Visionary artist Tomás Saraceno creates inflatable and airborne biospheres with the morphology of soap bubbles, spider webs, neural networks or cloud formations, which are speculative models for alternate ways of living.

Tomás Saraceno

Tomás Saraceno’s biography notes that he “was born in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina; lives and works between and beyond the planet earth.” Cloud City was installed on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Saraceno has recently exhibited at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, the Walker Art Center and the 2009 Venice Biennale. He has held residencies at the Atelier Calder in France and participated in the NASA International Space Studies Program. Learn more about Tomás Saraceno.


Tomás Saraceno is the inaugural Visiting Artist at MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST).

An artist trained as an architect, Saraceno deploys theoretical frameworks and insights from engineering, physics, chemistry, aeronautics and materials science. His residency at MIT focuses on advancing new work for the ongoing Cloud Cities series. On Space Time Foam, a project created for HangarBicocca in Milan, Italy, is a multi-layered habitat of membranes suspended 24 meters above the ground that is inspired by cosmology and life sciences. Each level has a different climate and air pressure and will react to the movement of visitors through it. In a later iteration, the work will become a floating biosphere above the Maldives Islands that is made habitable with solar panels and desalinated water.

Tomás Saraceno’s residency is presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.

Public Events

Panel: “Sensing – Actions”
Discussion as part of CAST symposium “Seeing / Sounding / Sensing”
September 27, 2014 | 2:00 – 5:00pm
Media Lab E14-674 (6th Floor)
75 Amherst St, Cambridge MA

For many scientists, “sensing” is the final endpoint of numerous pathways of cognition; for philosophers, it has often been the first step in the process of reason itself. Current debates center on whether neuroscience can understand cognition if the subject is constituted through an ongoing negotiation with stimulus grasped by a moving and active body, in which one signal is constantly checked against another, rather than the long-cherished binaries of excitation/inhibition, push/pull, or on/off. In short, some theorists assert that much thinking goes on outside the skull. This session will explore the scientific and cultural basis for prodigious feats of muscle memory, bodily thinking, on-the-spot decision making, and human action.

MIT Museum program with Tomas Saraceno and Markus Buehler
September 25, 2014 I 6:00 - 8:00pm
MIT Museum
265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA


Class Visits
Visit to Nano-Machines: Studio Course

Exploratory Research
Visit to History + Theory of Architecture and Art

Visit to School of Architecture + Planning

Visit to Science, Technology, and Society

Visit to School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Visit to Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climates
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Visit to Building Technology Group
An interdisciplinary program sponsored jointly the Department of Architecture, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Visit to Horvitz Laboratory
Department of Biology


During his week at MIT, Saraceno met with over twenty scientists, architects, and engineers across the Institute for conversations about biomimicry, cosmology, atmosphere and flight. Saraceno is currently collaborating with professor Markus Buehler, head of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and postdoctoral associate Zhao Qin to investigate the structural properties of spider webs. Using the data set generated from Saraceno’s previous work in modeling 3-D spider webs, the lab will 3-D print the web and run simulations to determine the strength and flexibility of the individual strands and of the web as a whole. For more information, check out “Conversations on Biomimicry” on the CAST Blog.

Antón García-Abril is Professor of Architecture at MIT and founder of ENSAMBLE STUDIO, a firm committed to architectural application of conceptual and structural experimentation.

Nader Tehrani is a Professor and Department Head of the MIT Department of Architecture, and is Principal and Founder of NADAAA, an architectural practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Dörthe M. Eisele is a Postdoctoral Associate in the MIT Center for Excitonics.

Jerome I. Friedman is Institute Professor, Emeritus, and Nobel Laureate, Physics.

Elizabeth Goldring is a Fellow (2008-2012) in the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

Jeffrey Grossman is the Carl Richard Soderberg Associate Professor of Power Engineering in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

R. John Hansman is the T. Wilson Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Director of the MIT International Center for Air Transportation.

Lodovica Illari is a Senior Lecturer in Synoptic Meteorology in the MIT Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climates.

Robert Jaffe is the Jane and Otto Morningstar Professor of Physics.

Caroline Jones is a Professor in the MIT Department of Architecture.

Les Norford is a Professor and Associate Head of the MIT Department of Architecture.

Otto Piene is Professor Emeritus in the MIT Department of Architecture.

Skylar Tibbits is a Lecturer in the MIT Department of Architecture.

Meejin Yoon is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the MIT Department of Architecture Undergraduate Program.

Brian Wardle is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Director of the Necstlab and Nano-Engineered Composite Aerospace Structures Consortium.

Rosalind Williams is the Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology in the MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society.