IN A CHANGED
HOW DO WE
MODEL AND DESIGN
WE UNEARTH A
WHAT WILL YOUR CITY BE IN 2050?
Imagine the Greater Boston region in 2050. The local sea levels will have risen by as much as 1.5 meters. King tides, caused by the gravitational interactions of the earth, sun, and moon will flood low-lying areas with every new and full moon. Coastal storm events, like hurricanes, will occur more often and with greater force. Due to rising temperatures, the New England summer will look more like that of Washington D.C. Heat waves will be hotter and longer, tripling the heat-induce mortality rate. The Northeast will see a continual increase in extreme storm events. This will disrupt transportation and cause flash flooding over built-up urban areas (Climate Ready Boston, 2016; and Cambridge CCVA Report, 2017).
These projections are alarming. Yet, we believe there are ways to mitigate and prepare our communities for the climate changed. In this competition we explore the power of models: to illustrate large and small scale shifts, to calculate uncertainty, to communicate predictions, and to show the community how events will unfold. With this in mind, we ask you to “model” an idea on one of three Greater Boston sites that addresses at least one climate hazard, and show how modeling can help transform the site in a climate changed. Teams are asked to select one of the three sites: the MIT campus and its surroundings, East Boston Greenway, or the Fresh Pond & Alewife areas.
See the competition brief PDF (linked at the top of the page) for full competition details.
Explore the agency of models to develop new ways of seeing the site and to design an intervention.
Develop an intervention to address site-specific climate risks based on your model. Show how your proposal will be better the site and community in question.
HOW ARE MODELS UNDERSTOOD,
MISUNDERSTOOD, USED, OR MISUSED
IN DESIGN AND POLICY MAKING?
A model is the representation of a system, process, or concept that serves to demonstrate, analyze, test, or imagine an idea. It can be constructed from various media and methods, and operate at diverse spatial and temporal scales; it may be computational, mathematical, statistical, a visualization, simulation, map or physical object.
In this competition, we consider two types of models, the scientific model and the design model. A scientific model provides the analytical basis for making informed design decisions. A design model envisions futures that call for scientific inquiry and discovery. In both cases, models have the power to motivate the proliferation of pathways that can lead toward a more sustainable, humane, and climate resilient future.
Teams are required to utilize at least one method of modeling—building their own model or employing an existing model—in the development of their idea proposal. The aim of the competition is two fold: first, to explore how design can inform the communication of scientific modeling and natural phenomena; and second, to explore how scientific models inform the development of design solutions. This competition is meant as an opportunity for scientists, researchers, students and others to consider the ways in which models can effectively communicate scientific principles, in addition to leading to design solutions. As such, the model employed is just as important as the site-specific intervention proposed.
In total $15,000 will be distributed amongst the winning teams. Select submissions will be included in the spring Climate Changed exhibition. All participating teams will be invited to attend the Climate Changed symposium to take place on April 20–21, 2018 at MIT.
Registration Deadline: EXTENDED TO JANUARY 15, 2018 (see registration link at top of page)
Submission Deadline: February 2, 2018, 11:59 EST
Winners Announced: April 21, 2018
The competition is open to students, emerging scholars, researchers and practitioners.
1. People of all ages are welcome to participate.
2. MIT affiliation is not required on a team. All individuals may participate regardless of MIT affiliation.
See the competition brief PDF (linked at the top of the page) for full competition rules.
Are you looking for teammates? Add your name here and we will try our best to connect individuals with similar interests!
Please note that we will continually update this section as questions are received.
CITY OF BOSTON
Climate Ready Boston Final Report (2016)
Coastal Resilience Solutions for East Boston and Charlestown (2017)
Boston’s Resiliency Challenge, 100 Resilient Cities (ongoing)
Boston Living with Water, international design competition (2014)
Sea Change: Boston research initiative and interactive map, Sasaki (2014)
CITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Report, Part 1 (2015)
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Report, Part 2 (2017)
Climate Change Preparedness & Resilience Plan, Alewife Public Meeting (2017)
CITY OF SOMERVILLE
City of Somerville Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (2017)
Somerville Climate Forward: Somerville’s Community Climate Change Plan (2017)
Climate Smart Cities Mapping Tool, Boston Metro Mayors Coalition and the Trust for Public Land (ongoing)
Thriving Earth Exchange: Boston Projects (ongoing)
Exhibition opening at MIT on April 6, 2018. More information coming soon...
Symposium to be held at MIT on April 20 and 21, 2018. More information coming soon...
What can models do in a changed climate? In the 1960s, NOAA created the first general circulation models simulating Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, and noted their impact on the global climate system. Since then, models have served as a primary mode of representing, analyzing, translating, and designing the environment in a changed climate.
How are models used to understand, and in turn, design our climate-changed world? Through a series of events to be held at MIT in the winter and spring of 2018, including an ideas competition, exhibition, and symposium, we explore how climate-related models of the past, present, and future act in today's climate changed world.
Climate Changed Co-Chairs: Irmak Turan and Jessica Varner
Faculty Advisor: John E. Fernandez
Graphic Design: Omnivore
Website: Ben Yoshiwara
The Climate Changed event series is co-sponsored by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative and the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.
Contact us about the ideas competition, the exhibition, or the symposium.