Resilient Urbanism


Autonomous Suburb:
Future of Suburbia

The Future of Suburbia exhibition – which took place at the MIT Media Lab in the Spring of 2016 - was a multimedia synthesis of multiple years of research that involved students, faculty, and practitioners. A major goal of the work was to expose the nuance and complexity of the suburban condition through emerging trends, visually document suburbanization around the world, and produce four design frameworks for future suburban conditions. The four frameworks described a future of suburbia that is heterogeneous, experimental, autonomous, and productive.

One of the major re-imagination of the suburban form arose from The Autonomous City  project. This winning design competition entry of the 2012 Phoenix Challenge envisioned compact, self-sufficient and resilient enclaves embedded in the landscape, as new territories beyond current urban reaches. The team saw the vision as a response to exhausted models of urbanism and to the coming challenges associated with rising energy costs and significant demographic changes.  The ring-based morphology of these suburban clusters is driven by the automation of vehicular movement, the centralization of greenspace, the passive heating and cooling of aggregated housing, and the metabolic exchange of waste and energy streams.

Autonomous City Team
Fadi Masoud, Drew Adams, Danial Ibañez

Future of Suburbia Team

Alan Berger, Fadi Masoud, Matthew Spremulli,  Celina Balderas Guzman, David Birge, Olivia Huang, Laura Williams, Kobi Ruthenberg, Dennis Harvey, Pamela Bellavita.