MIT’s legendary Building 20 was a temporary structure built for the war effort in 1943 that later ended up housing a motley crew of researchers from many different fields of science. Random encounters between scientists resulted in cross-pollination of ideas that produced as many as nine Nobel winners, modern linguistics, and the first atomic clock among many other things . The cross-pollination principles of Building 20 were said to have been adopted by Steve Jobs for the design of Pixar’s studio.

We have designed our group in a way that increases the “bump factor” between different and seemingly unrelated disciplines in order to arrive at solutions that are out of reach for the more traditional groups. In a way, the team is like the cast of Heroes (season one): a group of ordinary citizens with offbeat superpowers.


Photo album


Andres Hernandez is the group’s information designer who ensures the information the group’s researchers uncover is clear and impactful. He studied digital arts and design at Full Sail University, and then worked at Ogilvy & Mather in Bogota, Colombia on ad campaigns.
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Blair Ballard helps to uncover what you don’t know you don’t know about yourself. She has focused on developing a paradigm of implicit motivations, exploring the predictive power of pleasure and arousal on behavior, and coming up with various implicit research methodologies to turn that information into actionable strategies. Blair graduated from Duke University with a degree in cognitive psychology and economics.

Remy Lupica identifies cultural and behavioral patterns within primary consumer data. His work includes measuring Twitter pages’ impact on brand loyalty, studying the fragmenting of pop culture into “bubble ecosystems”, and exploring the nature of empathy. Remy studied consumer psychology at Duke University, and can be found playing soccer in his spare time.
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Domenic Dion spent three years researching language pathology as well the differences in the perceptive mechanisms we use to see and isolate stimuli in the world around us at Boston University. He uses this interdisciplinary approach to analyze the disparity of what people say versus what they do with a healthy mix of computation and intuition to better inform his coworkers and clients.

Jared Adler looks at how rappers use insurance brand names as metaphors in their lyrics, how people catalog their experience with a major storm and how the emotional intensity of their tweets changed as the storm approached them, and how people ask for and receive recommendations for service providers in social networks. Studied economics at Rice. In his spare time, Jared observes and builds Twitter bots.
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Angelina Zhou applies frameworks of human-centered design to research, analysis, and innovation. Her interests collide at the intersection of the arts, culture, technology, and entrepreneurship. Previous projects have focused on urban placemaking, art as social practice, and culture economies in contemporary China. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with a concentration in comparative international visual studies.
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Ilya Vedrashko leads the CBI practice. He studied virtual culture at the University of Sofia and graduated from MIT with MSc in media studies. His work appeared at Fast Company, The New York Times, Techcrunch, AdAge, Mashable, Wired and other publications. Most recently, he contributed to Spreadable Media (NYU Press, 2013).
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Alumni
Shakira MacLyons
Jenna Swan-Gross
Neha Leela Ruch
Clarissa Hillen
Robert St. Loius
Chris Sherrill
Laura Nelson
Karen Hu
Christopher van der Lugt
Bill Letson
Henry Bruce