Daniel Smithwick is a PhD candidate in the Design and Computation group as well as a researcher in the Changing Places Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research is on mass customization and user-generated design for the home - including its products, its experiences, and the design of the home itself. Particularly, the research focuses on developing technologies to aid consumers in making better choices through advanced user interfaces, recommendation algorithms, and social media platforms.
Daniel has led workshops, seminars, and classes on mass customization at the Media Lab, in addition to authoring numerous papers on the topic for the World Conference on Mass Customization and Personalization.
Currently, he is leading a team of MIT students on developing the 'urban home of the future,' called the CityHome, which integrates open-standards principles with mass customization allowing for more personalized, healthy, and energy-efficient home design.
In 2009, Daniel completed his MS thesis at MIT titled, "Architectural Design 2.0: An Online Platform for the Mass Customization of Architectural Structures." From his thesis research he also co-founded Physical Design Co., a company that integrates Web 2.0 with digital fabrication technologies, whose vision is to empower consumers with online tools that enable them to mass customize their own architectural designs.
While a graduate student at MIT he was a member of the Digital Design and Fabrication Group where he co-managed the “Digitally Fabricated Housing for New Orleans,” a full scale house commissioned by and exhibited at the MoMA in New York for their 2008 show, Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. Daniel also co-authored with Ryan Chin the latest research paper by the Smart Customization Group, "Environmental Impacts of Utilizing Mass Customization," which was presented at the 2009 World Conference for Mass Customization and Personalization in Helsinki.
Before coming to MIT, Daniel worked professionally as a designer for leading architecture and design firms including: Pompei Architectural Design in NYC, Loom Architects in Minneapolis, MN, and Howeler + Yoon Architecture in Boston.
Daniel talks about his company and mass customized architectural design
MIT Media Lab
The MIT Smart Customization Group is an MIT-Industry collaboration devoted to improving the ability of companies to efficiently customize products, services, and experiences in various industries and for diverse customer groups. This industry interest group aggregates the key players in the area of mass customization and strives to become a vital community of practice in this field.