the Frances Loeb Library, and serves as Open Access Liaison to the Harvard University Office of Scholarly Communication.

Janina Mueller is the Design Data Librarian at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). In this role, she provides GIS and data research services to students and faculty. She has an interest in experimenting with geospatial data creation tools to support design research. This includes using balloons and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to collect geospatial information. She is also involved in managing a digital collection of student work at the GSD.

Inés Zalduendo is an architectural archivist with professional experience and graduate studies both in architecture and archives. She is the Special Collections archivist and reference librarian of the Frances Loeb Library at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She was part of the FACADE2 team, a collaborative project between the Frances Loeb Library and MIT Libraries, that further developed a shared production tool and workflows for the collecting, archiving, access, and preservation of digital architectural files.

Dietmar Offenhuber, Northeastern University
“The pigeon in the haystack – design before and after the fact”

Dietmar Offenhuber is Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the departments of Art + Design and Public Policy. He holds a PhD in Urban Planning from MIT, and degrees from the MIT Media Lab and UT Vienna. Dietmar investigated formal and informal waste systems and has published books on the subjects of Urban Data, Accountability Technologies and Urban Informatics.

Jessica Rosenkrantz, Nervous System, USA
“Growing Objects”

Jessica Rosenkrantz is an artist, designer, and programmer. In 2007 she co-founded Nervous System, where she currently works as Creative Director. Her work explores how simulations of natural processes can be used in design and coupled with digital fabrication to create one-of-a-kind, customized products. She studied biology and architecture at MIT and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Alma Steingart, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
“Rendering Higher Dimensions”

Alma Steingart is a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. She is currently pursuing two projects. The first, an examination of mathematical abstractions in mid-century America, places the emergence of a new mathematical epistemology in the cultural and political milieu of the Cold War. The second investigates the introduction of computer graphics into mathematical practice in the 1970s, asking how visualizing abstract mathematical objects transformed the imaginative and phenomenological worlds of geometers and topologists during the last three decades of the twentieth century.

Gentiane Venture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan
“Towards individual robotics design: Using human motion for enhanced Human-Robot Interaction experience”

Gentiane Venture is a French Roboticist working in academia in Tokyo. Her research tries to encompass human body dynamics into robot behavior design to achieve personalized human robot interaction. Her work is highly interdisciplinary and she collaborates with psychologists, physiologists, neuro-scientists, designers.

Etienne Turpin, SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, Australia
“Mesoscalarity: Data Polities and Designed Engagement”

Etienne Turpin is a philosopher researching, designing, curating, and writing about complex urban systems, the political economies of data and infrastructure, visual culture and aesthetic practices, and Southeast Asian colonial-scientific history. He is director of anexact office and co-principal investigator of PetaJakarta.org.

Andrew Witt, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA
“Machine Ecologies, Modular Intelligence”

Andrew Witt is a designer currently based in Los Angeles, California. He is currently Director of Research at Gehry Technologies (GT). He was previously a director at GT’s Paris, France office, where he consulted on parametric design, geometric approaches, new technologies, and integrated practice for clients including Gehry Partners, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, UN Studio, and Coop Himmelb(l)au. Trained as both an architect and mathematician, Witt has a particular interest in a technically synthetic and logically rigorous approach to form. His work and research have been published in Surface, Space, Linear Algebra and its Applications, and Linear and Multilinear Algebra, and shown at Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Alan Wiig, Temple University Urban Apps and Maps Studios, Worcester, Massachusetts
“The geography of data centers and the networked urban condition”

Alan Wiig is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of Temple University’s Vice-Provost for Research and the Urban Apps and Maps Studios. His work examines the networked geographies of the Internet, from smart city, digital inclusion efforts to the material infrastructure of mobile communication.


Ozlem Altinkaya

Ozlem Altinkaya Genel is a doctoral candidate at Harvard GSD and a Research Assistant at the Istanbul Research Portal of Harvard Mellon Urban Studies Initiative. Her doctoral research focuses on the regional development around the Marmara Sea in Turkey and its interactions with Istanbul, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea worlds. Her research interest cover urban history, environmental history, historical geography, urban geography, geo-humanities and critical cartography. Currently she is a guest researcher at Istanbul Studies Center at Kadir Has University.

Joëlle Bitton

Joëlle is an artist and researcher. She looks at the mediation of technologies in human relationships. Her current research as a doctoral student at Harvard GSD investigates interactive processes in digital fabrication. She’s creating experiences that allow users to manipulate the physical world with their bodies and behaviours.

Wendy W Fok

Wendy W Fok, trained as an architect, is the creative director/founder WE-DESIGNS, LLC (Architecture/Creative Strategy). She is the winner of the Digital Kluge Fellowship awarded by the Library of Congress (2014/15), the Art Director’s Club of New York’s ADC Young Guns 11 Award (2013), AIA (American Institute of Architects) Dallas “Express Yourself” Women in Architecture Award (2013), and selected designer of the Perspective 40 under 40 Award (2011) and Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (2009). Fok has a Master of Architecture and Certification of Urban Policy/Planning from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a Concentration in Economics (Statistics) from Barnard College, Columbia University. Fok is completing her Doctor of Design (expected 2016) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, with collaborating department the Harvard Law School.

Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo

Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo is the founder and CEO of ParametricCamp. His research interests lay at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, creative coding and education, with particular focus on the design of interfaces to ease newcomers into these fields. Jose Luis has worked as a structural consultant for several international firms, such as OMA, Mecanoo, and Cesar Pelli, as well as data visualization architect at Fathom Information Design. He holds a Master’s degree in Architectural Technological Innovation from Universidad de Sevilla and a Master of Design Studies in Technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he is currently pursuing his Doctor of Design studies.

Felix Raspall

Felix Raspall is an architect and design researcher investigating the relationship between design, materiality and technology. He holds a professional degree in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires (honors), a post-professional Master of Architecture from Yale University (honors) and a Doctor of Design from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). Felix has conducted teaching and research in several institutions, including TU Graz and the University of Buenos Aires and currently as project manager at the Materials and Systems Group at the GSD.