Kent Larson is Director of the City Science research group (formerly known as Changing Places) and co-directs the City Science Initiative at the Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Larson practiced architecture for 15 years in New York City, with work published in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Global Architecture, the New York Times, A+U, and Architectural Digest. His book, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks was selected as one of the Ten Best Books in Architecture, 2000 by the New York Times Review of Books.
Career at MITEdit
Larson’s research group is developing strategies to create high-performance, technology-enabled personalized, places of living that respond to an aging population and new ways of living and working. In this approach, buildings are disentangled into four independently configured layers: high performance chassis, integrated infill, agile technology, and responsive façade modules. These concepts are being deployed in the CityHome: a compact, transformable apartment for urban dwellers that functions as if a much larger space.
Upon the 2010 death of William J. Mitchell, former Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Larson's group continued work on the MIT CityCar and developed concepts for shared-use light electric vehicles and intelligent fleet management to provide high-levels of service through sensor networks, dynamic incentives, and intelligent charging. The group worked with automotive suppliers in Spain to develop a commercial version of the MIT CityCar called Hiriko: a folding two-passenger vehicle with robot wheels and drive-by-wire control for urban mobility and highly efficient parking.
Since 2000, Larson and MIT researchers have developed computational tools to understand human behavior in natural environments, including the necessary sensing, interfaces, data collection methods, and visualization capabilities. They have developed prototypical applications that respond to human behavior, with an emphasis on proactive health, energy conservation, and the support of new ways of living and working. This work includes the exploration of data collection and analysis tools to understand the fine-grained attributes of a healthy, high-functioning community or city, and strategies to use this information to inform the design of new communities.
Larson lives in Jamaica Plain, Boston, with his wife, Maria Miller Larson.
- "City Science". MIT Media Lab. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- "PLAN 85: ARTICLE. The City Science Initiative At The Media Lab". MIT School of Architecture + Planning. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- MIT Media Lab Web Site
- Filler, Martin (3 December 2000). "LOUIS I. KAHN: Unbuilt Masterworks (by Kent Larson)". NY Times, Ten Best Books In Architecture. Retrieved 29 June 2021.