Global Cities, Model Worlds is a project about the spatial and social impacts of mega-events, specifically Olympic games and World’s Fairs. The host cities of these mega-events seek to transform themselves through planning, architecture and ideology, hoping to become “global cities” in the process. Locally, mega-events pave the way for redevelopment projects that can create new public resources such as parks or transportation, but also often result in significant displacement of residents or industry, thus reinforcing existing social inequities. Global Cities, Model Worlds asks viewers to contrast the promises of transformation with on-the-ground realities of urban development in an installation that combines the modular aesthetics of Buckminster Fuller with aerial photography, scale models, and pedagogical design. It was produced with generous funding and support from the Graham Foundation, the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon, and the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon. The work below is installed at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg and Gallery 400 in Chicago.