PLAN 81

At the World Economic Forum this year, I chaired a Global Action Committee on Infrastructure and Urban Development, an international team of experts charged with the task of finding new approaches to urban planning.
The challenge is nothing less than urgent. More than half the world’s population currently lives in cities and by 2050 that number will have grown to two-thirds or more. Over the next twenty years, China and India alone will need to build entirely new cities to accommodate 600 million more people. And with
more than 1000 megacities—cities with populations of more than ten million—currently financed or under construction in 30 countries, it’s no wonder urbanism is the hottest of topics right now.
Because of our school’s expertise in this area—we have a long history in urbanism, going all the way back to Kevin Lynch— we are increasingly being approached for help in addressing this topic. Our faculty have recently traveled to Moscow, Mexico, Rome and China to consult on urban growth; we have just completed a study for an innovation park in Shanghai; and the President of Mexico has unveiled a massive urban regeneration scheme that was developed by SA+P’s Dennis Frenchman and Carlo Ratti.
The current focus on urbanism provides us all with a catalyst for devising bold new models of growth. In Davos, our Global Action Committee launched a long-term effort to do exactly that by creating an open-source online format for compiling case studies in urban dynamics, in hopes of generating a flood of good ideas for addressing our future. You can find details in the story that follows the foldout in this issue. We invite you to join the effort.

In this issue:

A Trusted and Valued Advisor and Colleague

Lois Craig, Associate Dean of SA+P in the 1980s and early 90s, died March 23 in Chicago after a long illness. She was 82.

A trusted and valued advisor to many architecture students and graduates during her years at MIT, Craig was highl...

Professional Workshops Focus on Environmental Sustainability

In December, two SA+P alumni conducted a workshop in Istanbul that brought together 24 young architects, planners and engineers – half from Armenia, half from Turkey – for a weeklong series of lectures, discussions and site vi...

Contest Focused on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

A team of ten MIT students – seven of them from SA+P – won two awards in the first Better Buildings Case Competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy. The competition challenged students to develop practical solutions to increas...

The Disobedience Archive Comes to SA+P

The lobby gallery of SA+P’s new Media Lab Complex is the site of an exhibit this spring exploring video works by artists working at the intersection of art and political activism.

Founded in 2005, and since exhibited around the wo...

Creative Responses to Devastation
By Darren Bennett

At the end of the fall semester, students of the class Zones of Emergency: Art as Intervention – Creative Responses...

The Culminating Event of ACSA’s Centennial Celebration

The annual meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) was convened at MIT this spring, culminating a series of events associated with the organization’s centennial celebration.

The annual meetin...

Prizes, Commissions, Exhibits, Awards

Several members of SA+P’s architecture faculty have received distinctive recognition lately.

Department head Nader Tehrani was honored by AIANY with a 2012 Design Award for Unbuilt Work, a category that generally covers the...

A Score of Presentations Reflecting Remarkable Reach and Diversity

This year’s World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, featured five professors from SA+P – nearly half of MIT’s entire contingent of twelve academics – delivering presentations that ranged from the future of urban deve...

MIT Center Moves into its New Digs

With the help of its generous alumni, the MIT Center for Real Estate and the Master of Science in Real Estate Program (MSRED) settled into their new location this spring overlooking Mass Ave in the heart of the School of Architecture + Planning.

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A Series of Focused Efforts in Disaster Resiliency

Since the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan last year, a number of efforts have been undertaken at SA+P to help with reconstruction efforts. The series of studios and workshops are a part of the MIT Japan 3/11 Initiativ...

Rethinking 50s Era ‘New Towns’

Students from SA+P traveled to Israel in January for a ten-day collaborative workshop with Tel Aviv University's Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design (TAU LCUD).

The workshop was one part of a semester-long studio, under the direction of SA+P’...

The Mellon Foundation Grants MIT $1.5M in Funding

MIT has received a four-year $1.5M grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a new Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST).

A joint initiative of SA+P with the Office of the Provost and the School of Humaniti...

New Developments in Way Finding

Finding one’s way around a large unfamiliar building can sometimes present a major challenge, but researchers at the Media Lab have come up with a pair of new approaches to solving wayfinding problems.

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