Project
SCHOOL POLITICS

SCHOOL POLITICS uses student and school-run journals at MIT Architecture to trace the formation of a political body within the school and its interaction with broader issues of capital, social protest, and power beyond MIT.

Within MIT, architecture students have organized themselves as a political body to maintain a dialogue with faculty and administration and to seek increased involvement in the decisions and development of the school, as well as prepare students for the transition into the work force. PLAN looks at the career of two students after graduation. architext documents the formation of a political body within the school. From the pages of PIN-UP, students inquire after the architectural agenda of MIT. In 2010, little t reprints a thresholds essay from 1996, showing the constant questioning over the graduate thesis project. In these articles and essays, the call to define an agenda for the school parallels the formation of each student’s individual line of research--our contemporary Town Hall Meetings carry on this tradition.

Beyond MIT, students have used journals as a platform to look at broader issues beyond the school. A timeline from a 1980 special issue of PLAN features school events along with key moments in the history of the city. Another issue interviews mayor candidates Ed Logue and Mel King. We feature it along with thresholds 41, which includes views from the Boston Chapter of the Disobedience Archive, by Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas—an event that also hosted Mel King and revisited his continuous struggle for social justice. Caricatures from the back covers of architext include critical views on the role of the developer and the formation of the Boston downtown. More recently, XS outlines the image of a Kantian City—an exercise that will spark a collaboration in the current thresholds.

CREDITS
copies of PLAN, architext, the MIT student architecture journal courtesy of the Institute Archives & Special Collections. PIN-UP courtesy of the MIT Library Annex. Additional issues of PLAN from Rotch Library. thresholds and XS thanks to Tyler Stevermer. little-t from personal collection.

THANKS
Chris Donnelly, Ayako Letizia, Nora Murphy, and Tyler Stevermer for their help in collecting and preparing the materials for this exhibition.

SCHOOL POLITICS was organized as part of the launch of thresholds 41: REVOLUTION! edited by Ana María León. Journal design and layout by Chris Grimley of overcommaunder.com