American visionary Kent Larson gives guest lecture

Cities continue to grow, but how do we ensure that everyone fits in? This question is central to the guest lecture 'The future of living' that Kent Larson gives at the University of Twente on 4 February. The famous American architect is director of the American Media Lab's Changing Places group and affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most prestigious technical universities in the world

Cities continue to grow, but how do we ensure that everyone fits in? This question is central to the guest lecture 'The future of living' that Kent Larson gives at the University of Twente on 4 February. The famous American architect is director of the American Media Lab's Changing Places group and affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most prestigious technical universities in the world.

The fruits of Larson's creative brain are known worldwide. The American believes that decades ago solid thinking and design errors were made in the development of our cities. So the intention was to give everyone a car and to build roads everywhere. With the problems that followed, we are still struggling.

Larson often describes the proliferation of cities such as Los Angeles, Mexico City and the cities in China and their outdated ideas that are often accompanied by disturbing figures. Yet a large part of the world's population lives in those cities and that will only increase. How can we then experience the positive effects of the city and leave the negative (pollution, traffic jams or congestion) behind us?

Larson: 'I do not believe in smart homes. I think you need to build dumb homes and put smart stuff in it '. In order to reap the positive benefits, Larson thinks of himself as we thought a hundred years ago. The people and the way in which those people want to live are central again. Larson's ideas are innovative and groundbreaking, but at the same time realistic. For example, collapsible cars and microlofts that are jam-packed with robotics and sensors and thus continuously adjust the living space to the needs of the users.
He also shows how homes and offices can easily change function and he has built a revolutionary car that allows more cars to park. Larsons ideas for shared vehicle use find applications in multiple metropolises and are available to everyone. 'Elderly, disabled, women in skirts and business men', as he describes it himself.

Vision of Larson and Twente University

Larsons solutions fit within the core values ​​of the University of Twente. His ideas fit seamlessly with Smart Cities, one of the profiling research themes of the UT. Combining focused and innovative research and education is central to the UT. With ideas to set up the Twente campus as a Living Lab, the campus develops into an inspiring meeting place for scientists and students. A community for professional and personal development, in which Larson feels at home.

Global Citizens

The guest lecture is included in hundreds of UT students, the global citizens of tomorrow, in the roster as part of the regular lectures. Larson's projects are in line with the curriculum of University College Twente (Sustainable Communities project), Civil Engineering (Transport & Transport and Spatial Planning modules) and Industrial Design Engineering (Design module for a specific target group and various third-year courses).
Students from Mechanical Engineering (module Energy and Sustainability) and Creative Technology also take part. Other interested UT students and staff are also very welcome.

The guest lecture is followed by a short question-and-answer session. The arrival of Larson to the Netherlands has been made possible by Aegon. Later in the day Larson will give a lecture in De Rotterdam, the recently realized residential, hotel and office complex on the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam. This imposing building was designed by OMA / Rem Koolhaas.

Guest lecture Kent Larson
Date / time: 4 February, 10.45 - 11.45 hours.
Location: building De Waaier, University of Twente
Access: free