Alserkal Avenue, Dubai
Cities are rising at a fast pace. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen this with Dubai, and shortly after, Masdar City. In the meantime, millions of refugees are being displaced within cities throughout the UK, Europe, Middle East, and beyond, with nowhere to live and no infrastructure to support basic daily needs.
How do we rebuild and redesign an ancient city like Damascus, while maintaining and honoring its history? In order to accommodate these needs we have to develop innovative approaches to urban planning, design, architecture, mobility, agriculture, and so much more.
From August 29 to September 2, the MIT Media Lab, Community Jameel and Wamda will come together to convene 30+ designers, engineers, scientists, and artists at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai.
The goal is to bring together a vast range of skill sets, cultures, and areas of expertise to tackle big questions and prototype designs during a multi-day workshop focusing on redefining cities. Building strong relationships within a community of entrepreneurs and technologists who are able to build, redesign, and prototype for a future that is undeniably urban, in the process.
Attendees will have a chance to build new prototypes while receiving advice and mentorship from MIT Media Lab faculty, such as Iyad Rahwan, associate professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab; J. Philipp Schmidt, director of learning innovation at the MIT Media Lab; and Ashley Shaffer, design researcher at IDEO, who is also supporting with on-the-ground organization and facilitation of the workshop.
At the end of the week, each working group will present findings and outcomes. Ideally, some of the projects will be deployed with the help of regional collaborators.