A Living Laboratory

Ten Across Logo. Number 10 intertwined with an X

The Interstate 10 corridor may provide the most compelling window on the future of the U.S., one which presents the challenges of the 21st century in the highest relief. This singular transect strings together the most pressing societal, economic, political, urban, and environmental issues of our time. As such, it offers a laboratory for understanding the present condition and the creation of new narratives for the future.

10X frames the “emergent” and most rapidly expanding portion of the nation, a unique American landscape shaped by 20th century technologies (particularly the automobile), demographic change, and delicate ecosystems profoundly transformed by human intervention. The project is knowingly situated in time between one of the most frequently-cited demonstrations of long-range federal investment (the National Interstate and Defensive Highways Act of 1956) and a period of narrowing consensus and optimism. Following the US I-10 corridor, 10X spans the three most populous states (CA, TX, FL) and three of the five largest cities. It intersects with critical ports, energy infrastructure, immigrant populations, and the site of the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina. This singular east-west axis demonstrates in living detail the most urgent American and global issues of the 21st century: water, energy, climate change, income disparity, public health, border security, and globalization, among others.

Course Corrections
10X is proposed as a platform for reviewing past decision-making, unstable present conditions, and the “course corrections” required to achieve a more sustainable and inclusive society. By bringing this region into sharp focus through close readings of physical, social, economic, and cultural constructs, 10X will serve as living laboratory for understanding the present we have constructed and the creation of new scripts for the future. 

The goal of 10X is to build a durable collective interest network, one that serves as a reliable and compelling resource for an array of users. 10X is designed to be a long-term project, one that is enriched by repeated passes across the I-10, literally and figuratively, in order to understand who we are, what we value, and how our desires are registered in the built environment. The project is actuated through participation from an expanding index of individuals, generations, universities, communities, organizations, municipalities, corporations, and keen observers of all kinds, and will cast a wide net to collect varied approaches to ways of knowing (direct experience, remote sensing, data analytics, dialog, media, science, the arts, and others). A significant underlying intent of 10X is to establish a durable media/event platform which invites participation from a variety of contributors, can be responsive to contemporary issues, and supports multiple passes over the study area, indefinitely. Collaborations between participating organizations will be an essential aspect of the project, and 10X will act as a compelling platform for their work. ASU has a spectrum of affiliated units dedicated to communications and event staging with regional/national footprints which can jumpstart communication efforts.

CLICK HERE for more information on this compelling project.


10X Overview Video

Preventing Predictable Disasters | ASU KEDtalks®️ featuring Duke Reiter

Project Highlights


Enriched by repeated passes across the I-10- literally and virtually- 10X demonstrates how a specific piece of infrastructure and shared latitude is a special binding agent and catalyst for revelatory exchange.

10X is propelled by three questions:
HOW DO WE KNOW?  10X will draw heavily on the nuanced observations of those living, working and adapting to changing circumstances across this singular transect in their own voices.

WHAT DO WE KNOW?  Networked sensors, earth observing technologies, and digital visualization tools have opened new vistas of understanding and removed any possibility of not realizing the impact of human habitation on the environment.  

WHAT FUTURE WILL WE CHOOSE?  The environment, built and natural, is filled with signals.  10X will generate a more informed awareness of our options for a more sustainable and inclusive future and need for a more robust decision-making process.

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10X Water Summit Outcomes

  • Impactful partnerships with 10X as a durable platform for the exchange of observations, ideas, and solutions.
  • Deep understanding of the interaction of natural and manmade systems, enabled by powerful computation and visualization tools.
  • Policy innovation across political boundaries, driven by the parallel demands placed on the Colorado and Mississippi Rivers.
  • Foresight and vision as demonstrated by projects and initiatives from the respective 10X cities and metro regions.
  • Compelling narratives which catalyze the required resources and the will to confront projects of unprecedented scale and urgency.

2019 10X Water Summit

The second annual 10X Water Summit addressed the realities of water, including increased demand, diminishing resources, more frequent inundation, and even questions of retreat pressed by such circumstances. In addition to case studies from across the 10X spectrum and the related science, special emphasis was placed on communication of complex and urgent issues to a public that is challenged to respond to an unprecedented flow of fact, fiction and uncertainty.

CLICK HERE to access all the videos of the 2019 10X Water Summit sessions.

2018 10X Water Summit

Balanced between the two extremes of drought and coastal degradation, the 2018 10X Water Summit explored the complexities of water—whether too much or too little and our capacity to respond to matters of such great magnitude. 

CLICK HERE to access all the videos of the 2018 10X Water Summit sessions.

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Related News

“What Louisiana knows so well is what communities around the world are learning — preparing for the last disaster isn’t enough.”

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards views the potential for transforming coastal habitats in his state as an unprecedented opportunity. The 10X Water Summit is just one more collaborative step in Louisiana’s continuing advancement in technologies, science and knowledge that not only benefit the future survival of our coastal communities, but have applications to other states, regions and communities around the world.



The crisis at Lake Mead is about more than just a lack of water; rather how well we plan to use the water. There are signs that precede the data, visible information that asks us to pause and reflect on the potential implications (AZ Republic). READ MORE

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Journalists who report on major environmental issues — climate change, excess water and drought — often struggle to find effective ways to connect their stories to the public. The challenge is to “make it seem immediate for people,” said Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for the New York Times, who often writes about climate change..