“Big data” will not change the world unless it is collected and synthesized into tools that have a public benefit.


The Civic Data Design Lab works with data to understand it for public good. We seek to develop alternative practices which can make the work we do with data and images richer, smarter, more relevant, and more responsive to the needs and interests of citizens traditionally on the margins of policy development. In this practice we experiment with and develop data visualization and collection tools that allow us to highlight urban phenomena. Our methods borrow from the traditions of science and design by using spatial analytics to expose patterns and communicating those results, through design, to new audiences.


We are a group of multidisciplinary researchers enthusiastic about the intersection of data, design and city.

Sarah Williams




Pierre Beaudreau
Jon Campbell
Liqun Chen
Phil Cheng
Erica Deahl
Lee Dwyler
Emily Eros
Billy Ndengeyingoma
Rida Qadri
Changping Chen
Armin Akhavan
Wenzhe Peng
Karuna Mehta
Lindiwe Rennert
Elizabeth Resor
Jonah Rogoff
Alicia Rouault
Chris Van Alstyne
Qianqian Zhang
Jessica Carolyn Myers
Samantha Rebecca Cohen
Yi Li
Andres Achury
Elena Vanz
IN MEMORY OF KATE GOLDSTEIN, friend and research collaborator who tragically passed away:
Kate Goldstein passed away in 2014 during a energy workshop in India. Kate's death deeply saddened everyone at the Lab, and her enthusiasm and positive energy will be greatly missed.


The courses offered by Civic Data Design Lab.




Part Time UI Developer : Civic Data Design Lab

MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab is seeking a part-time UI developer interested in creating data-driven applications that feature dynamic graphics, interactive charts, maps, diagrams, animations, etc. The two main projects would be; 1) Atlas of Lighting is a joint project between Philips, MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism and MIT Civic Data Design Lab that responds to the need for an integrated and scientific understanding of the dynamics of metropolitan areas around the world. 2) Data Visualization performed in collaboration with the Gehl Institute which incorporates sensor data collected from urban furniture.
Both projects will incorporate an interactive mapping tool in which the user can combine, isolate or cross-reference both quantitative and qualitative datasets to get a clear view of how cities operate.
The developer will be working with data researchers and designers and will have access to data sets that needs to be visualized. An extensive description of the functionality of the visualizations and the visual aesthetics will be provided. Together with your application, we’d highly appreciate a link to your portfolio, or any sample code you’ve written for interactive visualizations before.
This position will be for 20 hours a week. We may consider two 10 hour a week positions if we have strong candidates, but would prefer 20 hours a week. It is easier for coordination. Email Sarah Williams (sew@mit.edu) and Wenfei Xu (wenfeixu@mit.edu) with your resume and work samples.

At least 2 years experience developing interactive user interfaces and/or computer graphics
Extensive experience working with HTML+CSS, SVG and/or Canvas
Solid understanding of JavaScript

Proven experience with these:

Basic design skills
Databases experience (SQL and/or noSQL)
Experience with GIS and mapping APIs



MIT 10-400
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA