MIT Design Lab collaborated with Signify
on shaping a design vision for a caring city

Connected lighting
for a caring city

scroll to get to know the vision

Cities are expanding.
As they continue to grow, a new typology has emerged:

MEGACITY

IT IS 

FAST

IT IS

OVERWHELMING

It accommodates more than

10 Million inhabitants

and the numbers keep growing

How does it

CARE

for all these people?

How does it

scale down to each and

every one of them?

Project phases

Roles of Light

INHABITANTS OF THE 
CARING CITY

I always keep track of my son's activities

“My son spends a lot of time at school, so the teacher will take them out to play, and they don't allow iPads in school. Every day they have gym time, exercise time... and every weekend we would go out to play in the playground.”

Daisy, 37

I exchange messages on socials with my daughter daily

“I would text with my daughter or send her a song I like, and she would send me back one...”

Shan, 47

I enjoy being independent

“I subscribe to talking books which are published by the Economist. It's provided by the association for the blind and visually impaired... it's really an excellent publication... they have various subject areas, its not necessarily one subject... they have one about food and wine...”

Kenneth, 73

People are really social online, but then in real life they're awkward

“Once I made a new group on Facebook, like a group chat, and we kept talking for one year, and then we wanted to meet up on one place... It was different for people because they are really social online,  but then in real life they're awkward...It's easier to keep a conversation online than in real-life. In real-life it gets awkward, if it was online we would have talked forever, like for a long time...”

Christina, 18

I ask for assistance occasionally

“Sometimes is heavy to keep repeating the same things each and every day.”

Virgil, 69

I would like to socialize more with my Neighbors

”More infrastructure or more activities would make easier the socialization in the neighborhood... Park would be a usual place to meet with neighbors, it's the first thing.

Rob, 36

city enables particular social experiences with friends and colleagues

“A city provides a framework, a basic framework where all these activities happen....and with this framework somehow you create a map of  your sentiments, let's say, depending on the different experiences that you have in your own neighborhood... it's connected with feelings and experiences and things that happen to you.”

Anne, 51

Some friends spend 7-8 hours daily on games

“With my friends usually if we don't have any homework on that day, or we don't have any test next day, I get on like Xbox or on PC. On weekends we would stay like 5 hours playing games...Some friends spend maybe 7-8 hours daily on games.”

Hala, 17

I like to follow events, it's the occasion to meet new people

“ I usually take in a number of cultural things... music, I really like. I used to do a lot of walking. I would walk with friends...”

Marisa, 67

physical and digital need to coexist

“...both digital opportunity that you have to send a piece of information or something that you notice, and you want to share with somebody, but also the physical as social opportunity that you have to get together with somebody, are both equally valid. They can coexist and they create this kind of what we call social interaction.”

Sotirios, 52

I want to be in the know

“Facebook is really good about telling you when there's events going on in the city. It tells you there's a concert going on here with a ton of people from the city. I think Facebook making these events known, helps a lot of people from the city be able to gather and mingle and really connect.”

Malik, 21

It was hard to stop with the iPad like it was hard to stop with pacifier

“The kids, if I didn't stop them they would go on playing with iPads and smartphones a lot, absolutely... they are interested in them more than playing outside... For my daughter was hard to stop with the iPad like it was hard to stop with the pacifier.”

Valentina, 34

What makes you feel cared for?

How would you show others that you care?

CARING CITY

makes citizens feel

Invited, Accepted, Acknowledged, Assisted and Protected

Phil

enables citizens to feel

Invited, Accepted, Acknowledged, Assisted and Protected

MEET PHIL

the AI agent of the caring city

Phil service system relies on pervasive interfaces enabled by smart materials embedded throughout the city, in both outdoor and indoor ambients. The system provides automatic adjustments and changes in space while giving the main control to the user and enabling natural user interaction language.  

Get to know

PHIL's LANGUAGE

Follow

phil in the caring city

through experiential stories

Meet the

Personas

that will guide you through
their stories

54 years old - Baby Boomer
Consultant

David
Jones

72 years old - Silver Gen
Retired Businessman

Benjamin
CHEN

35 years old - Millennial
Young Mother

Claire
Derrien

Mia
Orbey

19 years old - Gen Z
Software Engineer Student

CASE SCENARIOS

Storytelling the vision based on
the identified user values

my time
everywhere

Stay in
the know

take it
easy

personal
coach

My Daily
routine

Personal
coach

twinkle
& mingle

Meeting
a friend

My Daily
routine

my time
everywhere

twinkle
& mingle

Stay in
the know

Meeting
a friend

Take
it Easy

Stay in
the know

Twinkle
& Mingle

Come play
with me

meeting
a friend

personal
coach

My Time
everywhere

come play
with me

my daily
routine