Lectures + Events

See all lectures (archive)

Spring 2018

Lectures are free and open to the public. For some lectures, members of the MIT community with IDs will be admitted 30 minutes prior to the lecture and the general public will be admitted as space permits.

Except as noted, lectures are at 6:00 pm in Room 7-429, located at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.  An interactive map may be found on-line at: http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg

Feb 15, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

How could an elitist institution acquire a virtually unique standing around the world? Because it reconciles the conflicting experiences of immersion and engagement in a place of sustained silence while the world has become too lonely for the individual and too loud for our ears. After yesterday’s Museums, today’s Concert Halls extend the quest for a collective experience of intelligence at play. The challenge of designing Concert Halls as urban landmarks has solicited some of the most imaginative architectural ideas.

Feb 20, 2018 - 6:00pm
room 7-429/Long Lounge

Few of us can ignore contemporary discourses on truth and falsity. How are we to verify information about some of the most pressing issues of the day? With this presentation, I open up discussion about a subject in art—the “incredulity” of St. Thomas—that thematized such matters in pre-modern Europe. Focusing on late medieval and Renaissance paintings and sculptures, I explore the ways in which visual artists pointed to the tactile as a way of enhancing the truth-value of their works.

Feb 22, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

The Trump presidency has brought to sharp light the enduring racial inequalities through which liberal democracy is constituted and lived.  In this talk, I examine imaginations and practices of resistance, from sanctuary cities to professional refusal, against regimes of white nationalism.  But I also place the present historical conjuncture in the broader history of racial capitalism and return to the “freedom dreams” of black reconstruction and the project of abolitionism.  I argue that our disciplines and professions have a role to play in such plans of freedom.

Feb 23, 2018 - 5:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

When it comes to perceiving the built environment, a static model of vision has been the principal organizing modality. In this paper I return to some prior historical articulations of the significance of motility in perception across art history, architectural theory, and the history of physiology. Experimental discoveries by Mach, Breuer and others in the 1870s for example connected sensory subsystems dealing with balance and orientation to eye movements, offering an alternative to the ‘retinal’ or static model of vision.

Feb 26, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 3-133

What do we see, when we see a refugee camp? States providing asylum are often unwilling to integrate refugees into the economy or social structure, and maintain them in remote camps in undeveloped areas, served by parallel systems or foreign aid. Refugees in camps inhabit edge conditions, surviving between competing entities and interests. The casual images of precarity that ensue form the dominant visual archive.

Feb 27, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge9

Cristina Goberna Pesudo is a practitioner architect, educator and critic. She is founder partner of Fake Industries, Architectural Agonism (FKAA), an architectural practice of horizontal structure and colaborative nature based in Barcelona, New York and Sydney. Cristina completed a 7 years Bachelor Degree in Architecture at the University of Seville, Spain. As a Fulbright Fellow she was awarded an MS. in Advance Architectural Design (AAD) and an Advance Architectural Research (AAR) certificate by GSAPP in Columbia University.

Feb 28, 2018 - 6:00pm
Long Lounge/Room 7-429

Dinner with the In-Laws is organized by the Architecture Student Council (ASC).

Mar 1, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

In recent years, an increasing interest in systems, processes, and performance has challenged the status of the architectural object, dissolving distinctions between figure and ground, object and field.  This talk investigates an earlier moment of challenge by exploring connections between weather and architecture in eighteenth-century England.

Mar 9, 2018 - 5:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

Our history has many variations on what counts as materiality. I will begin with looking at several high points, including Democritus's atoms, presumably inexperiencable; modern science's transformations of atoms, now manipulatable; Marxism's Dialectical materialism; and finally Postphenomenology's experiencable materiality. I will draw from long work in design, art, and technoscience.

Mar 12, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 3-133

Ariella Azoulay is Professor of Modern Culture and Media and the Department of Comparative Literature at Brown University.

Mar 15, 2018 - 6:00pm
Lecture Hall 10-250

Francis Kéré argues for a new approach in architecture that combines traditional ressources and modern building techniques through innovative construction strategies. The use of local, natural materials, and the integration of the community in the building process drives the architectural concepts for projects spread across the African, European and American continents.

Mar 16, 2018 - 5:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

What if our environment could detect our physical movement and emotional states, and respond accordingly? This presentation addresses interactive material interfaces that respond to the behavior of the human body and its emotions through the implementation of emerging technologies. It is illustrated by a series of projects that cover a range of different scales from an intimate scale and the world of fashion and wearable computing, through to an architectural scale and the world of interactive architecture.

Mar 22, 2018 - 6:00pm
Long Lounge/Room 7-429

Dinner with the In-Laws is organized by the Architecture Student Council.

Apr 10, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 7-429

To cajole, prod, intimidate, browbeat, renegotiate, plead, torment, threaten, and menace: these acts of hectoring invoke the physical and symbolic powers imputed to the built environment as well as the sometimes awkward demands of urban design practice. Join Hector partners Jae Shin and Damon Rich for a talk about finding inspiration and motivation in the everyday politics of how we build the places we live.

Apr 12, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

Civic discourse today centers on questions of equity and justice. How do we allocate wealth, opportunity, and risk? Who benefits from protocols of race, sexuality, and gender? What are the infrastructures of citizenship?

Our discipline has a deep stake in these matters, since architecture mediates power. But the professional and intellectual apparatus of our field too often ignores inequality and perpetuates injustice. Drawing on examples from architectural scholarship and practice, this talk invites you to join in building the discipline we deserve.


Apr 18, 2018 - 6:00pm
Long Lounge/Room 7-429

Dinner with the In-Laws is organized by the Architecture Student Council.

Apr 19, 2018 - 6:00pm

MIT Visiting Artist Tomás Saraceno, MIT Senior Lecturer in Meteorology Lodovica Illari, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry Daniel Cziczo and Morningstar Professor of Physics Robert Jaffe discuss how the solar-powered sculptures of the Aerocene project inspire us to think of a different way to interact with the environment. A panel discussion will be moderated by Professor John Fernández, director of MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative. Reception to follow in Lobby 10.

Apr 20, 2018 - 6:00pm
Media Lab, E14 6th Floor

What can models do in a changed climate? In the 1960s, NOAA created the first general circulation models simulating Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, and noted their impact on the global climate system. Since then, models have served as a primary mode of representing, analyzing, translating, and designing the environment in a changed climate.

Apr 23, 2018 - 12:30pm

As concerns about climate change mount and designers seek more sustainable ways to build, there has been a resurgence of interest in building with timber. After a brief look back at the history of wood as a structural material, this talk will explore the opportunities and challenges of modern mass timber building systems.

Apr 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge
Apr 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 3-133

War-torn countries have in common the brutal nature of the destruction, affecting simultaneously several cities, over large areas. However, throughout history, the rebuilding of war-devastated cities has taken place in very different forms. In this context and among the wars that the central Maghreb (present-day Algeria) has sustained was the resistance war to the French occupation; an armed conflict that opposed the resistance leader Emir Abd al-Qadir and the French colonial army, from 1832 to 1847.

Apr 24, 2018 - 12:00pm

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
Schlossman Research Grant, Rosenberg Travel Grant, Julian Beinart Award, and Marvin Goody Award Presentations 

Apr 26, 2018 - 12:00pm
Room 7-429

Thursday, April 26th, 2018
Schlossman Research Grant, Rosenberg Travel Grant, Julian Beinart Award, and Marvin Goody Award Presentations 

Apr 26, 2018 - 6:00pm
Lecture Hall 10-250

This era of massive and acritical diffusion of architecture is transforming our world into an ever-more uniform environment. We now live in a particularly homogenous world overflowing and burdened with an endless reproduction of images detached from any specific context. Too often, we operate absorbing and replicating images, without really focusing in the specificity of life, culture and history.

Increasingly imagetic affinities make us lose the original link that binds us to a place, to an irreproducible frame and plot.

May 3, 2018 - 6:30pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

Yolande Daniels is a founding principal, along with Sunil Bald, of the design firm studioSUMO. Since 1995, the work of the practice has revealed common themes and repeating motifs that unite the varied interests of the two partners. Yolande will focus on how her work within their practice has been a platform to explore architectural objects and patterns at multiple scales. This has ranged from the societal patterns that inform the design of objects, to the form of the object, to the patterning of surfaces of objects.

May 3, 2018 - 8:45am
Media Lab, E14, 6th Floor

Housing +
Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism Biennial Conference and Exhibition
May 3-4, 2018


May 7, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 3-133

Is war destruction the final act of “urbicide” – the killing of a city? If it is to be judged by the postwar reconstruction of Yugoslav cities, the only acceptable answer would be a resounding – no. Today the predominant sentiment among its citizens and scholars alike is that the violent conflict was just a trigger for the systematic devastation of socialist and modernist architectural heritage, the maltreatment of which continued as the default strategy for (re)creating national identities long after the war.

Jul 16, 2018 - 9:00am
Kresge Auditorium

In July 2018, the annual Symposium of the IASS – International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures – will take place in Boston, an American hub of academics and innovation. Hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the symposium aims to bring together leading designers and researchers working in the fields of structural engineering and architecture from around the world.