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School of Architecture + Planning

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Guardian

Prof. Azra Akšamija, founder of the MIT Future Heritage Lab, speaks with Guardian reporter Greta Rainbow about her new book “Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp,” which spotlights inventions created by residents of the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. “In a disaster, it is really important to support the cultural revitalization of affected communities, not just the empty symbols of physical monuments,” says Akšamija. “And isn’t the culture they are producing while being displaced a heritage of the future?”

Los Angeles Times

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti spotlights how the City of Helsinki in Finland hosted an Energy Challenge aimed at solicit ideas to accelerate the city’s transition to green energy. “Helsinki and its Energy Challenge hold lessons for the rest of the world. The first is that climate efforts must balance competition with collaboration,” writes Ratti. The contest “allowed Helsinki to synthesize a diverse array of skills and visions.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights RFusion, a fully-integrated robotic arm developed by MIT researchers that “uses an RF antenna and camera mounted to an arm to find lost objects.”

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Kevin Esvelt argues that research aimed at creating pandemic-causing viruses should be considered a matter of international security. “Natural pandemics may be inevitable. Synthetic ones, constructed with full knowledge of society’s vulnerabilities, are not,” writes Esvelt. “Let’s not learn to make pandemics until we can reliably defend against them.”

Financial Times

A new amputation technique being developed by MIT researchers provides patients with more sensory feedback from prosthetic limbs, writes Anjana Ahuja for the Financial Times. “The technique could transform the way that amputation has long been viewed,” writes Ahuja, “not as a last-resort method that subtracts from the body but an act of rejuvenation with the potential to restore a sense of completeness.”

New York Times

Alexis Sablone ’16, a professional skateboarded who competed in the 2021 Olympics, speaks with New York Times reporter Allie Conti about how she spends a typical Sunday in New York, “where she currently builds public art projects and furniture. And skates. A lot.”

Fast Company

Graduate student Ken Nakagaki’s tiny transformable robots, called Hermits, have changeable mechanical shells that allow the robots to acquire new capabilities, reports Mark Wilson for Fast Company. The Hermits project has been selected as the winner of Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards in the Student category. 

WBUR

Graduate student Nicole L’Huillier speaks with WBUR’s Jenn Stanley about her multimedia artwork, which “oscillates at the intersection of science, technology and art” and “often explores sound as a means for understanding and navigating different spaces.” L’Huillier says of the inspiration for her artwork: “It's time to rearticulate many things and my work is a lot about that. It’s about encountering other paradigms, it's about being able to be flexible, to vibrate, to oscillate just as sound.”

Good Morning America

Graduate student Joy Buolamwini speaks with Good Morning America about her work uncovering bias in AI systems and how beauty data can marginalize people of color. “We can’t have social justice without algorithmic justice,” says Buolamwini.

Here & Now (WBUR)

Here & Now’s Scott Tong speaks with Gideon Gil of STAT about a new technique for amputation surgery developed by researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital that recreates muscle connections and restore the brain’s ability to sense where and how one’s limbs are moving.

Fortune

In an article for Fortune, Prof. Amy Glasmeier and Alison Omens of JUST Capital underscore the importance of paying workers a living wage. “Those companies that will thrive in both the current and post-pandemic economy will be those that prioritize their workers—not just in their rhetoric but in paying them a living wage,” they write.

Vox

Vox reporter Jerusalem Demsas spotlights a new study by graduate student Benjamin Preis that “compared four different models of gentrification and displacement risk and found ‘striking differences between the models.’” The models “disagree on the front end, they disagree on what we call gentrification, and then not surprisingly, they really disagree on the back end to actually map out what those neighborhoods are,” says Preis.

Artforum

Prof. Nida Sinnokrot speaks with Artform editor-in-chief David Velasco about his piece KA (Oslo), which is currently on display at the Palestinian Museum. “Hacking technologies and infrastructures of control that give rise to the social, political, environmental instabilities has always been a driving force in my practice,” says Sinnokrot.

Fast Company

Prof. Dava Newman, director of the MIT Media Lab, speaks with Mark Wilson of Fast Company about her vision for the future of the Media Lab. “We’re going to be a diverse and equitable place, we have to have everyone at the table,” says Newman. “We do have these special talents. We can see solutions in envisioning things that are further out. We are built on literal media and data, so we don’t shy away from any technical challenges.”

The Boston Globe

“Real Talk for Change,” a new civic engagement campaign launched by MIT researchers, aims to give voice to regular people across the City of Boston, especially those who feel ignored, reports Meghan E. Irons for The Boston Globe. “We see this as the first step to building what I like to call a new civic infrastructure,’’ says Professor of the practice of community development Ceasar McDowell. “We need new ways to do democracy in this country that are really about honoring the experiences that people have on the ground.”