AERIAL FUTURES: The Third Dimension

AERIAL FUTURES The Third Dimension Image: city skyline

Increasing congestion and advances in autonomous technology are set to transform how we move around our cities. Many are now looking to the sky — the third dimension — as an expansive space for new kinds of mobility. Autonomous flying vehicles, such as cargo drones and flying taxis, have the capacity to disrupt how we move goods and passengers around urban space. Responding to these real-world changes, AERIAL FUTURES: The Third Dimension examines Urban Air Mobility (UAM), asking how scalable and on-demand UAM models could reduce road traffic, pollution, accidents and the strain on existing public transport networks. Within these opportunities are also challenges to overcome: noise, community acceptance, safety, cyber security and seamless integration with existing aircraft operations. Boston and Switzerland have long understood the importance of connectivity and mobility. As world centers for tech research and design excellence, both locations are at the vanguard of urban mobility design. The presentations and panel will discuss Design Interfaces, the UAM Marketplace and Regulatory Frameworks.

This event is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

AERIAL FUTURES is a non-profit organization and cultural platform exploring innovation in the architecture of flight, technology, and the broader urban mobility ecosystem. Visit their website.

This event is co-organized with swissnex Boston and Swiss Touch.



Dr. Vassilis Agouridas is Senior Manager, Strategic Innovation with AIRBUS (Helicopters) based in France. He is member of the Strategy, Company Development and Business Ambition Directorate where he is working on growth strategy and new business ecosystems assignments. In the context of ever-growing urbanization and widespread diffusion of digital business enablers, he has been developing expertise in nurturing systemic mobility solutions featuring the 3rd dimension. Vassilis is the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative Leader, on behalf of Airbus, within the Sustainable Urban Mobility Action Cluster of the EIP-SCC marketplace (European Innovation Partnership, Smart Cities and Communities) launched in October 2017 by the European Commission. Forty-two (42) cities and regions across Europe have joined the initiative to explore through mobility demonstrators the 3rd dimension in urban and peri-urban mobility.


Olivier de Weck is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at. His highly-impactful research focuses on the evolution and design properties of a wide range of complex man-made systems, such as air- and spacecraft, automobiles, and critical infrastructures. A former Swiss Air Force officer, he also holds degrees from both ETH Zurich (1993) and MIT (2001) and was liaison engineer and later engineer program manager at McDonnell Douglas’ F/A-18 aircraft program from 1993 to 1997, and he spent the last two years at Airbus as a Senior Vice President for Technology Planning and Roadmapping.


Jaron Lubin is a Design Principal at Safdie Architects, where he has produced an extensive portfolio of proposals, competition entries and realized projects, spanning a variety of geographic contexts, scales and programs. Jaron was Project Architect for the iconic hotel garden Skypark at Marina Bay Sands and relocated to Singapore during its construction. He has continued his focus in Singapore providing design leadership for Sky Habitat and a mixed-use development along Orchard Boulevard. Most recently, as
the design team leader for Jewel Changi Airport, Jaron continues work with the client and a team of international consultants to ensure that the design vision for the project is ultimately achieved. He is a frequent writer and lecturer traveling internationally to share the work of the firm. Jaron has taught architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has been an invited juror for design competitions and student reviews at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Michigan.


Lorenzo Murzilli is an aerospace engineer, innovation manager and specialist in aviation, system safety and drones. As the leader of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems WG-6 and Deputy Chair of the Swiss FOCA RPAS Working Group, he oversees the policies and risk management processes for all critical drones’ operations in Switzerland and works to improve the perception of unmanned aerial vehicles worldwide. As a guest lecturer at the Zürich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) Lorenzo has developed a striking ability to boost innovation in safety-critical environments and enjoys exploring the intersection of safety and disruptive technologies that can advance the human race forward.


MODERATOR: Sonja Dümpelmann is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) where she teaches history and theory courses. She has curated exhibitions on landscape history in Germany, and has worked as a landscape designer in Studio Paolo Bürgi, Switzerland. She has held research fellowships at the German Historical Institute, and at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC. Sonja’s research and writing focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century landscape history, and contemporary landscape architecture in the Western world, with a particular focus on the urban environment in Germany, Italy, and the United States. Her work explores the transatlantic transfer of ideas, the role of politics, technology and science, and the work of women in the field. Dümpelmann serves as Senior Fellow of Garden and Landscape Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C., and is the past President of the Landscape History Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (2013-16). At the GSD, Sonja has served as area head of the History and Philosophy of Design track of the Master in Design Studies program.


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For program details, please contact Grant: [email protected]

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