Escape Velocity Episode 5 “KATE 2600”

| May 3, 2017

New podcast episode: What if the building you occupied was more than just a space?

Based on the contemporary research of Burcin Becerik-Gerber, associate professor in the USC Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, KATE 2600 transports us to New Amsterdam — a futuristic city where buildings are not inanimate but sentient beings, uniquely programmed to suit the physical needs of their residents. Adam Bard, a successful finance executive and aspiring author is looking for such a home. Kate 2600 becomes not only his home but his primary emotional companion. Their relationship is soon threatened by the limitations of human mortality and technical fallibility. The world of the KATE 2600 radio drama tests the creative boundaries of modern science and future nihilism to a thrilling finale, in this edition of USC Viterbi’s first season of its podcast, Escape Velocity.

About Burcin Becerik-Gerber

Illustration by John Ritter

Named by MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35, Burcin imagines an unprecedented world, where there is a symbiosis between a built environment and its users, one that learns, influences, optimizes, and delivers greater stewardship and satisfaction simultaneously. While most of us understand and think of our buildings we spend most of our time in as static, Burcin envisions a world where our buildings have personalities, where humans and our physical world interact in highly dynamic ways. She has built a vision and the engineering to support it, where our infrastructure has truly become a partner in our stewardship of the environment. She is bringing life to the inanimate and in doing so creating a reciprocal learning ecology between us and our built environments. What makes Burcin’s work exceptional in our time is her ability to imagine a future for buildings that are responsive, adaptive, interactive — one in which your home, office, or classroom will have the ability to learn from you and vice versa.

Click to learn more about the full scope of this research.