Networked Urbanism

design thinking initiatives for a better urban life

Design critics: Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo, principals of Ecosistema Urbano

Understanding waste as an inseparable part of the lifecycle of materials and the ‘metabolism’ of cities, and approach it consequently. How is waste understood and managed? Can we make this process more ‘visible’ for the general public? Can waste be understood as a resource?


We got excited when we found out that the 5x5x5 submission we blogged about earlier was successful. In consequence, we will present our idea at Boston’s Architecture Exposition next Tuesday. As luck has it, we will also speak at MIT twice next week. If nothing else, we are looking forward to some really good feedback from experts of the field.

Follow this link for the event:

Scott Liang | TJ McCourt | Benjamin Scheerbarth



This week, we went to Harvard’s iLab for a panel discussion on design and entrepreneurship. Although the speakers addressed this relationship on a higher level than we do (design impact on business models), we came out inspired to test our technology sooner rather than later, expose its flaws, get feedback, and adjust incrementally.

Follow this link for the event:

Scott Liang | TJ McCourt | Benjamin Scheerbarth



This week was a great week in terms of the amount of feedback we received at studio midterms. While this can be a grueling exercise, it is certainly a luxury to be exposed to people who find the wholes of the project and brainstorm their filling with you. We will now take in some new ideas and readjust our focus for the next weeks.

Scott Liang | TJ McCourt | Benjamin Scheerbarth

Chris and Jean curate an in-depth study looking at Cambridge’s moving day waste and propose a variety of mitigation strategies.



This week we came across the President’s Challenge for entrepreneurship hosted by the Harvard Innovation Lab. With ‘efficient governing’ launching as a new category this year, we might work on putting together a submission. At the information meeting, we already met a few people who expressed interest in our project. In following up with these new connections, we hope to not only to kindle beneficial relationships, but perhaps spark a new and exciting endeavor.

Follow this link for the website of the challenge:

Scott Liang | TJ McCourt | Benjamin Scheerbarth

5x5x5 Scheerbarth Liang McCourt from Scott Liang on Vimeo.

This week was dictated by preparing our submission for the 5x5x5 Variations on a Smarter City competition hosted by the Urban Design Committee of Boston’s Society of Architects. The accompanying conference fits our project idea beautifully and we hope to get exposure to the jurors in the process. Preparing the submission video certainly helped to tighten the project narrative.

Follow this link for the call for entries:

Scott Liang | TJ McCourt | Benjamin Scheerbarth

On September 30th, we went to visit the MIT Senseable City Lab. We were shown around the lab and introduced to a selection of past and current projects. Check out the video for some detailed introductions to a selection of four projects, responsive environments, local warming, signature of humanity, and live singapore. Thank you Anthony for your time and the warm welcome.

Follow this link for the website of the lab:

Scott Liang | TJ McCourt | Benjamin Scheerbarth



The first week of the project can be described by google doc, erase, google doc, erase, google doc. We collectively pondered about the base line rationale and narrative of the project. Later that week, we took the same process to the walls: idea paint, wipe, idea paint, wipe, idea paint… We drew up wireframes and had them dictate our thinking as to how the user interface needed to perform.

Scott Liang | TJ McCourt | Benjamin Scheerbarth

Death Cafe MenuAlthough mortality is humanity’s common ground, the subject of death has become taboo and the spaces of death are treated with morose reverence that often excludes them from the public realm and society’s consciousness.  Cemeteries no longer function as vital urban spaces; they are Terra Mortis, dead land, set aside to memorialize our loss.  However, even more disturbing than this underutilized land is the waste generated by postmortem processing. Society’s efforts to produce an illusion of permanence after death has resulted in an industry that defies, consumes and contaminates nature at the cost of public health, environmental security, urban green space and our overall spiritual well being. My project asks if we can transform cemeteries into a common, fertile ground that allows people to understand death as an integral part of life. We will begin the session with a Death Cafe in the tradition of Funeral Celebrants – be ready for Death & Donuts!
-Jennifer Lee Mills


On October 4, 2013, I took a tour of Cradles to Crayons, a Boston area non-profit organization that creates gift packs and backpacks for children ages 0-12. I learned how an organization processes donated goods and prepares them for distribution and also what is done with donated items that they do not use.

This week I also sent out my survey to 115 nonprofit organizations in the Boston area.

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