Letter From the Dean

Hashim Sarkis, Dean and Professor of Architecture and Planning at MIT

The School of Architecture and Planning is the oldest in the United States. It is also the most vigorous.

Established in 1865, the school includes among its graduates renowned figures like Louis Sullivan, Robert R. Taylor, Marion Mahony Griffin, I.M.Pei, Kevin Lynch, Gordon Bunshaft, William Pedersen, and Nicholas Negroponte.

In addition to architecture and planning, the School has over the years embraced a broader range of fields that address and improve human environments, including real estate, media, and the arts.

What binds these fields together is a strong commitment to the deployment of technology towards social good. What also binds them together is the use of design and deliberation approaches towards action that are distinct from but complementary to the engineering approach to problem solving. What further brings them together is the shared belief in heightening the aesthetic attributes of our lived experience.

While advocating the forward-looking, technologically-driven optimism of MIT, the School also invests in critically reflecting on technological innovation, its social impact and its confrontation with cultural values.

The School is fully committed to the mission of leadership. The long tradition of innovation constantly propels us decades ahead, and its faculty and students strive to articulate its mission and to show the way.

The School’s abundance of resources stems primarily from the Institute’s full endorsement and support of the school’s vision. These resources include an unmatched concentration of talent among its faculty and staff, a wealth of state-of-the-art facilities, and generous financial support that enable the students to experiment, innovate and take risks.

While this “MIT model” is being emulated by other institutions all over the world, at MIT, we seek to constantly test it and renew it.

Hashim Sarkis