Current Site, Featured Projects
Research Partners: Columbia University, Rhode Island School of Design, University of California Berkeley

Year: 2015-2017


SAVI has been performing ongoing research with partners from Columbia University and Rhode Island School of Design on new technologies to map urban flows and sustainability. Using GIS, GPS, mobile apps and indoor tracking technologies, the team has performed several case studies, in one instance, examining possible correlations between the physical placement of recycling bins versus seating and the behavioral choices around waste disposal.

The research team also ran a workshop at the 2015 Design Modelling Symposium (DMS), hosted by the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture, in Copenhagen for which they developed bespoke data collection tools to understand urban mobility. They attempted to seamlessly track individuals outside using GPS and then inside with highly accurate geomagnetic indoor tracking which doesn’t require the installation of beacons that require installation and can be considered intrusive.

In 2016-2017, another case study was performed on Columbia and Pratt campuses. Participants tracked their social habits, movement around the city and their recycling activity to provide insight on how these factors contribute to the generation of non-organic waste. This work and paper were presented at the Opening the Bin – New perspectives on waste, culture and society from the humanities and social sciences, a conference at Lund Universitet in Sweden.

In addition to the DMS and Opening the Bin, this work was presented at the 2016 EAI Conference on IoT in Urban Space (poster) in Japan and the 2017 Science in Support of Sustainable and Resilient Communities conference in Chicago. 


Primary co-researchers: Joy Koy, Rhode Island School of Design and Lynnette Widder, Columbia University.
Additional co-researcher: Kyle Steinfeld, University of California Berkeley.
SAVI graduate assistants: Trapa Barua, Jonathan Marable, Sarita Rupan, Jen Mattei, Fareen Islam, Korin Tangtrakul, Haley Cox.