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CityScope Interactive Developer and Hardware design




MAS: Media Arts and Sciences

Faculty Supervisor:

Kent Larson

Faculty email:


Apply by:

January 31th


Markus ElKatsha (markuse@mit.edu) Thomas Sanchez (thomassl@mit.edu), Admin: carmencp@media.mit.edu(Carmen Panzarini)

Project Description

The Media Lab, City Science Group [CSG] is exploring the potential tangible and intangible interfaces, and the insight computation and simulation can have on city management and urban planning processes. One of the research lines in the group is the development of the CityScope platform, an evidence-based or data-enabled, interactive simulation tool that allows stakeholders, such as community members, policymakers and urban technicians alike, to understand the impact different design solutions could have on urban performance. The platform is made up of three general components; a tangible interface [usually LEGO], an array of visualization displays [including projection mapping on the tangible interface], and a range of [computational] analysis and simulation modules that relate to different urban metrics. Through interactions, the platform allows for a comprehensive understanding of the impacts urban interventions may have on existing or proposed urban systems. To this end, the CityScope team is looking for a talented developer to join the project and help develop a new interactive platform. Our goal is to develop a new tangible interface that can dynamically change the urban planning process. During the UROP researcher position, the student will gain an understanding of developing, designing and programming interactive interfaces for the CityScope platform. At the group, we are developing an interface that requires to control several actuators in real-time — that always to change the urban landscape dynamically. We are focusing on exploring shape shaping displays applied to urban planning. A successful candidate will need to develop one or more fo the following task electronic and electrical design, real-time interactive design, protocol communication, implementation of geospatial data such as maps and GIS.


Motivated, autonomous and results-driven. Electrical engineering, Computer Science, Architecture, urban planning or design background is recommended yet not necessary. Design, digital fabrication. Experience with interactive interfaces. Comfort with Python, C++ or Processing Programming Language.