WAISHAN QIU qiuwaishan@126.com



Co-founder, Atoms Atelier (本源实验室)

Sep.2017 - now

Provide service (portfolio tutorial, design workshop) to students in the multidiscipline study of digital technology, informatics, art, architecture, and planning. Based in Cambridge MA and Beijing.


Co-founder & CTO, Astra Advisors (爱思略咨询)

Jun.2018 - now

A-Stra Advisors is a consulting practice that provides services in real estate development, economic impact analysis, smart city and sustainability, urban mobility and urban policy analysis. Based in Cambridge MA.

Co-founder & CEO, Currant.ai (酷认智能)

Sep.2018 - now

Currant.ai aggregates street-level informatics and analytics to provide safer driving assistance to the individual driver, better driving behavior analytics to car insurance providers, wiser location intelligence to business, and smarter mobility to cities.


Research AssociateMIT Center for Advanced Urbanism

Sep.2017 - June.2018


Geospatial Analytics

Ofo Bike, Greater Boston Area

May.2017 - Dec.2017 

Intern in Historic Preservation Office, Shanghai Municipal Administration of Planning and Land Resources,

Jun. 2012 - Jul. 2012

Intern Architect, ZAO / STANDARDARCHITECTURE, Beijing, P.R.China


Yongjia Li Reconstruction & Urban Design Project

Project Architect, ADOS + TS Architect, Shanghai, P.R.China

Nov.2010- Jul.2015


Chief designer and team leader, Exhibition Pavilion for '2009 Shanghai International Green-Eco Building Technology Trade Fair';

Sep 2009



Research Associate, at MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, 2017.09-2018.06

Abu Dhabi Scenario Planning

PI: Prof. Alan Berger
Metabolic flows simulation in neighborhood scale, design and visualization of parcel scale and neighborhood scale urban design interventions, carbon emission modeling

MIT CAU Affordable Housing Exhibition

PI: Prof. Adele Santos

Data mining, and visualization of global scale affordable housing issues such as population live in slums, urban poverty, rural poverty distribution, affordability index, flood risks, population growth, GDP growth, and settlement  footprints.


STL Fellow, Research Assistant, at MIT STL Real Estate Lab, 2015.09-2017.05

STL China Talk Series Student Manager

PI: Dr. Hong & Zhengzhen
Propose topics and speakers on China's Urbanization, invite speakers, promote events, write event review, edit video and post on STL website and wechat).

Research Assistant, at MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU), 2015.09-2017.05
Strategies for Urban Stormwater Wetlands, Los Angeles and Houston

PI: Prof. Heidi Nepf, Prof. Alan Berger & Celina Balderas Guzman

Run fluid dynamic simulation on physical models; Develop data analysis script based on videos of the physical simulation; Scripts to generate wetland proposals with computational tools.

Researcher Associate, Evidence for Policy Design

(EPoD), Harvard Kennedy School, 2016.09-2017.05
Commute Costs and Labor Force Participation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

PI: Jawaher Al Sudairy (Senior Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School)
Analysis operation data from local ridesharing company in Riyadh, building regression model between travel time/money cost and demography data in neighborhoods.

Web Developer, at MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU), 2016.09-2017.01
Developing Littoral Gradient Atlas (www.littoralgradient.com)

PI: Fadi Masoud and Prof. Brent Ryan
Design and develop the online map platform which archives and visualizes the research of Chinese coastal reclamation projects.


Project Assistant, at MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU), 2016.07-2016.08
Rural Urbanism: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China

PI: Prof. Adèle Naudé Santos & Prof. Rafi Segal
Maps, design drawings, diagrams, and the layout of the book "Rural Urbanism".


Exhibition Assistant, "Riyadh | Big Data Visualization and Society", 2016.10-2016.11
Design Keller Gallery's wall with the visualization of tweets on congestion, prayer, and total

PI: Prof. Sarah Williams, Carlos Sandoval Olascoaga

Parse tweet contents in Riyadh by Python and investigate do people use social media to complain about traffic congestion and do they use social media to pray.

Researcher Associate, Department of Urban Planning, Tongji University, 2015.03-2015.05
Re-development and Assessment System for Industrial Land (Patent: CN105678657A)

PI: Prof. YU Yifan (Professor of Urban Planning at Tongji University)
Online platform that visualize industrial lands and assesses potential pollution in Shanghai.



Ph.D. in Regional Science, Cornell University, USA

Focus: location theory, operational research, transportation system engineering

Committee: Kieran Donaghy, David B. Shmoys, Samitha Samaranayake

Cornell University Fellowship (Full tuition + full stipend)

M.CP. in City Design and Development, MIT, USA

Research Assistant, STL Lab @ MIT,  Center for Advanced Urbanism @ MIT, Evidence for Policy Design @ Havard Kennedy School

M.ARCH. Urban Design, with Distinction, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, UK

B.E Urban Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai, P.R.China


Language: Fluent English, Mandarin Chinese

Fabrication: robotic arm, 3D print

Coding: Python, RStudio, Grasshopper, Processing, Java Script

Graphic & Rendering: AutoCAD, Adobe Design Suite, Piranesi, Podium, V-ray, Lumion

3D Modeling: Rhino, SketchUp, Auto CAD

Film Editing: Adobe Premiere, Ulead Video Studio


  • Forbes China 30 Under 30 (2019, Art and Fashion)

  • Hangzhou Jianggan District QiMingXing Entrepreneurship 100 People Plan

  • Cornell University Fellowship 2018-2021 (100% tuition + 100% stipend)

  • AI for Earth Microsoft Azure Compute Grant, Microsoft ($ 15,000 Azure credits)

  • The MIT-Tsinghua Future City Innovation Connector (FCIC) 2019 Cohort ($ 8,000 travel grant)

  • Mellon Urbanism Fellowship 2019 Spring, ($1,500)

  • Graduate School Conference Travel Grant, 2018- 2019, Cornell University ($ 650)

  • The Cornell Hospitality Hackathon with Hilton, Challange 2, 1st Prize

  • MIT Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship graduate student fellowship (50% tuition + $1,300 monthly stipend, 2015-2017)

  • MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism RAship (50% tuition + $1,300 monthly stipend, 2015-2017)

  • 2018 Shanghai Urban Design Competition, Pudong Mingshen Dock Site, 3rd Prize, by Shanghai Planning Bureau, P.R.China

  • 2016 Shanghai Urban Design Competition, Xuhui Site, 3rd Prize, by Shanghai Planning Bureau, P.R.China

  • 2016 Shanghai Urban Design Competition, Hengfu Site, Finalist, by Shanghai Planning Bureau, P.R.China

  • 2012 CTBUH Student Design Competition, Semi-Finalist Award, by Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat [CTBUH]

  • 2012 CUPEN National Students Urban Design Competition, 2nd Prize, by China Urban Planning Education Network [CUPEN]

  • 2012 CGBA National Green Buildings Design Competition, 3rd Prize, by China Green Building Association [CGBA]

  • Shanghai 2040 Plan Student Competition, Honorary Award, by Urban Planning Society of Shanghai, P.R.China

  • 2010 4th International Collegiate Snow Sculpture Contest, 3rd Prize, by National Instructive Committee of Industrial Design Education

  • Shanghai Outstanding Graduates, by the Education Committee of Shanghai Government, P.R.China

  • The 1st JWDA-Tongji US Travelling Scholarship, by Tongji University and JWDA Ltd.

  • Excellent College Student Scholarship [4 Times], by Tongji University, P.R.China



Book Chapter

  • Qiu, W. (2017). RollDeck. In Senseable Guide to Amsterdam 2. MIT School of Architecture and Planning. Retrieved from http://senseable.mit.edu/papers/pdf/20170525_SCL_Guide_Amsterdam-Roboat.pdf

  • Qiu, W., Jia, Z., Luo, G., & Chen, Y. (2014). Re-tailing City. In M.Arch. UD 2013-2014 (pp. 111–114). Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

  • Qiu, W., Dai, L., Liu, G., & Qin, M. (2012). Visioning Movable Shopping Malls on the Water. In 2040 Spatial Scenario of Shanghai. Tongji University Press.

Peer-reviewed Journal Paper

  • Williams, S., Qiu, W., Awwad, Z., & Alfayez, A. (2019). Commuting for Women in Saudi Arabia : Metro to Driving - Options to Support Women Employment. Journal of Transport Geography, 77, 126–138. 

  • Guzman, C. B., Cohen, S., Xavier, M., Swingle, T., Qiu, W., & Nepf, H. (2018). Island topographies to reduce short-circuiting in stormwater detention ponds and treatment wetlands. Ecological Engineering, 117, 182–193

  • Birge, D., Sneha, M., Qiu, W. & Berger, A. (2019). Potential for sustainable tree landscaping in hot arid regions: A case study of Emirati neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi. Landscape and Urban Planning. (Accepted)

  • Li, X., Cai, B. Y., Qiu, W., Zhao, J., & Ratti, C. (n.d.). A novel method for predicting and mapping the presence of sun glare using Google Street View. Landscape and Urban Planning. (Revision, under review) 

  • Qiu, W. (2012). Measuring Cyclist Behavior In Shanghai. Urban Construction Theory Research, 341.



Media Exposure


Research Paper

Design Research Book

  • Qiu, W. (2014). Introduction to Critical Territory. Urban Planning International, 341.

  • Guzman, C. B., Nepf, H., Berger, A., Swingle, T., Qiu, W., Cohen, S., … Susskind, J. (2018). Design Guidelines for Urban Stormwater Wetlands. MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism. Retrieved from http://lcau.mit.edu/sites/lcau.mit.edu/files/attachments/project/Design%20Guidelines_Web%20Version.pdf

  • MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism. (2018). A Live-Work Neighborhood for Low-Income Households in Cartagena, Colombia. issuu. Retrieved January 2, 2019, from https://issuu.com/prurobinson/docs/05_07_2018_housing__cartagena-final

  • MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism. (2018). High-Altitude Urbanism in the Lurin Valley, Peru. issuu. Retrieved January 2, 2019, from https://issuu.com/prurobinson/docs/05_07_2018_housing__peru-final-lrs

  • Rural Urbanism, MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU)

  • Role: project assistant, contributed on the paragraphs, mapping, final design renders and the book layout.PI: Prof. Adèle & Prof. Rafi, 

  • Porous Neighborhood, studio work featured in book <Planning Practice: Studios + Workshops 2005-2015>, MIT SA+P, {ISBN 978-0-692-39187-7}

  • Rural China: Report On Chinese Rural Settlements 2010, & Rural Community: Planning Standard & Design Studies, Tongji University PressRole: project assistant, contributed to reports and mappings of rural villages settlements in Southern China{ISBN 978-7-5608-4635-4}, {ISBN 978-7-112-13938-5}, PI: Prof. YANG Guiqing

© 2022 by Waishan QIU