PAST EVENT -
On Wednesday, October 26, 2016 the Harvard Alumni Architecture and Urban Society, the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council, and the Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs held a lecture on Brooklyn Navy Yard's New Lab, a hub for growth stage technology such as 3D-printing, robotics and nanotechnology. The founder and executive director of New Lab, David Belt, discussed how in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation they created this unique community of entrepreneurs working in emerging technologies. Members have access to over 2 million dollars of prototyping equipment, and work in a diversity of fields ranging from fashion, architecture to robotics. This was followed by lectures from three New Lab members and design entrepreneurs about their work; Maria Aiolova, Co-Founder of Terreform ONE, Meisha Brooks, Head of Product at Loomia and Manuel Toscano, Principal at Zago.
New Lab is an interdisciplinary space designed to support entrepreneurs working in emerging technologies, and a pioneering resource for new tech, new hardware, and new manufacturing in New York City. New Lab is housed in the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s landmark Building 128: a former machine factory, built in 1920, that serviced the majority of the American ships used in both World Wars. This history inspired New Lab's founders to build a new center for modern manufacturing—one that reflects the way people are growing companies today. New Lab provides the tools and community that unite and support 500 hardware-centric innovators, representing 50 companies in a variety of fields—including robotics, A.I., connected devices, and energy—and fosters collaboration and advancement across disciplines.
David Belt, New Lab Founder and Partner
Belt has overseen the development of New Lab from concept to place. A New York-based international real estate developer, he is also the founder and managing principal of Macro Sea and DBI. Over the past twenty-five years, Belt has created a diverse range of projects with a focus on cultural development—including schools, theaters, airports, art spaces, collaborative workspaces, and residential projects—and has become a leader in creative real estate development. Belt’s firms have collaborated with businesses, foundations, and individuals to realize new frameworks of place and partnership. In just over a decade, Belt has executed over $1 billion in private and institutional development projects worldwide. Belt’s work has been featured in both the Venice Biennale and the Museum of Modern Art, and he lectures at several American universities, including Columbia and the UPenn Graduate School of Design, and Taubman College of Architecture.
Manuel Toscano, Principal, Zago
Alumni of the inaugural class of the AIGA/HBS business prospectives for creative leaders- 2003
Manuel Toscano helps his clients bridge business and design by combining an expertise in innovation with compelling visual storytelling. In 1998 he joined New York design firm Zago. Under his leadership the studio broadened its scope of services, leveraging design, visual media, and digital innovation to reach target audiences and foster environmental, cultural, and social change. Zago’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, international nonprofits, start-ups and global brands.. Manuel studied photography at the Corcoran College of Art in Washington and later received his masters at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. He served in the communications advisory board at Human Rights Watch, on the board of the photo agency VII, and as National Director of Social Engagement for Design for Good at the AIGA. He is currently a faculty member in the Products of Design masters program at SVA, and lecturer at Parsons School of Design in the Transdisciplinary Masters Program.
Meisha Brooks, Head of Product, Loomia
Harvard '14 (Kirkland House) SB Mechanical Engineering
Loomia is an innovation house focused on integrating fashion and science; it develops products, conducts proprietary research, and provides insights to industry leaders with the goal of bringing second generation wearable technology into the spotlight. Meisha graduated from MIT in 2015 with a focus on Product Design. After graduation she moved to San Francisco where she worked as a full-time model. On off hours she pursued her true passion, dabbling in Hardware startup work, UX and UI design consulting. She made the big move to NYC March of 2016 and currently works as Head of Product at Loomia.
Maria Aiolova, Co-Founder, Terreform ONE
MAUD 2002, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Maria Aiolova is a leader in interdisciplinary education focused on smart cities and ecological design. She is the Co-Founder of Terreform ONE where she created ONE Lab, an experimental school that combines design and science in a singular curriculum. Maria was the Academic Director for Global Programs at CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), where she created programs in Berlin, Barcelona, Prague, Shanghai, Cape Town and New York. She won the AIA NY Award for Urban Design. Most recently, she taught at University of Applied Arts Vienna, Pratt Institute and Parsons the New School for Design. Maria has been a visiting lecturer and critic at Harvard GSD, Columbia University, Cornell University, CUNY, Washington University, The Cooper Union, University of Toronto and Rhode Island School of Design. Formerly, she served as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of ETEX Corporation, a bio-tech company in Cambridge, MA. Maria is an inventor, who holds 18 technology patents. She was the winner of the Victor J. Papanek Social Design Award sponsored by the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Museum of Arts and Design in 2011. Maria has won a number of design competitions including first place in the CHARLES/MGH Station, Boston, and the Izmir Post District International Competition, Turkey. She also won the Zumtobel Group Award for Sustainability and Humanity and the Build Boston Award.