Creating sociotechnical systems that shape our urban environments

MIT Media Lab

In our lab, we create socio-technical systems that shape the offline world -- our schools, our agricultural systems, our transportation systems, and our cities.

We do this by both creating interventions in the physical world, and by designing software systems that enable the efficient and decentralized coordination of people to replicate and evolve those interventions. Together, the physical interventions and social computational systems create ecosystems of people, software, and space.

Our technical focus is on social computing, data mining, information visualization, and human-computer interaction. We use these as techniques towards fostering non-hierarchical, human-scale, de-institutionalized modes of production in the following application areas: agriculture, transportation, learning, and urban development.

Our lab is a multidisciplinary lab, with computer scientists, applied mathematicians, artists, designers, architects, filmmakers, educators, and permaculture designers, among others.

What We're Looking For:

We're looking for hackers, designers, and theoreticians. Almost everybody should have a strong background in CS, as all students will be involved in implementation.

Qualities that we prize:

  • demonstrated ability to build things;
  • interest in at least one of our current application areas: learning, agriculture, transportation, urban development;
  • programming chops (even better if they are demonstrated by substantive open-source contributions);
  • thoughtfulness and joie-de-vivre; 
  • and, it should go without saying: exceptional commitment and work ethic.

Learn about applying through the Program in Media Arts & Sciences.