Artist Matthew Mazzotta (SMVisS ’09) has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 20 change-makers from around the world to deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver. Mazzotta was selected for his artistic work with communities and their public spaces, working together with local residents to transform underutilized buildings into unique new civic spaces that provoke critical dialogue and restore human connection.

“TED’s ability to make ideas accessible to a wide range of people is inspiring and I am honored to be invited to share my work on this platform.” – Matthew Mazzotta

Mazzotta works at the intersection of art, activism, and urbanism, focusing on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. His community-specific public projects integrate new forms of civic participation and social engagement into the built environment and reveal how the spaces we travel through and spend our time living within have the potential to become distinct sites for intimate, radical, and meaningful exchanges. Through his process, each project starts by creating temporary public spaces for listening – ‘Outdoor Living Room’ – as a way to capture voices from local people that might not attend more formal meetings.

Stemming from this approach are experiences that involve people from a range of backgrounds working together to create new models of living that contribute to local culture beyond the economic realm. Mazzotta received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology, a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University, and is currently a Guggenheim Fellow.

Said TED Fellows director Shoham Arad, “TED Fellows are an incredibly diverse group but they all have at least one thing in common: they are tackling extremely important problems in a unique and brilliant way. This year’s class is no exception. We are so excited to support them and their important work – and can’t wait for them to share their ideas at TED this year.”

Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now has 492 Fellows from 99 countries. In its eleven-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond.

Full TED2020 Fellows announcement

About the TED Fellows program

The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities, a Fellows Retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring, dedicated PR coaching and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network.