Engineer, architect, and professor Carlo Ratti is constantly pushing the boundaries of creative innovation.
As the director of the MIT Senseable City Laboratory, Ratti and his multi-disciplinary team study human interactions within urban spaces, shaping and illuminating them using digital information.
The innovative lab envisions urban spaces in a multifunctional way. Its projects are geared towards the construction of ‘smart cities’, as Ratti consistently develops new technologies to improve the future of our society.
In order to realize what Ratti refers to as a ‘Senseable’ city, the project encapsulates the social benefits of embedding technology into physical objects spaces . The word ‘Senseable’ acknowledges how digital technologies sense and respond to human needs, keeping people and their desires at the forefront.
One of Ratti’s innovations includes the Digital Water Pavilion in the Spanish city of Zaragoza. Named one of TIME Magazine’s ‘Best Inventions of the Year’ in 2008 – an award he also won in 2014 and 2019 – the project incorporated ‘walls’ composed of digitally controlled water curtains, which generated writings and patterns.
Another notable project is CapitaSpring, currently under construction in Singapore. Ratti and his architectural practice CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, working jointly with BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, design a 280-meter-tall skyscraper at the city state’s Central Business District. The ample space will feature sensors and an indoor tropical forest at its core, which advances Ratti’s exploration on the intersection between the natural and artificial.
Dedicated to developing urban spaces and changing the way we live, Ratti’s idea of design evokes an ideal continuity between 3 unique layers of human skin: body, clothes, and architecture.
In this candid video interview, Ratti expands upon the concept, also touching on sustainability, how technology can add to human creativity, and what the future holds for city life.