Through the DuPont MIT Alliance (DMA), an interdisciplinary team led by Profs. Leon Glicksman (PI), Lorna Gibson and Gang Chen is developing high-performance thermal insulation panels based on a formulation of silica aerogels developed at MIT. The aerogel samples perform better than commercially available products while requiring less material; meanwhile, the innovative panel design provides great structural support with minimal impact to the conductivity. This research may lead to a new high-performance thermal insulation product.
Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture
The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT (AKPIA@MIT) conducts a broad program of research on architectural history, landscape, water, hazards, and university campus design in the Islamic world. Research projects include collaborative initiatives with the:
· Aga Khan Development Network (architecture, landscape, hazards, heritage, water, design).
· National academies of science and environmental design (water, environment, hazards, design).
· MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), TATA Fellows Program (water, environment, energy, food,design).
Center for Advanced Urbanism
CAU provides a home for faculty interested in collaborative research projects that will engage student participation. CAU is the umbrella for various existing research laboratories and faculty projects. It organizes collaborations between these labs and other MIT groups in order to foster a cross-disciplinary expertise.
P-REX lab at MIT (est. in 2002 as P-REX: The Project for Reclamation Excellence), is a sustained effort to redesign environments after large-scale landscape alteration has taken place, urban or otherwise. P-REX analyzes landscape systems to embed long-term sustainability and environmental intelligence in planning and design projects. We seek to find the largest possible ecological benefits for sites, across scales from local to regional.
Platform for a Permanent Modernity
The Platform for a Permanent Modernity (PPM) investigates operational templates of public form that integrate architecture, infrastructure, and landscape into elements of a lasting territorial order. Its hypothesis entails the possibility of a public reading of the territory through forms of permanence, while accommodating uncertainty and change within and around these interventions.
The Self-Assembly Lab is a cross-disciplinary research lab at MIT inventing self-assembly and programmable material technologies, reimagining our processes of construction, manufacturing and infrastructure in the built environment.
SIGUS – Special Interest Group in Urban Settlement
SIGUS explores the issues related to the rapid urbanization in Third World countries with the expected doubling of urban population and tripling of the area within 20 years. The focus is on three areas: urban spatial alternatives: current research expands on a previously developed innovative building concept in a ‘slope-smart’ ecological city concept with a ‘solar-energy’ atrium building form – funded by MISTI with a joint project between Nanjing University and the city of Tongren, China. It champions the informal sector characterized by incremental-self-built housing and the action-planning participatory process, and is the secretariat for a worldwide university consortium studying the incremental process. Throughout, it is a proponent for greater participation of universities in development and in disaster recovery, and actively promotes and explores engagement strategies.
Structural Design Lab
The Structural Design Lab at MIT is an interdisciplinary research group focused on conceptual structural design. Led by Professor John Ochsendorf, the group includes undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Civil Engineering and Architecture. Research interests include form-finding, funicular structures, structural optimization, and interactive design processes.
Sustainable Design Lab
The Sustainable Design Lab at MIT produces fundamental and applied research that facilitates the design of resource-efficient and comfortable environments at the building and neighborhood scale. The lab’s goal is to change current architectural practice by developing workflows and performance metrics that lead to improved design solutions as far as occupant comfort and building energy use are concerned.
The Guastavino Project
The Guastavino Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to documenting and preserving the tile vaulted works of the Guastavino Company. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Rafael Guastavino Moreno and his son Rafael Guastavino Exposito were responsible for designing tile vaults in nearly a thousand buildings around the world, of which more than 600 survive to the present day.