Peggy Deamer, Marsha Maytum, Michael Murphy

Practice PLUS: Meaning and Purpose

Who do architects serve? What is the architect’s contribution to the field and to society? When is a building much more than a building, and when is it not enough? Where are the resources to fund meaningful work? Why do we do what we do?

From delivering good design to the underserved to dedicating oneself to environmental and social purposes, to challenging the structure of our professional ideals, architects can act as agents of societal change. This symposium will explore architectural practices formed around broader definitions of service – practices that both solidify the role of the architect in society and strengthen a commitment to humanity, social justice, and dignity. 

Peggy Deamer is Professor of Architecture at Yale University, and a Principal in the firm of Deamer, Architects. Her current research explores the relationship between subjectivity, design, and labor in the current economy. She is the founding member of The Architecture Lobby, a group advocating for the value of architectural design and labor.

Marsha Maytum, FAIA, is a founding Principal at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects. For over 35 years Marsha has focused her career on community, cultural, and socially-responsible projects that promote sustainable design. Her work has included the creation of new buildings, rehabilitation of historic buildings, and adaptive reuse of existing structures.

Michael Murphy is the Founding Principal and Executive Director of MASS Design Group, an architecture and design collective with offices in Boston, Kigali, and Poughkeepsie. As a designer, writer, and teacher, his work investigates the social and political consequences of the built world. Michael's research and writing advocates for a new empowerment that calls on architects to consider the power relationships of their design decisions, while simultaneously searching for beauty and meaning.

Fall 2018 Conversations on Practice are organized by Yolande Daniels, Bob Mohr, Andrew Scott, and J. Meejin Yoon, with the Professional Practice course in the MIT Department of Architecture. Conversations aim to engage in productive dialogue about the current and future of practice, by focusing on the airing of critical, timely, and urgent questions facing architectural practice today.

Conversations take place on Friday mornings - September 28, October 19, and November 9 – from 9 AM - 12 PM, in the Long Lounge, Room 7-429.

Peggy Deamer, Marsha Maytum, Michael Murphy