designX 2024
MIT Accelerating Innovation in Design, Cities, and the Built Environemnt Predictive mapping to protect coastal communities and regions.
Loopa Furniture asset manager and marketplace.
SofDesk Medium is the Massage. Tailor-made technology that feels you.
Ingot AI A computer vision-based 3D monitoring technology synced with a marketplace that helps contractors efficiently manage and resell construction waste
Chakula bora Safer food systems for all
romps A good fit for growing feet
The Middle Frame Not your typical Arab images
Visible Hands Inclusion improves innovation.
Rarify Experience rare design.
Harness the Heat Urban comfort out of thin air
Tangible A location Intelligence, AI prediction platform built to help tangible businesses scale.
ReFuse Using the value of waste to create better living conditions in refugee camps.
Somoto Somoto transforms community infrastructure into creative learning spaces for young people
T-Space Improving transit stations through revolutionary retail
p(art)ner Matching developers with diverse artists and managing public art requirements
Out of the Box Creating exceptional learning environments, right out of the box
Elements Design learning in a box
ECHO Digital platform to improve housing and mobility choices of lower income populations
Buy-In Database and platform to improve government buy-out process of flood prone properties
acelab Preconstruction intelligence for architects and manufacturers
Starlings Technology Enhancing the sustainability, safety, and harmony of urban streets with peer-to-peer synchronized technology for micromobility
TULU Live Large in Small Space
Bandhu’ Enabling low income workers in India to make insightful seasonal migration decisions for employment, housing and transportation.
Ogee! A business-to-consumer company that will help homeowners save their architectural histories using digital fabrication.
Spatio Metrics Creating a world where every building makes us healthier
Quipu A marketplace digitalization of informal economies operating in low income environments
Zilper Trenchless A novel machine for installing pipelines in urban environments without digging trenches.
Nesterly A social enterprise that matches empty nesters with graduate students to provide housing and social solutions.
HostaLabs Software algorithms to turn simple pictures into intelligent 3D models for design and renovation.
Placeful Technology to identify, design and develop neighborhood-scale housing with the efficiencies of larger development.
LearningBeautiful Creating Montessori-inspired toys for young children to learn computer science-without using computers.
Bitsence A space utilization analytics company helping managers of physical space maximize the utility of their assets through automated monitoring.
Biobot Analytics Measuring the concentration of drugs that are excreted in urine and collected in sewers and mapping this data to empower communities to tackle the opioid epidemic in real time.
Alight Transforming public buses into vehicles of urban exploration by employing audio-augmented reality on smartphones.
Airworks Capturing and converting aerial imagery into digital CAD plans for site surveys and construction monitoring.
Frolic Revolutionary new financing model for homeownership that allows a greater cross section of society to engage in the housing market.
Kawsay Connecting infrastructure providers with people living in informal communities in the developing world.
predictRE Software to help commercial real estate investors, brokers, and lenders make data-driven investment decisions based on planning and environmental trends and forecasts.
Spaceus Empowering creative communities in cities by transforming vacant and underutilized buildings into collective and collaborative artist studios and gallery space.
Season Three Next generation all-weather boot sold direct-to-consumer.
SkinPixel Real-time diagnostic "smart tattoo" for human skin to monitor levels of blood analytes like glucose, sodium, potassium, albumin, and others such as those found on a basic blood panel.
Dormio Physical and digital interface to influence and record your dreams.
PREPHub Public space infrastructure for disaster resilience and response.
Credi Early childhood learning environment furniture in rural and developing parts of India.
Adaviv AI-enabled adaptive environment for improving yields in indoor agriculture.

4.S22 Change a System, Change the World

How do you go from a moment of obligation to starting or accelerating a movement? This course explores the difference between innovation, social innovation, and systems change for social impact. Students interested in navigating complex environmental and social problems will explore frameworks and case studies from real systems change innovators to develop a more comprehensive view of complex problems and the systems they are part of —systems that often keep those problems in place. In the course, you will apply experiential tools and methods to interrogate your own call to action, strengths, and gaps to address complex problems or needs. You will gain an understanding of the importance of understanding problems from the impact target’s perspective and explore innovative ways to create a scalable movement that ultimately can change a system. The final deliverable from the course is writing a case study on system change based on detailed actor mapping and interviews where you share your deeper understanding of a system you care about.

Instructors: Yscaira Jimenez, Svafa Grönfeldt & Jenny Larios Berlin

4.S24 Building an Impactful Creative Career: Entrepreneurial Tools and Strategies

Are you aspiring to thrive as an independent creative professional or to launch your creative practice? The creative industries serve as catalysts for economic growth and cultural enrichment, driving innovation, talent development, and shaping societal perceptions. Spanning the arts, architecture and design, media, urban development, and more, they impact every aspect of our lives. This half-semester course offers prospective professionals in creative disciplines fundamental tools and strategies for building their careers as independent professionals or small business owners. Creating a sustainable business in the creative and cultural sectors requires a balance between meeting market needs, maintaining creative freedom, and offering resource-based and market-oriented products or services. In this course, students will: A) Gain an understanding of key theoretical concepts and practical applications through real-world case studies, enabling them to launch and manage creative micro-ventures; B) Explore relevant business models within the creative industries and learn skills needed to adapt and thrive in various market landscapes; C) Learn how to navigate the complexities of the creative economy and design an impactful creative career.

Instructors: Giuliano Picchi & Svafa Grönfeldt

4.S24: X Machine: AI and Design Innovation

In an AI-enhanced future, humans will become better at everything. The machine targets real-world artificial intelligence challenges designed to help address issues related to climate change, and urbanization in cities. X Machine is an accelerator workshop designed to bring computer science and architecture together to create the most innovative and impactful technology solutions. The program’s aim is to provide mentorship and technical support, with a focus on the problem statement and early-stage technology design ideation.

Instructor: Norhan Bayomi

4.S36 / 4.S38 ACT: Transversal Design for Social Impact

While design is frequently deployed as a problem-solving instrument, it can unintentionally result in ethical dilemmas and unanticipated outcomes. This course uniquely combines the critical lens of art with the transdisciplinary framework of DesignX, promoting introspection and thoughtful deliberation before diving into design solutions. This class initiates a collaboration between ACT and the Morningside Academy of Design through DesignX. Students engage with a transdisciplinary ensemble of influential speakers. The lecture series also allow students to innovate and explore a social impact design.

Instructors: Azra Aksamija, Svafa Gronfeldt, Yvette Man-yi Kong

11.345: Entrepreneurship in the Built Environment

The scope and intensity of opportunities and challenges facing the human habitat calls for the discovery of new transdisciplinary solutions. This half semester course will introduce you to the transformative power of design innovation and entrepreneurship. Through experiential learning in a workshop setting, you will start to develop the skillset and the mindset of an entrepreneur. The leadership skills and curiosity of the entrepreneurial mind are qualities that are highly sought after across all industries and throughout the startup space. An entrepreneur in the built environment is expected to identify problems and opportunities that will improve the human condition, and develop an effective solution for them. We will focus on framing a problem (before solving one) in order to understand the needs of people who experience them. This process will include interviews, data collection and analytical observation. You will identify real problems and then work in teams to determine their scope and begin to develop a solution. Teams will create new venture proposals for the built environment as a method to understand the role of the entrepreneur in the fields of design, planning, construction, real estate, transportation and other related industries.

Instructors: Svafa Grönfeldt and Gilad Rosenzweig


School of Architecture and Planning / Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue 7—336
Cambridge MA 02139

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