It seemed not too long ago that alternative realities were indeed the purview of all architectural projects. But as that notion (and term) got swept into the vortex of contemporary media and politics, swirling now dangerously close to the drain, real alternatives seem ever more urgently necessary. The 2017 M.Arch Theses included here operate on the edge where contemporary environmental, cultural and political transformations meet the discipline and the profession of architecture. Their premises are radically real and their conception of architectural agency hopeful.
Feb 16, 2017 to Apr 7, 2017
Feb 16, 2017 to Apr 14, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 16, 5:30 - 7pm, Wolk Gallery (7-338)
Talk by Volker Staab, principal of Staab Architects, Berlin; respondent: Annemarie Jaeggi, Director of Bauhaus Archive, Berlin, 7 - 8:30pm, Long Lounge (7-429), following the reception in Wolk Gallery.
Nov 17, 2016 to Jan 20, 2017
The Big Data, Visualization, and Society course (Spring 2016) worked with cell phone and social media data provided by the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to visualize policy questions around the development of Riyadh’s subway system, which is currently under development. Students analyzed the data with support from MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab (CDDL), HumNet Lab, Center for Complex Engineering (CCES) and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
Nov 5, 2016 to Nov 11, 2016
ΣΕΠΤΕΜΒΡΙΑΝA / SEPTEMBER 55
Keller Gallery, Room 7-408
On view from Saturday November 5, to Friday November 11, 9 AM - 6 PM.
September 55 is a 10-minute virtual-reality documentary of the Istanbul Pogrom, a government-initiated organized attack on the minorities of Istanbul on September 6-7, 1955. This interactive installation places the viewer in a photography studio in the midst of the pogrom, allowing one to witness the events from the perspective of a local shop-owner.
Sep 23, 2016 to Nov 1, 2016
Thinness revels in the enduring power of the one-dimensional. Lines – here acting as projected proxies for the radically thin surfaces that have preoccupied Gunadi Lamere Design’s (GLD) research and installation work – prescribe geometries, define volumes, isolate atmospheres and impart structure. In deploying singular thin surfaces to such disparate ends, the work challenges traditional notions of architectural enclosure and its representation, eschewing aggregate thickness for bare linearity.
Sep 8, 2016 to Jan 13, 2017
Architecture at the End of the Earth explores the Russian North and its multifaceted architectural legacy through the photographs of the historian, slavicist and photographer William Craft Brumfield. Over the past four decades, Brumfield has traveled extensively in Russia, documenting and photographing the country’s diverse architecture. What began as a sporadic endeavor evolved into a multi-decade archiving project, which has been recognized in the United States and Russia for its historical as well as artistic accomplishment.
May 13, 2016 to Jun 5, 2016
The Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT) second year graduates present spats and seductions, dialogues and debates, between people and their built environment.
May 4, 2016 to Apr 14, 2017
Dean's Office Gallery
The School of Architecture + Planning investigates the "Space of Learning" in a new exhibit, featuring research from faculty and students that explores the place-based collaborations of the MIT research community.
Apr 20, 2016 to Aug 19, 2016
In his treatise ‘The Nature of Gothic’, the English writer and theoretician John Ruskin identified six defining characteristics of the Gothic; however, Ruskin encountered a problem. Most buildings contain some, but very few contain all of his characteristics. Thus, Ruskin decided to evade rigid classification by suggesting that buildings may exhibit “Gothicness” to a “greater or less degree.” With the suffix ‘ness’, Ruskin’s Gothic becomes a movement embedded in a social agenda.
Apr 7, 2016 to May 6, 2016
To call oneself a worker, or to label an activity as work and designate a space for it, is to move away from the stigma of amateurism and toward political action, economic viability, social relevance, and acceptance. Featuring artistic and design contributions from the current issue of thresholds, the MIT Department of Architecture's annual journal, The Contingent Space of Work presents creative responses to the mercurial designations of work, worker, and workspace within the contemporary rise of digital working platforms and immaterial products.
Mar 10, 2016 to Apr 1, 2016
Cities today are the cumulative product of codes and standards that have directed how people use, construct, and shape their environments. By extrapolating the legends of land use maps, this timeline seeks to expose how landmark codes and ordinances have shaped the North American landscape. The legend in isolation, free from its associations, reveal the the often reductive, scientific rationality of the code in contrast to the fluid networks of landscapes and communities. Charting the historical development of codes and standards, we see two conditions emerge over time.
Feb 5, 2016 to Apr 8, 2016
In a long and distinguished career, British photographer Eric de Maré (1910-2002) embraced a wide range of subjects, from eighteenth and nineteenth century architecture to contemporary practice. Trained as an architect in the 1930s, he was able to interpret architectural landscapes lucidly through words as well as images, writing and illustrating dozens of articles and over twenty books. His popular publications included The Canals of England (1950), Bridges of Britain (1954), London's Riverside (1958), and Photography and Architecture (1961).
Feb 1, 2016 to Feb 20, 2016
Carl Lostritto and Lucy Liu
Landlines: Drawing Terrain is an exhibition of drawings that reflect on the capacity of line to represent a contentious surface. There are eight methods of representing islands in this exhibition; the grouping of drawings positions these methods in relation to one another. There are a total of 24 drawings and 6 animations, organized into eight sets: projecting, hatching, growing, graining, slitting, animating, dashing, and boiding.
Nov 12, 2015 to Jan 4, 2016
“Orbital debris poses a risk to continued reliable use of space-based services and operations and to the safety of persons and property in space and on Earth,” observe both NASA and the European Space Agency. What is space debris? Space debris is the collection of defunct objects such as satellite explosions and collisions, spent rocket stages, old satellites and fragments from disintegration, all of which orbit the Earth. Such material byproducts of the space age and the information age pose collision risks with operational space objects.
Sep 10, 2015 to Dec 23, 2015
The Arab World uprisings inspired a wide range of creative expression. Activists, protesters and artists repeatedly adopted art forms to express opposition to incumbent governments and members of the ruling elite. Visual and performed methods of dissent appeared in the streets, where protests and sit-ins were held, and online, for both local and international viewership.
Apr 30, 2015 to Jul 31, 2015
A multimedia exhibit focusing on the impressive role of women policymakers and social entrepreneurs in Malaysia. The exhibition is part of a five-year partnership between MIT and the Universiti Teknologi of Malaysia (UTM) to study development efforts in Malaysia and to create materials to enhance and extend the teaching of sustainable city development in universities across the global South.
Mar 2, 2015 to Apr 18, 2015
The exhibit compares two seemingly disparate projects, Ordos 20+10 and the New Hampshire Retreat, to reveal their common preoccupation with the figural clarity of architectural typology. These two projects negotiate the constraints and conventions of type by introducing the bespoke, the aberrant, and the unique in addressing the specificities of each architectural challenge in inventive ways.
Feb 5, 2015 to Apr 17, 2015
Building Discourse is a collection of nearly fifty faculty members’ research and design projects. The projects collected represent the recent work of faculty in all five discipline groups: Architectural Design; Art, Culture and Technology; History, Theory and Criticism; Building Technology; and Computation.
Nov 6, 2014 to Dec 19, 2014
Programming Materials presents a series of investigations on unique material compositions that are designed to become highly dynamic in form and function. These materials, including carbon fiber, wood, plastic and textile composites, are easy to produce, as cost-effective as traditional materials, and allow for unprecedented possibilities like adaptive aerodynamics, flat-pack shipping and self-reconfiguration.
Sep 12, 2014 to Oct 15, 2014
What would the Incas create today with their advanced knowledge of precision stone carving and our contemporary technology? Round Room is a translation of the Inca wedge method into a digital process that manifests in the Baroque tradition of the interior model. This mash-up of cultures and times productively reconsiders how we define space—volumetrically.
Sep 5, 2014 to Dec 19, 2014
Since the Industrial Revolution, cities and industry have grown and evolved together. Despite this shared past, popular notions of urban industry tend to focus on the negative aspects of manufacturing: pollution, environmental degradation, and the exploitation of labor caused by industry.
May 15, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014
Collectivity After Orthography
Housing and Drawing: two long, modern shadows whose dark space conceals the fact that each has ceased to exist. Were they in fact the same shadowed surface, illuminated by a single light, which during modernity had twisted back upon itself so as to appear two-sided? If so, architectural reasoning must come to terms with a reality in which politics and technics are simply two names given to the same primal impulse: to live together, rather than merely survive on one's own.
Apr 3, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014
Hans Scharoun: Architect and Visionary focuses on the graphic art of Hans Scharoun (1893-1972), known today for architecture of profound humanism and expressionism.
Extending from his earliest preserved drawings from 1908 to graphics for posthumous projects, the exhibit includes rarely-seen visionary and expressionistic watercolor renderings from the 1940s.
Apr 3, 2014 to May 6, 2014
Surreptitious Urbanisms is a synoptic preview of a comprehensive exhibition and publication exploring the history and international manifestations of the multilevel city. The installation surveys some of the key topics to be explored in an exhibition and book about global skyway cities scheduled to open at the Walker Art Center in early 2016. Through an examination of the history of elevated pedestrian networks within the larger context of the multilevel city, it traces various motivations to create “streets above streets.” The full exhibition will focus on 14 cities — At
Mar 6, 2014 to Mar 23, 2014
We’re tired of holding back. For too long we’ve been embarrassed to admit that we really like hanging out in stationery shops, that we missed dinner (again) just because we couldn’t find the right shade of white museum board, that we can tell the difference between Strathmore and Bristol by smell, and that we stayed up all night not to finish our model but only to hand cut different scalies to populate it with. We’re sorry that we lied, we’re sorry that we ruined so many relationships, we’re sorry this is so nerdy, but we are here to finally just admit our love for…. tools.
Dec 6, 2013 to Mar 21, 2014
The Work of Azra Akšamija
Solidarity Works presents recent work by Azra Akšamija, Class of 1922 Career Development Professor in the Department of Architecture and Assistant Professor of the Arts in SA+P’s Art, Culture and Technology Program.
Solidarity Works explores how art and architecture can act as vehicles for community making, both real and imagined, and generate a sense of solidarity in times of conflict and crisis.
Oct 30, 2013 to Nov 23, 2013
Distances between places around the world are being dematerialized by constantly diversifying and quickening modes of transportation and distribution of people, materials, and information. These global flows, however, still land in local places. As cities grow denser with people, infrastructure, and this bombardment of global connection, the frictions between competing interests for finite territory is heightened, particularly at the urban waterfront where global flows meet local shores.
Oct 10, 2013 to Oct 24, 2013
The work of Yihyun Lim and Nathan Friedman approaches the subject of the contemporary landscape from opposite ends; one revealing a string of site specific conditions and the other constructing an adaptive terrain. Together, their work asserts a complexity of landscape counterpoint to its passive popular image.
Sep 9, 2013 to Sep 28, 2013
Gherman Titov was the second man to orbit the earth and the first to sleep in space. He was also the first to orbit the earth multiple times, photograph the earth from space with his own camera, and remains the youngest person ever in space.
Sep 3, 2013 to Nov 15, 2013
The Work of SLAB Studio, Annette Kim
Sidewalk City presents the latest experimental maps developed by the MIT Sidewalk Laboratory (SLAB), a research group developing new methods of mapping in order to re-conceptualize urban space and find more inclusive ways to design and govern the 21st century city.
May 12, 2013 to Jun 3, 2013
Curated by Timothy Cooke (SMArchS BT) and Andrew Ferentinos (SMArchS Urbanism)
May 7, 2013 to Aug 16, 2013
Obsolescence as a model of impermanence in architecture emerged a century ago with advances in technology and society causing even recent buildings to be rapidly devalued and made expendable. As demolitions increased, expectations of building lifespans grew shorter and shorter – the US tax code mapped out increasingly brief building lives for depreciation purposes and planners applied the concept to whole neighborhoods and cities.
Apr 18, 2013 to May 9, 2013
Filson and Rohrbacher deliver a status report on AtFAB, a series of customizable, downloadable furniture objects designed for distributed CNC manufacturing and DIY. Incremental Change presents the furniture objects, parameter design and interface with an update on the project’s increasing global reach. AtFAB started as a demonstration of how networked digital fabrication might reduce the embedded energy in things, connect designers more directly to their markets, and enable new possibilities of self-initiated design practice.
Mar 14, 2013 to Apr 18, 2013
For us, the Keller Gallery at MIT was a context to graft some thoughts around architecture. As if lifted from our studio in Italy and planted directly within MIT, a working table of suggestions, models, drawings and sketches composes the central space of the gallery. Situated at a register just above the floor, a physical move is required by the observer to look at each piece. While allowing the perception of a general atmosphere from the standing position, it’s the visitor’s choice to stop and pay attention to one detail.
Feb 22, 2013 to Mar 8, 2013
FAIR USE is a timeline of historical instances, characters, trajectories, theories, and court cases that together begin to describe the realm of appropriation in architecture. It was compiled during the Fall 2012 research workshop at MIT, 4.184 Appropriation: The Work of Architecture in the Age of Copyright, instructed by Ana Miljački and Sarah Hirschman.
4.184 Participants: Kyle Barker, Christianna Bonin, Daniela Covarrubias, Erioseto Hendranata, Juan Jofre, Alexander Marshall, Nicholas Polansky, Kelly Presutti, Kamyar Rahimi, Mikaila Waters, Travis Williams.
Feb 7, 2013 to Apr 18, 2013
Photographs by Michele Nastasi
On April 6, 2009, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the medieval city of L’Aquila in central Italy. Three hundred people lost their lives and 70,000 were left homeless by the catastrophe, and eighty percent of the historic center of the city was destroyed or damaged. Government response in the months that followed focused on new residential construction to house the thousands of displaced residents. The historic center was cleared of debris and stabilized but remained a “zona rossa”, uninhabited and closed to public access.
Nov 29, 2012 to Dec 17, 2012
Certain Aspects of Architectural Form is an exhibition showing fifteen selected projects of the office of William O'Brien Jr. developed between 2009-2012. On display are fifteen illuminated diptychs of architectural visualizations, fifteen ideograms, and a comprehensive catalogue of the selected works.
Sep 27, 2012 to Nov 12, 2012
Architects make objects. Chairs, famously, but also models, prototypes, tests, and toys. Many of the objects in this show are for sale somewhere, but that no longer means that they were mass-produced. The advent of rapid prototyping technologies has made short fabrication runs possible, which means less risk and more play. Being able to produce objects on demand rather than in bulk upends traditional economies of scale and allows the small practice to operate like a very big one.
Sep 5, 2012 to Dec 28, 2012
William W. Wruster (1875-1973) was a pioneer of twentieth century modernist architecture and one of the most influential architectural educators of the twentieth century. Born in Stockton, California, he had a decisive impact on modernist architecture in Northern California, designing restrained and often modest buildings that were harmonious with their site conditions and used regional materials and ways of building.
Jun 8, 2012 to Sep 12, 2012
Platforms for Exchange: Multitude, Media and Material
East Cambridge Public Library at Lechmere
M.Arch. Core 2 Studio, Spring 2012
Instructors: Joel Lamere, Ana Miljacki (coordinator), Cristina Parreno
Teaching Assistants: Masoud Akbarzadeh, Michela Barone Lumaga, Sasa Zivkovic
May 3, 2012 to May 29, 2012
Before the Waterworks Museum in Chestnut Hill, Boston was restored and opened to the public in 2011, it suffered decades of neglect, disuse, and looting. Built in 1887, designed by Arthur Vinal, Boston City Architect at the time, to pump water from the nearby reservoir into the Boston water system, the building also housed the first testing lab for municipal water in the country. Rescued from demolition by concerned citizen groups and developers, the Waterworks has been restored as a museum, and many ancillary buildings have now become residences.
Apr 13, 2012 to Apr 29, 2012
Transient and marginal, queer space dissolves mainstream binaries and counters alienation while providing a misfit haven. An enduring narrative of resistance has developed from queer identities, one with historical ties to socialism, feminism, prison abolition, environmentalism and anti-racism. Queer space describes a moment in which certain freedoms of gender identity and sexuality exist between norms and before tags of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual take hold and remap the space.
Mar 19, 2012 to Apr 9, 2012
Born and educated in Melbourne, Robin Boyd was a visionary architect and highly regarded writer, radio commentator, educator and public speaker. Invited by Dean Pietro Belluschi and encouraged by friend Walter Gropius, then the Dean at Harvard’s GSD, Boyd spent the 1956-57 academic year as a visiting professor at MIT. From a family of prominent painters, he fundamentally believed in architecture as an art, and further, art as superior to materialism.
Feb 24, 2012 to Mar 6, 2012
Complete Fabrications exhibits projects conceived during an intense nine day competition in which master of architecture students worked rapidly between conceptual design and rapid prototyping processes to realize prototypes for a pavilion design proposal. Images, drawings, and prototypes from all seven entries will be on display through 3/6/12. Two winning entries are being developed for construction over the summer. The design competition was the final project in IAP course 4.109, a required fabrication course for first year MArch students, taught by Nick Gelpi and Justin Lavallee.
Feb 15, 2012 to May 4, 2012
The Freelon Group, Architects is a fifty-five person design firm founded in 1990 by Philip Freelon (MArch, ‘77). Located in Durham, North Carolina, The Freelon Group specializes in the design of museums and cultural centers, and educational and research facilities.
Their projects have included the National Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.
Dec 16, 2011 to Feb 20, 2012
The exhibition highlights Tayar’s design process as applied to different manufacturing processes in a wide range of scales, from a small cast aluminum candle-holder to a carbon fiber house. His idiosyncratic process is presented through sketches, drawings, samples, prototypes, patterns and final objects.
Nov 3, 2011 to Nov 24, 2011
Ongoing Investigations into the Production of Variable Density Cellular Materials
Materials for the built environment are generally characterized by relatively low performance and high volume use. Applied research in materials for buildings generally conforms to one of three types of activities: novel assemblies of known building materials, transfer of materials from other industries and economic sectors, and the formulation of new materials. The research on display in the Keller Gallery is of the third type.
Sep 30, 2011 to Oct 23, 2011
The aim of this project is to make waste cycles transparent to the public in an attempt to enable more personal social awareness and responsibility. Using Cambridge, MA as a region of focus, and MIT as a hyper-local example, the works in the exhibition display information about local waste and the overlaps or tensions between the informal and formal waste management sectors.
Sep 16, 2011 to Dec 30, 2011
Photographs by Margaret Morton
A Kyrgyz cemetery seen from a distance is astonishing. The ornate domes and minarets, tightly clustered behind stone walls, are so completely at odds with the desolate mountain landscape that at first they seem a mirage: miniature walled cities that appear unexpectedly on the edges of inaccessible cliffs, or stretch along deserted roads, displaying an otherworldly grandeur out of context with their isolated surroundings.
Apr 15, 2011 to Jun 6, 2011
The public face of MIT is 77 Massachusetts Avenue. The building, with its imposing Ionic porch and lofty interior, is not only an architectural landmark in its own right, but also the gateway to the world of MIT. Officially titled the William Barton Rogers Lobby, but more popularly called Lobby 7, the space was designed by William Welles Bosworth as the culminating element of the campus that he designed and that was built in 1916.
Feb 9, 2011 to Apr 8, 2011
The Learning Machine is a new work by The Urbonas Studio, a joint effort of Gediminas Urbonas, Associate Professor in SA+P’s Art, Culture + Technology Program, and his partner Nomeda, with whom he has worked in joint artistic practice since 1997.
Sep 3, 2010 to Dec 24, 2010
Photographs by Gesche Würfel
This exhibition of photographs by Gesche Würfel explored the transformation of the urban landscape of East London in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. Würfel began her investigation in 2006 with structures of the Lea Valley before they were razed to make way for the future sports venues.
Apr 27, 2010 to Jul 30, 2010
Students in Marilyne Andersen’s Daylighting class worked in interdisciplinary teams to develop integrated solutions for façades on every side of the Consulate of Switzerland/swissnex Boston building in Cambridge MA. Based on their understanding of daylight as one of the main drivers of a building’s technical performance and its resulting human comfort and health, they focused on issues of glare, illumination, overheating, the ensuing energy requirements and the visual interest of the spaces.
Feb 4, 2010 to Apr 11, 2010
Nader Tehrani, head of the Department of Architecture (from 2010-2014), has recently won two highly competitive architectural competitions with his partner in Office dA, Monica Ponce de Leon. The resulting commissions, to design new campus facilities for schools of architecture, were central features in Office dA: Building Pedagogies, on display through April 11.
Oct 8, 2009 to Jan 22, 2010
Berlin Photographs by Angus Boulton
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the beginning of Berlin’s restoration as the political, economic and cultural capital of a unified Germany. The city that critic Karl Scheffler described a century ago as ‘always in the process of becoming’ is today still in the process of being remade, and seems to be in a permanent state of dislocation.
Apr 28, 2009 to Sep 15, 2009
The Cities of Angkor explores the 400-year history of Angkor in Cambodia, capital of the Khmer Empire that dominated Southeast Asia from the 9th to the 13th century. At its height, Angkor was one of the most populous cities in the world. Its vast and numerous temples are considered to be among the great examples of architecture in history, and its urban design – a synthesis of symbolic geography and aqua-engineering – was remarkably complex. The exhibition shows the chronological development and expansion of the city until its demise in the 13th century.
Feb 12, 2009 to Apr 17, 2009
Working in Mumbai presents the urban interventions, historic preservation and contemporary building projects of Rahul Mehrotra and RMA Architects in India.
Sep 16, 2008 to Dec 19, 2008
Photographs by Júlio de Matos
Photographs by Portuguese architect Júlio de Matos captures the ambience of a rapidly vanishing landscape and way of life in the ancient hutong neighborhoods of Beijing – communities that are threatened today by the city's building boom.
Sep 4, 2008 to Sep 9, 2008
Des-Comp.08 documents projects produced by past and present students at the MIT School of Architecture. Through their projects, the exhibition aims to explore and extend the relationship between design and computation.
Apr 17, 2008 to Aug 15, 2008
New York Photographs by Cervin Robinson
An MIT exhibit of photographs by Cervin Robinson, one of the world’s most widely-published architectural photographers, was recently reviewed by Boston Globe critic Robert Campbell as 'a superb exhibit' and 'a brilliant show'.
Feb 12, 2008 to Apr 11, 2008
Never simply a matter of physical form-making, planning is now thoroughly integrated with a larger study of the social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of urban life. Changing Cities is both a description of the urbanization that has occurred, and a call to action.
Sep 20, 2007 to Dec 21, 2007
A Project by Wendy Jacob
Wendy Jacob's sculptures and site-based installations explore the interface between the body and architecture. Between Spaces invites visitors to traverse a 35 foot practice tight wire and be engulfed by a squeeze chair — one experience evokes exposure and risk, the other enclosure and safety. At the exhibition opening, a performer will cross a high wire as it passes through an open gallery window and into the stacks of the adjacent Rotch Library.
Apr 25, 2007 to Sep 14, 2007
An exhibition of drawings and photos documenting twenty years of student work on sites across the city of the Beijing is on view at the Wolk Gallery through September 14, 2007.
Feb 15, 2007 to Apr 13, 2007
DEVELOP: The Architecture of Yung Ho Chang/Atelier FCJZ features the work of the Head of the MIT Department of Architecture, and his Beijing-based firm. Chang, who joined the MIT faculty in 2005, is internationally acclaimed for a broad range of work, including urban design proposals, large structures for government use, private residences, and a number of well known exhibitions at international art venues, including the Venice Biennale. Develop will be the first exhibition of his work at MIT.
Sep 20, 2006 to Dec 22, 2006
The exhibition features the work of the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC), one of the most innovative and effective housing programs developed in the US. Launched by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and headed by Edward J. Logue, the UDC was given broad powers and financial resources to “improve the physical environment for low- and moderate-income families". The legacy of the UDC is 33,000 units of housing and three new communities which are still in existence today.
Apr 21, 2006 to Sep 15, 2006
Waclaw Zalewski, Professor Emeritus of Structural Design at MIT, is recognized as one of the most innovative and influential structural designers practicing today. During a sixty-year career he has developed elegant solutions to the problems of structural stability, conservation and construction efficiency, including pioneering concrete floor and roof systems and structural forms for high-rise construction which visually express the structural principles of his buildings and the flow of forces through them.