carlo ratti outfits open-office with individualized climate and lighting system
all images courtesy of carlo ratti associati 




international design and innovation firm carlo ratti associati has developed a personalized heating, cooling and lighting system which follows occupants as they move around the building, like an tailored-made temperature bubble. the studio have explored many forms of climate control before with experimental projects such as ‘local warming’ and ‘cloud cast’. ‘today, a lot of energy is wasted heating or cooling empty buildings,’ says founder carlo ratti. ‘by synchronizing energy usage and human occupancy within buildings we can create a more sustainable and responsive architecture – theoretically slashing energy consumption by up to 40%.’


‘local warming’ project




the system, which is part of the agnelli foundation headquaters in torino, adapts the workplace to learn and synchronized to its users’ needs, optimizing space usage and limiting energy waste. designers and researchers at the studio equipped the century-old structure with sensors that monitor different sets of data, including occupancy levels, temperature, CO2 concentration and the status of meeting rooms.

the open-office layout




based on all this information the building management system responds dynamically, adjusting lighting, heating, air-conditioning and room booking in real-time. once occupants set their preferred temperature with a smartphone app, a thermal bubble follows them throughout the building, as the fan coil units, situated in the false ceilings are activated by the presence. ‘this open platform for occupants, employees, and guests will  further evolve over time, through crowd-developed apps and software updates,’ adds ratti. 


‘cloud cast’


the workplace learns and synchronized to its users’ needs

the outside of the agnelli foundation headquaters in torino