The earliest habitation
technology was the grotto
A natural feature that primitive man sought for warmth, protection and sociability—there, he built the primordial hearth. Until the 20th century, the hearth remained a focal point: it was not only functional, but, as Frank Lloyd Wright noted, it was “the psychological center of the home.”
Digital controls adapt
to human patterns
At the convergence of bits and atoms, technology can understand and adjust to the body. Climate control becomes a dialogue. With today’s integration of smartphones and digitization, dynamic control systems modulate heat over time to match inhabitants.
Over time, heat has
Human history has seen an evolution of the hearth, a narrative of climatic liberation. From grotto to fire pit, from Victorian pipes to central heating and suburban thermostats, man exerts more and more control over his immediate environment. Technology accommodates an itinerant lifestyle.
A new paradigm
Is ushered in with dynamic control over space. An individual thermal cloud follows each human: a personal climate that ensures comfort and decimates energy consumption. New sociabilities are forged as people share heat across digitally-integrated modes of living.
Exacerbating the asymmetry
between energy and occupancy
A binary choice between ON and OFF guarantees comfort at the expense of efficiency. Buildings are heated or cooled 24 hours a day; empty corners are indiscriminately kept just as warm as those in use. To ensure constant comfort, man heats every space he might possibly inhabit.
... heat seeks man.
Director: Carlo Ratti
Associate Director: Assaf Biderman
R&D Lead: Yaniv Jacob Turgeman
Engineering Lead: Leigh Christie
Project Lead: Miriam Roure
Curator: Matthew Claudel
Electrical Engineer: Carlos Graeves
Research Advisor: Rex Britter
Computer Vision and Tracking: Nick DePalma
Motion Control and Visualization: Matthias Danzmayr, Jacob Fenwick, Shan He, Pierrick Thebault
Fabrication and Design: Ricardo Alvarez, Thomas Altmann, Dorothy Bassett,
Gene Chunyayev, Clara Cibrario Assereto, David Dowling, Feifei Feng, Sebastian Grauwin, Chris Green, Elyud Ismail, Sam Judd, David Lee, Jessica Marcus, Aaron
Nevin, Jessica Ngo, Oleguer Sagarra Pascual, Kristopher Swick, Michael Szell, Remi Tachet des Combes
Director: Dina Katabi
Motion Tracking Design: Deepak Vasisht, Jue Wang
Project Architect: Saverio Panata
Design Team: Pietro Leoni, Walter Nicolino, Giovanni de Niederhausern
Exhibition Construction: DesignLab
Graphic Design: Jessica Svendsen
MIT Energy Initiative
Special thanks to:
(Seth Avecilla and Madeleine Gallagher)