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Spring 2017 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 10, 2017 - 5:00pm
Long Lounge/Room 7-429

Students present research and travel for the Schlossman Research Award, the Louis C. Rosenberg Travel Fellowship, and the Julian Beinart Research Award. More information on each award and applications is available here.


Feb 10, 2017 - 12:00pm

Hosted by the MIT Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)Moderated by Jessica Varner

Feb 16, 2017 - 7:00pm
Room 7-429/Long Lounge

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 16, 5:30 - 7pm, Wolk Gallery (7-338)
Volker Staab, principal of Staab Architects, Berlin
Respondent: Annemarie Jaeggi, Director of Bauhaus Archive, Berlin
Organized and curated by Gary van Zante, MIT Museum 

Feb 13, 2017 - 6:00pm
E15-001: 20 Ames Street, Wiesner Building

Magid will be discussing recent projects, her engagements with the law, and permission as a material of the work.

Feb 23, 2017 - 6:00pm
Feb 27, 2017 - 6:00pm

The contemporary environmental, political and financial crises have brought energy to the forefront of design concerns, emphasizing once again that geography has a significant role to play for the design of oil infrastructure. This talk will review findings from DESIGN EARTH research on Hassi Messaoud Oil Urbanism, After Oil in the Gulf, and the Future of Oil Company Towns to discuss ways in which representation could play an instrumental in discussions about energy transition.

Feb 28, 2017 - 6:00pm

For nearly fifty years “the building” has primarily been viewed as a means rather than an end within architectural history and theory. This volume presents an alternative to that trend by reconceiving it as a central discursive category in its own right. Contributors—including architects and academics from world-renowned institutions—offer insightful discussions of key architectural structures conceived in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.A. over the last three decades. In doing so they propel architectural thinking’s importance as a domain of knowledge.

Feb 24, 2017 - 5:00pm

While embodiment takes many forms, this talk will carve out a modest space for discussion as a way of illustrating a larger shift in our cultural technologies. The modest space?

Mar 2, 2017 - 6:00pm

This is the story behind the Fuji Kindergarten, well known from the TED talk, "The best kindergarten you've ever seen.” In this lecture, we will present several new and ongoing projects which evolved from the philosophy that the human being is designed to be a part of the environment. We are waterproofed. Architecture is not just a shelter but also the setting to merge humans with this planet.

Photographs: Katsuhisa Kida/FOTOTECA

Mar 3, 2017 - 12:00pm

Hosted by the MIT Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)

Mar 6, 2017 - 6:00pm



Image 1: Original Model of Virginia Statehouse by Jean-Pierre Fouquet for Thomas Jefferson, 1786

Image 2: Samuel Jennings, Liberty Displaying the Arts and Sciences or the Genius of America of America Encouraging the Emancipations of the Blacks, 1792. Library Company of Philadelphia.

Mar 9, 2017 - 6:00pm
Mar 13, 2017 - 6:00pm
E15-001: 20 Ames Street, Wiesner Building

By creating proposals and aesthetic models for others to use and adapt, she defines herself as an initiator rather than an author, and often collaborates with multiple institutions as well as many individuals so that the full realization of her artwork occurs when others adopt and perpetuate it.

This presentation will show some of Bruguera’s work-strategies and discuss some of her key concepts like Arte de Conducta (Behavior Art), Arte Útil (Art as a tool), Political-timing specific and Aest-ethics in the context of current political events.

Mar 20, 2017 - 6:00pm

This talk seeks to explore a method of decolonizing photography. It aims to disassociate “the history of photography” from being synonymous with and read as the “history of [Western] photography.” In the process of “provincializing” European photography, such a method locates photographic practice and representation within political economies of colonialism, nationalism, class formation, and capitalist order.

Apr 3, 2017 - 6:00pm

What Saudi activists call “Islamic Action” (al-‘amal al-islami) became the most efficient way for them to engage with the public realm after big Saudi cities were forcibly turned into individualizing and depoliticized suburbs, North American style. The Islamic movement in Saudi Arabia emerged as a political force in the 1970s and 1980s, at the very moment when Western urban planners designed new Saudi cities where they injected counterinsurgency devices and implemented free market solutions.

Apr 5, 2017 - 6:00pm

SARS. Avian influenza. Ebola. Transgressions across animal/human borders? Industrial diseases of our own making? Causal explanations abound. Ecological perspectives on emerging diseases proliferate, from the dynamics of host-microbe interactions to the cycles of global capital. But new forms of life and their ecological understandings have been emerging in industrial landscapes in the making for generations of humans and microbes.

Apr 20, 2017 - 6:00pm
Apr 21, 2017 - 1:00pm
E52, Samberg Center

April 21-22, 2017
MIT Samberg Conference Center, Building E52
50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139

Apr 24, 2017 - 6:00pm

A World War II hero, pioneering critic of racism in France, revolutionary psychiatrist, spokesman of the Algerian national liberation movement: Frantz Fanon lived many lives for a man who died at 36. But what thread links these “lives,” and how are we to make sense of Fanon’s writings today, several decades after the collapse of the colonial regimes he opposed? This lecture will explore how Fanon invented himself on the page while responding to a series of extreme situations. It will also reflect on Fanon’s contemporary “after-lives”.

Apr 24, 2017 - 6:00pm
E15-001: 20 Ames Street, Wiesner Building

Pedro Reyes’s practice sews together the usually uneven goals/ends of art, architecture, psychology, theater, activism, and more. It’s understood that an expanded notion of sculpture is expanding into the social. His solutions engage us in the same way a practical joke would. According to Pedro, jokes have a particular mechanism, like an airbag, that cushions the collision of our expectations of reality and reality itself. So then, the sudden clash of thesis and antithesis leads to laughter—the only way we can handle the shock.

Apr 27, 2017 - 6:00pm

The 28th Arthur H. Schein Memorial Lecture

Apr 28, 2017 - 5:00pm