Student Profile
Student Profile: Susanne Seitinger


Vienna, Austria

PhD Candidate

Media Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Work

BA (architecture major), Princeton 2001

Degree Candidate

PhD Candidate, Media Arts and Sciences, Smart Cities Research Group

Interest Area

I’m interested in thinking holistically about urban design and new technologies. My current research focuses on urban public spaces and lighting systems. I’m developing a lighting system called Urban Pixels. These lighting units blur the boundary between digital display technology and traditional urban lighting. By combining a renewable energy source with wireless communication it is possible to achieve a self-sustaining, distributed display network that can be attached to any building surface and reconfigured with ease. These “liberated” pixels provide a democratic platform for the deployment of light and display systems in the city.

Thesis Topic

Work in progress…the intersection of urban lighting systems, public space and wireless networks…

Career Ambition

I see myself working closely with city governments to rethink their strategic use of lighting and technologies in public spaces. I hope to combine this real-world practice with research work in a multi-disciplinary academic setting.

Why MIT?

MIT is the only place I know where you can seamlessly move between urban design, technology development and actual real-world implementation of your ideas. Therefore, it is the ideal sandbox for developing projects that require know-how from different fields.


„… und er [der Mensch] ist nur da ganz Mensch, wo er spielt.“
(“…and humans are only truly human, where they play.”)
Friedrich Schiller