Technology has an extraordinary capacity to connect us to one another and to enhance our daily lives. But it is equally capable of creating distance between people, and from the natural world. As an avowed futurist, designer and corporate advisor Steve Lastro harnesses new technologies to not just reconnect us but also improve our relationships to the spaces we inhabit.
With 20 years’ experience designing and implementing technology in the commercial, residential, corporate, and hospitality sectors around the world for clients including Spring Studios, MINI Living, Cartier, Fotografiska, and D&D London, Steve’s company 6Sides is focused on creating experiences and environments using technology that integrates AV, Internet of Things (IoT) and wellness research to create healthier, more vibrant and equitable places to live and work.
Over the course of his career Steve became increasingly attuned to the missed opportunity to seamlessly merge technology with design. Witness to the rush towards Smart Cities, where every new technology is aimed at urban efficiency, he noticed there is inadequate attention paid to the quality of space and the wellness of its inhabitants. Vast amounts of money are being invested in how something might function rather than how something might feel. Sure, we can create autonomous flying cars but if people can’t breathe the air, or live as a connected community to tackle loneliness, what improvement have we really made?
What is an Alternative Thinker for you?
Someone who thinks about ‘Humanizing Experiences with Empathy-Driven Design’.
What are you bringing forward in your work?
Humanizing technology and connecting communities, bridging the gap between technology and its human users. Technology should works around humans, not the other way around.
Why did you highlight this/these specific project(s) below?
Tell us what your vision of the new world – post COVID-19 – is like?
Rethinking urban overcrowding and living – Is high-density housing and liability the future in a post COVID-19 world? The answer is yes!
We are witnessing a mass exodus of people / families moving out of Manhattan, for example, to less populated suburbs. Major cities will survive the Coronavirus, as cities have been the epicentres of infectious disease for centuries, and they have always bounced back—often stronger than before.
It does open the conversation for researchers, citizens, companies and institutions to work collaboratively to rethink urban development –
1. High-density living should be by standard built to high sustainability ratings, among other things. (without comprise)
2. Could we remove cars, and introduce only walking, bike riding and buses or other forms of travel which are prioritized over cars?
Outside major cities;
3. Transform less populated suburbs or an old industrial area by the harbor, for example, into sustainable housing districts.
4. Could these new areas actually be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy?
Fernando Mastrangelo Studio (FMS), Brooklyn-based contemporary artist and designer, launched TINY HOUSE, which opened to the public and was on display in Times Square from May 10-22nd 2019 – during NYCxDesign, New York City’s annual celebration of Design. Fernando partnered closely with Steve Lastro, CTO of 6Sides to find the right technology and experience collaborators to create a unique immersive installation, meant to both inspire the passer-by and the industry experts. Steve helped bring TINY HOUSE sustainability story forward in reimagining how people will live through an interactive and sensory immersive experience.
Steve Lastro is currently consulting with tech company TRIVVER in helping to accelerate the company development process, launch scalable products and services by leveraging his expertise in strategy, technology, marketing, and creative design