Harvard CRI Sciences Po Summer school

Harvard CRI Sciences Po Summer school

By In Hot News, News On June 24, 2016


What is a city? What kind of city do we want to live in tomorrow? How can biology and living processes help us to create more sustainable cities?

That’s what the students of the Harvard-CRI-Sciences Po Summer School will explore during the summer of 2016. The program is examining the exciting emerging field of smart cities, but taking another perspective: how can we be inspired by biological systems (from evolution, to metabolism inside our cells, to the circulatory system, and everything in between)? And how can we use science and biology to reinvent the city of the future. The program therefore builds on biological principles to improve cities.

In its second year, the CRI Harvard Paris Summer program organized by professors Robert Lue and Alain Viel from the department of Molecular biology at Harvard University. They are assisted by Warren Hagist , who recently completed his Masters in Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Julien Barrere, an alumnus of the CRI and a Masters student in evolutionary biology at ETH Zurich. The cooperation with the school of public affairs of Sciences Po  was made possible through the work and help of Esther Rogan and Yann Algan.

Participants of the program include 20 Harvard students, 8 Licence FDV students, 10 master students from the school of public affairs of Science Po, and 2 French students from Association Frateli. The students are divided into 10 international, inter-disciplinary teams, each of which works on a separate, group-created project for 2 months (June-July).

Harvard-2016In addition to lectures in biology, urbanism, social sciences, and design-thinking from Harvard, CRI, and Sciences Po faculty, the students also learn about the history and culture of Paris through a selection of movies, chosen by Aurelien Peilloux , a CRI PhD and participant in last year’s Cannes festival.

Summer program participants, supervised by Warren, are involved in quantitative observations of the ‘Les Halles’ neighborhood, inspired by several exercises Tamara Milosevic (CRI) has used in her learning-through-research courses. These included collaboration with Kevin Lhost and the Open Lab of the CRI to design and use low-cost DIY Arduino devices to analyze light levels, sounds, and smell of the city, among other data. In addition to this exercise, students are preparing, in groups, exploration walks of 5 zones proposed by the Mayor’s office. Inspired by these walks, presentations, and background research, the students will start to observe what would could be improved in Paris, and come up with a project idea. Until the end of the program, the students will work on preparing a prototype of this “Smart City” project.

At the end of the program, the students will present each of their projects in the form of a 3 minute film. These films will be shared with the Mayor’s office at a screening at City Hall at the end of July (Wed. July 27th, 17h30-19h30, if you would like to come, please contact Julien Barrère).

Once the program is over, students will have the opportunity to continue their projects and go from prototype to realization thanks to the support of the cities of Paris or Boston as well as help from the CRI and Harvard.
Julien Barrère

Bellow few pictures from the retreat in Reims and from the visit of Marie Christine Lemardeley and Christophe Girard.