Lectures

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Spring 2016 Lecture Series

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

Videos of our recent lectures are available on our YouTube channel.   Videos are uploaded within the week following each lecture.

Feb 4, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429: Long Lounge

Today we find ourselves surrounded by screens – on our iPhones, our tablets, our desktop computers. Little do we know that we are living out the multimedia dreams of several dozen Cold War social scientists, a handful of Bauhaus artists, and the musician John Cage. This talk will track those dreams and the politics that drove them from World War II to the psychedelic sixties. It will lay bare the long-buried cultural roots of today’s multimedia revolution and in the process, provide a rich historical context for thinking about the design of highly interactive digital environments.

Feb 9, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

Despite being collaboratively designed by eight of the most famous modern architects of the mid-20th Century, the UNESCO House complex in Paris became known as a “cliché” as soon as it was built in 1958. This lecture revisits the intrigue of its design—the protracted site negotiations, the sketch-by-sketch refinement of its Y-shaped plan, the struggle to define UNESCO’s core mission, and even the connection with contemporaneous heritage projects.

Feb 18, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

From 1983 to the present, Sancho-Madridejos has developed a number of lines of work and research related to the architectural space. One of these lines centers on the theme of “the fold” and its use in the architectonic field with the means inherent to the architectonic discipline.

The aim of this lecture will be to explain the development of their research regarding “folding”, its evolution over the years and its interaction with other themes as a means of addressing complex projects and different ways of approaching the world of “the fold”.

Feb 22, 2016 - 12:30pm
7-429

Building energy modeling—physics-based simulation of building energy consumption—is a multi-purpose tool for building energy efficiency, supporting design, code-compliance, and even commissioning and operations. DOE has been an active participant and contributor to the BEM field since the 1970s—before it became a cabinet-level agency!—most notably with its work on the engines CAL-ERDA, DOE-1, DOE-2, and EnergyPlus.

Feb 22, 2016 - 6:00pm
3-133

The seventeenth century Mughal gardens of Indian-administered Vale of Kashmir are an exceptional testimony of the creative and innovative ingenuity demonstrated by the Mughals in taking maximum advantage of the natural settings for garden-making. It is said that several hundreds of Mughal gardens were created in Kashmir but since the decline of the Mughal Empire most of these sites suffered neglect, with only a handful of well-known sites now developed as popular visitor destinations.

Feb 25, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

Part of the Spring 2016 Architecture Lecture Series.

 

image by Hedrich Blessing

Feb 29, 2016 - 12:30pm
7-429

At The Edge in Amsterdam a new type of working community is emerging. The ambition for the project was two-fold:  to consolidate the main tenant Deloitte’s employees, previously spread around multiple buildings throughout the city, within a single environment shared with other users; and to create a ‘smart building’, intended as a catalyst for the company’s transition into the digital age. What is the role of architecture when the workplace is permeated by layers of technology that fundamentally alter the way that we interact with our environment?

Feb 29, 2016 - 6:00pm
E15-001

ACT's Spring 2016 lecture series Curation: Agencies + Urgencies addresses the contexts and forces shaping the practice of curation today. Bringing together a cast of influential curators, critics, and educators operating across institutional boundaries and political scales- from the book to the biennial- these lectures consider the curator- as diplomat, as researcher, as (para-)artist, as speculator, as provocateur, as censor- and the varying roles and forms curation itself: What defines spaces of curation today? What are the politics pressurizing the practice?

Mar 3, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

Part of the Spring 2016 Architecture Lecture Series.

Mar 8, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

New York-based architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien will present three projects and discuss the concept of experience as the core understanding of a building.

Mar 11, 2016 - 5:00pm
7-429

Today, growing concerns with climate change, energy scarcity, and economic collapse have turned the focus of urban planners, investors, and governments towards the term “infrastructure” as a site of value production and potential salvation from a seemingly ever more apocalyptic world. From discussions about “disaster capitalism” to the embrace of a world after humans, the idea that the world is over, and the environmental, economic, or security catastrophe has arrived is almost unquestioned.

Mar 14, 2016 - 6:00pm
3-133

This talk will focus on two oasis settlements (Birkat Al-Mawz and Al-Hamra) developed through collaboration between the Ya'aribah imamate and newly formed tribal confederations (Bani Riyam and 'Abriyeen) and introduced a new set of intermediate settlements between the isolated mountain villages and the large oasis towns of the plains. Both settlements are the product of new water harnessing systems (aflaj - qanat in Persia), which the Ya'aribah help develop. The settlement leadership experience different fortune as they enter the twentieth century.

Mar 17, 2016 - 6:00pm
10-250

The lecture, after a short introduction to the cultural context in which SPBR develops its practice, takes three works, three different scales — a New MAM to Sao Paulo, an apartment building in Lugano and a weekend house in SP downtown — to illustrate some ideas turned into pieces of architecture.

Mar 28, 2016 - 6:00pm
E15-001

ACT's Spring 2016 lecture series Curation: Agencies + Urgencies addresses the contexts and forces shaping the practice of curation today. Bringing together a cast of influential curators, critics, and educators operating across institutional boundaries and political scales- from the book to the biennial- these lectures consider the curator- as diplomat, as researcher, as (para-)artist, as speculator, as provocateur, as censor- and the varying roles and forms curation itself: What defines spaces of curation today? What are the politics pressurizing the practice?

Apr 4, 2016 - 6:00pm
3-133

Part of the Spring 2016 Architecture and Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture Lecture Series.

Apr 7, 2016 - 6:00pm
E14: 6th Floor

Graduate Open House and part of the Spring 2016 Architecture Lecture Series.

Apr 11, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

Jane will talk about how she sees collaboration between the architect, client and all the members of the design team as the key to developing designs that not only perform well and meet the brief, but also bring delight to those who experience them.  She will talk about projects that she has worked on, and the process by which the ideas were developed.

Apr 11, 2016 - 6:00pm
E15-001

ACT's Spring 2016 lecture series Curation: Agencies + Urgencies addresses the contexts and forces shaping the practice of curation today. Bringing together a cast of influential curators, critics, and educators operating across institutional boundaries and political scales- from the book to the biennial- these lectures consider the curator- as diplomat, as researcher, as (para-)artist, as speculator, as provocateur, as censor- and the varying roles and forms curation itself: What defines spaces of curation today? What are the politics pressurizing the practice?

Apr 14, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

There has been much talk in recent years about expanding the discipline to create a global history of art, but what precisely are the new methods and protocols for writing these more encompassing transcultural histories? I have long thought that Istanbul and its cross-cultural webs of art patronage have much to tell us about what a global history of nineteenth-century art might look like. The capital of the Ottoman Empire had a particularly vibrant art scene in this period.

Apr 20, 2016 - 6:00pm
3-133

The Caribbean offers a useful vantage point onto current controversies about the materiality of culture and the geography of movement. Where the rhetoric of globalisation has taken hold in the public funding and exhibiting of contemporary art, artists have come to experience a mixed picture of the opportunities posed by global flows of money, artworks and the ideas about them. This presentation will examine multiple sites in this changing political geography, drawing out some patterns of connection between Suriname, the Netherlands, Barbados and the wider Atlantic.

Apr 21, 2016 - 6:00pm
7-429

How might architecture respond to issues of ecology and sustainability whereby buildings behave more like organisms in their built environments? This talk will present ongoing trans-disciplinary research and design spanning across the fields of cell biology, materials science, physics, fiber science, fashion, electrical and systems engineering, and architecture. Sabin’s collaborative research, teaching and design practice focus on the contextual, material and formal intersections between architecture, science and technology.

Apr 22, 2016 - 5:00pm
7-429

Part of the Spring 2016 Architecture and Computation Group Lecture Series.

Apr 25, 2016 - 6:00pm
E15-001

ACT's Spring 2016 lecture series Curation: Agencies + Urgencies addresses the contexts and forces shaping the practice of curation today. Bringing together a cast of influential curators, critics, and educators operating across institutional boundaries and political scales- from the book to the biennial- these lectures consider the curator- as diplomat, as researcher, as (para-)artist, as speculator, as provocateur, as censor- and the varying roles and forms curation itself: What defines spaces of curation today? What are the politics pressurizing the practice?

May 2, 2016 - 6:00pm
E15-001

ACT's Spring 2016 lecture series Curation: Agencies + Urgencies addresses the contexts and forces shaping the practice of curation today. Bringing together a cast of influential curators, critics, and educators operating across institutional boundaries and political scales- from the book to the biennial- these lectures consider the curator- as diplomat, as researcher, as (para-)artist, as speculator, as provocateur, as censor- and the varying roles and forms curation itself: What defines spaces of curation today? What are the politics pressurizing the practice?