What if…

The MIT Museum’s Drawing, Designing, Thinking exhibition looks at the 150-year history of architecture instruction at MIT. Here, as a complement to this wide-ranging presentation, What if… highlights the persistent culture of daring at the School of Architecture and Planning.

A deep commitment to both rigor and creativity is at the core of SA+P. Faculty and students are encouraged to explore the greatest possible intellectual rangeto graze the wildest grassand then to return to design excellence, always asking, “What have we brought back today?”

The images shown here reflect dreams of a better world. Of course, the dreams (and the world) have changed since 1868. But SA+P still works toward making ambitious dreams a reality.

In their 2018 theses, SA+P students dared to dream these dreams, among many others:

What if public parks reinforced peace-building in Bogotá?
What if discarded wood from construction sites were repurposed for roofing?
What if mapping the palm trees in Los Angeles yielded a new understanding of the city?
What if a redefinition of “household” opposed proto-state corporations?
What if a General Motors plant became a park, a garden, and a food giga-factory?
What if new objects and places redefined humans’ relationships with other species?
What if climate policy reduced greenhouse gas emissions while increasing social equity?
What if a built environment wove together bison, machines of extraction, and humans in a shared geography?
What if streets became public living rooms?

What if…


This exhibition was curated by Laura Knott.

Special thanks to Gary Van Zante, Daryl Mccurdy, and Joan Whitlow at the MIT Museum; to Melissa Vaughn, Peggy Cain, Makeela Searles, and Jim Harrington at SA+P; and to installation assistant Chloé Dubois.

Graphic design for the exhibition is by Paul Montie. Framing was provided by Stanhope Framers.

The MIT Museum’s exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of architecture at MIT is on view at 265 Massachusetts Avenue through summer 2019.