Technology startups are well known for disrupting and re-imagining the way we shop, share photos, and hail cabs, but what about the built environment? This panel features four speakers, all MIT alumni, from recent startup ventures that address key issues in building technology in new ways, from an innovative wearable device that adjusts thermal comfort to a community-driven web platform for urban planning discourse. Moderated by Professor Les Norford, the discussion with include insights from the panelists on both the details of their technological innovations and their experiences in fou
Public Lecture Series
Fall 2015 Lecture Series: Architecture and Its Orbits
Holistically, the series ‘Architecture and Its Orbits' asks whether architecture does in fact have a single, locatable center of gravity or whether it is a discipline that is precisely defined through an accumulation of peripheral affiliations.
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.
An interactive map may be found on-line at: http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg
Sep 21, 2015 - 12:30pm
Sep 24, 2015 - 6:00pm
This lecture will address the Open Land communes which emerged in Northern California during the late 1960s, focusing in particular on the escalating “code wars” that their attempts to abandon private property rights, normative forms of life, and other trappings of modernity and capitalism elicited from the State. What, it will ask, might have motivated this portion of the American back-to-the-land movement to open their land to anyone who wished to settle?
Sep 28, 2015 - 6:00pm
Through a presentation of recent projects designed by Hashim Sarkis Studios, the lecture focuses on recurring preoccupations and design strategies, upholding the architectural object in the face of change.
Oct 5, 2015 - 7:00pm
History and geography, storyboard and grid- Jafri's talk will focus on the interstitial spaces between these poles opened up by three of her recent works. Jafri will discuss her ongoing photo research project "Independence Day 1934-1975." The project is fueled by Jafri's interest in questions of heritage and the archive, and the role of photography in the formation of historical and national narratives during the process of decolonization in Asia and Africa.
Oct 6, 2015 - 6:00pm
The Conversation between Timothy Hyde and George Baird will focus on the collection of essays across the span of Baird’s academic career, that are included in his new publication. Regarding two of those essays, Christophe van Gerrewey of the journal OASE recently observed that “’la dimension amoureuse” and “Criticality and Its Discontents” are two articles that summarize a decade and a timeless problematic at the same time.
Oct 8, 2015 - 6:00pm
In his lecture Can this be That, Michael Maltzan, FAIA of Michael Maltzan Architecture will present a series of buildings, landscapes, and infrastructures that express his interest in contemporary form, but also his interest in the form of contemporary practice and its potential for elasticity, especially as it relates to pressing questions around urbanism. He will discuss ways architecture can embrace a broader range of capacities and abilities that allow it to be impactful, at the level of a building but also at the level of the discipline.
Oct 9, 2015 - 5:00pm
This talk aims to map out an important but little known branch of cybernetics as it developed in Britain from the 1940s to the present. Examples are drawn from the work of leading cyberneticians including Ross Ashby, Stafford Beer, Gordon Pask, Gregory Bateson and R D Laing in fields as diverse as brain science, psychiatry and antipsychiatry, adaptive robotics, biological computing drawing upon lively material such as ecosystems, management, the arts, entertainment and architecture, including connections to eastern spirituality and the 1960s counterculture.
Oct 15, 2015 - 6:00pm
In their lecture, Anna and Andrew will present the built work of First Office, ranging from gut rehabs to gallery interventions to full-scale mockups. They will discuss the projects through the methods for constructing physical models and their documentation. The talk will pause on several details of interiors, including walls, doors, tables, and beds.
Oct 19, 2015 - 6:00pm
Since the 1580s, elaborate urban architecture and landscape scenes appeared in the background of Mughal paintings. Such representations consisted of India’s flora and fauna, genre scenes of local men and women working the land, and the depiction of cities. These miniature urban vignettes became so common that they are visible in numerous illustrations produced at the Mughal workshops under Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605).
Oct 19, 2015 - 7:00pm
Through her installations, Rosa Barba continues her exploration of film and its capacity to simultaneously be an immaterial medium that carries information and a physical material with sculptural properties. The category of film is expanded and abstracted beyond the literal components of the celluloid strip, the projector through which it passes and the image projected onto a screen. Each component becomes a starting point for artworks that expand on the idea of film as well as exploring its intrinsic attributes.
Oct 26, 2015 - 12:30pm
Structural optimization has been attracting increasing interest in the civil engineering industry, especially in the design of high-rise and long span structures. By selectively distributing the material in a building or a bridge, the resulting design is structurally efficient and often aesthetically pleasant. The design is usually optimized to achieve the maximum stiffness, which is typically measured by the compliance of the structural (gravity or lateral) system or by the maximum displacement of the structure itself.
Oct 26, 2015 - 7:00pm
Taking two case studies as references – Ubuntu Park, a community-organized public space in Soweto, South Africa, and sustainable extraction reserves and Indian territories in Acre, Brazil – Potrč argues that the appropriation of space by local communities, whether this is an urban public space or a territory in the rainforest, is fundamental for the construction of a new citizenship.
Oct 28, 2015 - 6:00pm
Eva Díaz is currently at work on a book called The Fuller Effect: The Critique of Total Design in Postwar Art, which explores the legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller in contemporary art practices. In this lecture Díaz will share some of her research on changing ideas about nomadic habitation, capsule architecture, space colonization, and space tourism.
Oct 29, 2015 - 6:00pm
As architects we work with material to construct our work. How we make things depends largely on the materials we produce for our constructions. If we openly looked again at the source of the material and its production we could see the gestures we recognise in them as the start of a renewed approach. These gestures could redefine ways of making and constructing: what are the gestures that give shape to the environments we inhabit? What is the correlation between material and craft? What places of production do we see now, in the past and in the future?
Nov 6, 2015 - 5:00pm
While people have long employed technology to record and reflect upon their bodily and emotional states, the present historical moment is witnessing a dramatic expansion in the practice and scope of self-tracking as we are offered an ever-expanding array of computational devices and software with which to measure, assess, and modulate our daily actions, habits, and rhythms.
Nov 9, 2015 - 6:00pm
Between the mid-19th century and the mid-20th century, embattled Islamic art in Syria has undergone a distinct shift abscribed to three main reasons: The change of political regimes, the European economic expansion in the region, and the emergence of the notion of making-heritage process - patrimonialisation. Muslims, non-Muslims, rulers, designers and administrators, were all interested in the renewed secular Islamic art and its agrandizing commemorative expressions. However, the dissimilarity of each groups sociopolitical ideologie contributed to disparate outcomes.
Nov 9, 2015 - 7:00pm
Beauty and the Right to the Ugly was the title of an exhibition in 1981 by the Brazilian-Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi, which took a stand against bourgeois taste and values presented at her seminal building SESC Pompéia in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with employees of a national organization for social work and medical assistance.
Nov 10, 2015 - 6:30pm
Our Architecture is very much determined by the location and circumstances under which it is developed. We have to consider the cultural, climatic, geographical, political, topographical and situational aspects of each project and develop the architecture individually. In the past this was called Genius Loci - the spirit of the location. Only when Architecture can’t provide solutions for all these conditions, do we need technological support.
Nov 12, 2015 - 6:00pm
Part of the Fall 2015 Architecture and Architectural Design Group Lecture Series.
Nov 16, 2015 - 7:00pm
Methodology is not only the means of a system for describing realities; it is a political tool that takes part in the process of knowledge production. From the perspective of an integrated relational practice in the field of urban, pedagogy and contemporary art, Pelin Tan conveys how collective experience of the translocal production of knowledge and of instant alliances leads to the creation of common spaces. How can transversal methodology function within it?
Nov 19, 2015 - 6:00pm
There is an absurd discrepancy in the Urban vs. Rural condition of the real estate market: today it is more expensive to live an urban life than to live in the suburbs or in provinces with low urbanity and large amounts of free space. Yet living in those suburbs imposes a huge burden on the environment by exponentially increasing our commuting needs. And if we accept the over-urbanization of nature, it will be quickly lost.
The paradox is that our cities are both the problem and the answer.
Through various projects, Julien will present responses to those issues.
Nov 20, 2015 - 5:00pm
Can we use technology to help us be more human? To smile more, to touch and to listen to each other? What if a computer could make decisions about our social relationships better than we could ourselves? Would our interactions be improved by algorithmically determining what to do and say? What happens if we crowdsource our dating lives and actually find love? A series of attempts to understand through hacking, art, and self-experimentation.