Course 4 Participation in MIT 2016 Open House

"MIT2016: Celebrating a century in Cambridge" commemorates the Institute’s 1916 move from Boston’s Back Bay as it honors MIT’s special relationship with the City of Cambridge and looks toward the frontiers of the future. On Saturday, April 23, 2016, the entire campus will be open for a day-long participatory Open House. Spend the day with the School of Architecture and Planning by visiting a number of site-specific installations, meeting faculty and students, visiting exhibitions, and seeing student and faculty work.

For detailed information about the event and a scheduler, please visit MIT's Under the Dome website. Architecture and Art events are listed here.


Installations and exhibitions will be open all day, from 10 AM to 3 PM. Join us for a day-long tour of all the projects and installations from Course 4, featuring talks and tours by faculty and students.

10:30 AM / Memory Matrix with Assistant Professor Azra Aksamija and Students
11:00 AM / Buoy Stone with Belluschi Lecturer Brandon Clifford and Students Myung Duk Chung, Victor Leung, Maya Shopova, Tyler Swingle 
11:30 AM / Biaxial Tower with Research Scientist Skylar Tibbits [Collaboration with Atelier One and TAIT Towers]
12:00 PM / Campus PREPHub with Associate Professor Miho Mazereeuw and the Urban Risk Lab

12:30 PM / Building Tours at MIT Chapel, Baker House, Simmons Hall with Albert Lopez, Huma Gupta, and Nushelle de Silva
12:30 PM / Fabrication Lab [Aluminum Casting and Robotic Fly-throughs] with students Nicolo Guido, Zain Karsain, Ching Ying Ngan, and Sam Ghantous

02:00 PM / Distinguished Lecture, "The New Tech: From Boston to Cambridge", Professor Mark Jarzombek, Room 10-250
03:00 PM / 'Campus Guide to MIT' Book Signing with Professor Mark Jarzombek, Stella Room 7-308

Professor Jarzombek has published on a wide range of historical topics, from the 12th century to the modern era. He is one of the country’s leading advocates for global history and has published several books and articles on the topic, including the ground-breaking textbook, A Global History of Architecture and Architecture of First Societies: A Global Perspective. Through EdX, Jarzombek taught a popular Mass Open Online Course (MOOC) on the history of architecture, in which thousands of people from all over the world participated.

Full project links in right-hand column.

Memory Matrix
Azra Aksamija, Program in Art, Culture and Technology 

The Memory Matrix  is a living monument that explores the possibilities for future heritage creation, employing new fabrication techniques and transcultural collaborative workshops. The Matrix takes form of a giant screen made of border fences carrying over 20,000 small fluorescent Plexiglas elements. These elements are laser cut in the middle with holes in the shape of vanished heritage from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and beyond. Arranged into a larger matrix, these pixels collectively reveal an image of Palmyra's Arch of Triumph.  This collaborative making process is a seed for a longer-term mission of the project - to benefit the education of Syrian refugees. As a research project, the project explores how communities threatened by war can document their material and immaterial heritage as indestructible evidence.

The project was conceived by ACT Assistant Professor Azra Aksamija and is co-developed and produced with the help of a diverse range of partners within the MIT community and participants from the Maker Faire in Cairo and Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. More than an art installation, the Memory Matrix is a solidarity-building and educational enterprise.

The Memory Matrix is on display in front of the E15 from April 23, 2016 – May 7, 2016 

Memory Matrix is produced with support from a number of different departments and entities: Office of the Dean from SA+P, Office of the Dean SHASS, ACT Program, Center for International Studies, Arts Initiatives of SA+P, Center for Advanced Urbanism, CAMIT, MIT Libraries, AKPIA, Global Studies and Languages, Comparative Media Studies / Writing, Literature Section, Office of the Dean for Student Life, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Women's and Gender Studies at MIT. Other forms of support are provided by: Department of Architecture, Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT, MIT Alumni Association and MISTI.

Biaxial Tower
Self-Assembly LabAtelier One, and TAIT Towers

This 65 foot tower, built for MIT’s Centennial celebration, is an ongoing research project exploring large-scale active woven structures. The tower is constructed from 36 fiberglass tubes in the form of a biaxial weave to create a large textile-like surface. The tower will be load tested to analyze the dynamics of the structure and its full performance, pointing towards a future of active architecture. This project is aimed at architectural facades, stadium roofs, performance venues, display surfaces or other large-scale structures that could smoothly transition from one morphable function to another.

In collaboration with: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), Annese Electrical, Illuminate, Traxon Technologies, Marcelo Coelho Studio // 
Partners & Support: MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology, MIT Department of Architecture, Autodesk, Google

Campus PrepHUB
Urban Risk Lab and Lincoln Lab 

The Campus PREPHub is part of a public space campaign for campus preparedness that facilitates community action following a disaster such as a hurricane. Able to operate entirely off -grid, the hub is built around the short-term and immediate need for energy, communication and supplies. Designed to be used both in the everyday as well as for emergency purposes, the Campus PREPHub project will be integrated into existing Campus Safety Programs but also be used for playful innovative outdoor campus activities.

Funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT and the Lincoln Lab

Buoy Stone
Brandon Clifford, Belluschi Lecturer, Architecture and Matter Design
With Myung Duk Chung, Victor Leung, Maya Shopova, Tyler Swingle

One of the greatest mysteries of Megalithic era construction surrounds the transportation of stones from quarry to site. It is thought that the Bluestones of Stonehenge were rendered buoyant with animal bladders and transported up the river Avon. A similar theory suggests ancient Egyptians carved canals to float their stones. While this practical solution explains distance of travel with little energy, it must have been quite a ceremony to float a stone! Not only is conventional perception inverted for such an event; but also, all traces of such a miracle are stripped from history in service of wonder. 100 years ago, a weighty institution commuted across the river Charles. Today, a stone megalith reimagines that commute.


Around the Dome / Building 7, 2nd and 4th Floors
See student and faculty work around the Dome on the 2nd Floor + 4th Floor of Building 7.

12:30 PM Aluminum Casting at the N51 Woodshop, near the MIT Museum
10:00 - 3:00 PM RoboFly: #RoboFly demonstrates that flythroughs are no longer exclusively for digital models. The department's Kuka robotic arm, equipped with an iPhone 6, broadcasts cinematic swoops around students’ physical models. Press the button in the hallway outside the shop to toggle between paths of movement as the results are broadcast on the screens around the department. 

Gothicness / Wolk Gallery Building 7 Room 338
Gothicness is an exhibition curated by Brandon Clifford which examines the ubiquitous element of Gothic architecture, the rib. In the tradition of John Ruskin’s analysis of the Gothic, Clifford isolates a series of peculiar moments of transition from functional to rhetorical ribs that hold resonance today - Pierness, Springness, and Vaultness. In doing so, he illuminates the strangeness of Gothic rib details, examining the possibilities, potentials, and peculiar moments that parallel contemporary digital practice. 

The Contingent Space of Work / Keller Gallery Building 7 Room 408
To call oneself a worker, or to label an activity as work and designate a space for it, is to move away from the stigma of amateurism and toward political action, economic viability, social relevance, and acceptance. Featuring artistic and design contributions from the current issue of thresholds, the MIT Department of Architecture's annual journal, The Contingent Space of Work presents creative responses to the mercurial designations of work, worker, and workspace within the contemporary rise of digital working platforms and immaterial products. From a new super-tool designed to both stimulate sexual intimacy and promote household energy efficiency to a set of films which consider boredom as the most fundamental act of productivity, the exhibited projects stimulate connections between the spaces in which work and the tools we use as it asks us to understand the social politics behind how and why certain activities come to be construed as work. 

Sediments: a running display of Islands in the making at MIT / ACT Corridor, Building E15, Second Floor
By the spring of 2018, MIT’s Program in Art, Culture & Technology (ACT) is aiming to produce a new piece of water-bound cultural infrastructure on the Charles River—a future learning environment on the water. The MIT Island will be offered as a prototype to stimulate our collective imaginations about the possibilities for civic and educational spaces that support site-sensitive cultural activity and bring us closer to waterways increasingly strained by climate change and industrial negligence. 

Leading up to this 2018 installation, the ACT corridor on the second floor of Building E15 will host an evolving display of plans, sketches, and other ideational materials for the Island, as well as archival materials from ACT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection. Indeed, ACT’s Island project draws inspiration from a series of collaborative installations proposed by Fellows at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, collectively named the Charles River Project (1971–1974). With the use of large-scale wall-mounted vitrines and monitor displays, Sediments layers this fascinating CAVS material into ACT’s vision for a path-marking facility on, in, and by the water.

Kinetic Speakers
“Kinetic Speakers and Experimental Sound Creations“ generate a creative sound space that acts as stage, a workspace, a thinking place, a gallery and an archive. There is a profound relationship between sound, body and space. To explore these concepts, this class connects traditional and theoretical knowledge with hands on experimentation to experience sound as an unstable yet sculptural art form. We reject the notion that recorded or acousmatic music is best reproduced on traditional mono or stereo speaker systems. We diffuse and listen to sound in relation to the variety of spacial properties and learn that sound and space react with one other in very complex ways. Thus we gain new perspectives on sound and performance. The class actively takes part by learning and inventing production techniques, understanding basic principles of acoustic & experimental music, and inventing new strategies for sound perception.

The Kinetic Speaker and Experimental Sound Creations class’ performance is arranged into one continuous two-hour performance that will repeat itself throughout the day. The performance will take place SaturdayApril 23rd2016 in the ACT Cube E15-001, 20 Ames Street, CambridgeFor more information visit ACT Kinetic Speakers.

Architecture on the Fringes / Rotch Library, Building 7 Room 238
Architecture on the Fringes explores vernacular settlements across Oman. Originally organized by Professor Soumyen Bandyopadhyay and Martin S. Goffriller, Ph.D., the exhibition highlights the extensive documentation and research undertaken by the Centre for the Study of Architecture and Cultural Heritage of India, Arabia and the Maghreb (ArCHIAM), University of Liverpool, UK. Oman on the southeastern end of the Arabian Peninsula is in effect an island, surrounded on three sides by the Arabian/Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, and by the great sand-sea of the Empty Quarters (ar-Rub’ al-Khali). A core of ancient settlements evolved around the mountain spine, the Al Hajar (or Oman) Mountains; the coast responded to the maritime interaction through its many ports, developing a cosmopolitan identity, and the desert frontier developed ‘ports’ of exchange with the nomadic population. Using original urban, architectural and ethnographic documentation (drawn, photographic) undertaken by ArCHIAM, the exhibition will explore various aspects of the Omani condition. These are structured around four key themes, a) Topography and Water; b) Religious Exchange and Cultural Perspectives; c) The Social Mosaic; and d) Trade and Exchange.

The exhibition is organized in conjunction with New Frontiers in Gulf Urbanisma symposium co-sponsored by the Aga Khan Documentation Center and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT, and is curated for MIT by Sharon C. Smith, Ph.D., AKDC program head. Also coinciding with the symposium and physical exhibition, a virtual exhibition of the same name will launch on Archnet and is curated by Michael A. Toler, Ph.D, Archnet content manager.

Infinite Footsteps / Ronald E. McNair Building 37, First Floor
Join us in the lobby of the Ronald E. McNair Building (37-1st Floor) April 20-23rd for the exhibition Infinite Footsteps featuring a unique collaboration between ACT Program, the Blacks at MIT History Project, M.Arch Program, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, and contributors from the greater Boston community including Salem State University and a local street breakdancing crew. 

Conceptualized by ODGE Graduate Community Fellow Ron MartinInfinite Footsteps is a multi-layered and dialogic engagement with the theme of mentorship against the backdrop of a fragmented history of racial discrimination in the world of academia in the US. Exploring the notion that over time architecture registers cultural identity and social change, the site-specificity of Infinite Footsteps becomes a key investigatory tool. Formerly known as the Center for Space Research, the SOM designed MIT Building 37 was rededicated as the Ronald E. McNair building in 1986. This exhibition explores the ramifications of this act of re-naming in the wake the Challenger NASA mission disaster, now in its 30th anniversary, where MIT Alum Ronald McNair lost his life.

The exhibition of archival materials from the Blacks at MIT History Project will be accompanied by artworks and experimental spatial interventions along with a set of nightly events including a reading group and production workshop, a panel discussion and live dance performances.

Funding for the project is provided by The Council for the Arts at MIT, The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education and the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (SA+P). Infinite Footsteps exhibitors and guest speakers include Ron Martin SMACT’17, Clarence G. WilliamsNelly RosarioDaniel Delgado, Stephanie Lee M.Arch’18, Joey Swerdlin M.Arch’18, Arthur MusahMeredith Tenhoor, Rainar Aasrand SMACT’18, Crazy 88s Dance Crew.


The Collier Memorial / North Court Tent
Last year, MIT unveiled a permanent memorial to Sean Collier, the campus police officer ambushed by the Boston Marathon bombers on April 18, 2013. The memorial is the striking physical embodiment of "Collier Strong": 32 giant blocks of granite working together to form a vault around a central empty space. Come and meet us to discover everything about the making of the memorial and to assess its strength!

MIT Sustainable Design Lab / Cambridge Connection Tent, Hayward Street Lot 
The Sustainable Design Lab will be presenting two interactive tools for the exploration of neighborhood energy performance. The first, Mapdwell, is an award-winning website that provides a map of the solar power potential for every building in Cambridge, allowing users to see where solar panels would be the most effective. The second is an interactive neighborhood design environment that lets you design a new neighborhood with Lego blocks and see its energy consumption, daylight availability, and walkability colorized on the blocks in real time.

Public Art Tour / MIT List Visual Arts Center / Tours at 12-1 PM, 2-3 PM -- Killian Court
At MIT, the campus is our museum. Join MIT List Visual Arts Center staff on a walking tour of MIT’s public art collection to view and learn about the history of contemporary art across the Institute. View the recently unveiled new acquisition to the Percent-for-Art program by artist Antony Gormley, and see other highlights including work by artists Alexander Calder, Mark DiSuvero, and Sol LeWitt’s monumental installation, “Bars of Color within Squares (MIT).” 

The Buildings Behind the Brains: MIT’s Campus / 
Office of Campus Planning and the Department of Facilities -- Cambridge Connection Tent, Hayward Street Lot
Have you ever wondered what goes into the making of an MIT building? What’s the story behind its design, location, or renovation? What are its sustainable design elements and other innovations? Here’s your chance to learn more.  These spaces are where the MIT community works, studies, and lives, where faculty train the next generation of innovators, and where researchers seek answers to the world’s greatest problems. Learn more about the creation and preservation of MIT’s game-changing spaces, from the renewal of original 1916 buildings to the construction of MIT.nano—a new 200,000-square-foot nanotechnology center at the heart of campus.

For full listings, see http://mit2016.mit.edu/openhouse.