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a conversation series

Next Meetup

Session Five

Dynamic Spaces: Design for Modern Living with IoT, AI and programmable materials.

Tuesday September 10
101 Seaport Blvd
Home, work and institutional environments in the 21st century require a new set of design fundamentals. They require spaces that can change and react according to multiple and fast-changing needs and environments.
The design standards of just a few decades ago have become irrelevant as the fluidity of functions, boundaries and ownership demand design aided and directed by computation, data and connectivity.

We invite you to engage in conversation with leading researchers and designers who are envisioning and programming the spaces of tomorrow.


David Rose


Skylar Tibbits

Associate Professor of Design Research
Department of Architecture, MIT

Rachel Ruiz

Public Health Researcher
Herman Miller

Hasier Larrea

Ori Systems
About designX
MITdesignX is an academic program in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) dedicated to design innovation and entrepreneurship. It empowers students, faculty and researchers to build new business ventures and forward-thinking solutions designed to address critical challenges facing the future of cities and the human environment.
About Cottonwood
Cottonwood Management is a private real estate management and development firm based in Los Angeles. Its projects in Boston include EchelonSeaport, a three-tower, $900 million mixed-use development in Boston’s Seaport district.



Stay tuned for more information about additional sessions later this year.



April 30, 2019.    Boston: City as an Experience
In addition to their roles as centers of industry and power, cities are also centers of human activity. From Austin’s SXSW to New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail, cities are increasingly finding their role as a platform for events, and building their brand as an instigator of celebrations.
Never before have creation and promotion experiences been so crucial to urban living, as these events are increasingly being used as a recruiting tool and in the production of a global identity, in addition to bettering the quality of life for its residents. In this session, we investigate how Boston is serving as a platform for events and experiences, big and small.
Oct. 9, 2018.     Food
While its original role was as a port, the Boston Seaport today is a vibrant neighborhood, filled with culture, people, and, of course, food. The third session of the salon series is a discussion on the ways in which we get our food today. Farmers markets abound throughout the city and restaurants tout their local food bonafides, but getting food to people where they need it, when they need it, in an economical way, and avoiding food waste, remains a challenge. 
In this salon, moderated by Cynthia Graber, host of the popular Gastropod podcast, the participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities for businesses in the current food landscape. Can technology solve our local food delivery and waste problems? Can companies do so while ensuring nutritious food for the people who have the least access to it? Where does the current system fall short, and what opportunities lie ahead?​
May 24, 2018.    Urban Mobility

In its history, Boston has served as a laboratory for

mobility solutions. It was home to America’s first

Subway and ambitiously buried an Interstate highway

while it was still in use. Its historical ports and sailing

ships made the city a hub of trade, and its modern

parks and paths make us “America’s Walking City.”

Yet, how does Boston prepare for the transportation

challenges of the future when its first roads were laid

nearly 400 years ago? In the second session of The

Design Salons at Echelon, we investigate how Boston

will survive and thrive in light of technological and

social change, and question how the city will continue

to serve as a laboratory for creative mobility solutions.

Jan 24, 2018.    Water: A Pipeline for Innovation
Boston has long relied on water for its economic, social and physical vitality. From Long Wharf’s colonial stretch into the Harbor for an economy based on trade and shipping; to the damming of the Charles and the filling in the modern footprint of the city to create the spaces in which we live work and place; to research and startups that leverage water as a source of innovation and engineering marvels, our relationship with water has formed our identity in many ways. Water has been - and continues to be - a source of inspiration and change. 


Please contact us for an invitation to the design salons at echelon series.
curated by
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