Exhibit: Objects of AI

For Immediate Release
MIT Exhibit Objects of AI

On view starting November 1, 2023
MIT Architecture Head Office Hallway Gallery, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 7-337, Cambridge, MA

Cambridge, MA, October 30, 2023 – MIT announced that Objects of AI – An exhibition featuring student work from 4.043/4.044 + 4.S00/4.S12 studios taught by Marcelo Coelho – is on view at MIT Architecture’s Head Office Hallway Gallery through January 1, 2024.

As machine learning and artificial intelligence begin to permeate every aspect of our lives, it has become crucial to prepare design students to develop a practice that creatively and critically engages with these technologies. Within the Department of Architecture and the Design Major and Minor programs, we have a number of new developments to bring machine learning and artificial intelligence to the broader creative disciplines.

In 4.043/4.044 Design Studio: Interaction Intelligence and 4.S00/4.S12 Design Intelligence, we introduce students to a new kind of creative process, leveraging the capabilities of generative AI from the early stages of concept development to fabrication and deployment. Students engage in multiple modes of work, starting with the construction of datasets, the development of new neural network architectures, training and fine-tuning of large language models, and developing applications across a variety of creative domains, such as art, product design, interaction design, and architecture.

Objects of AI highlights student work from two projects: Large Language Objects and Neural Fabricators.

Large Language Objects  
Large Language Models (LLM) have  shown an unprecedented ability to generate human-like text and images, answer questions, and code. However, these models remain largely ignorant of the world outside of language, lacking context, real time feedback, and knowledge of physical objects and our environments. In this project, students designed physical interfaces for large language models, extending their capabilities beyond the confines of screens and augmenting human experience.  

Neural Fabricators 
The integration of AI with design and fabrication tools offers untapped potential for what we can imagine and create. Today, these machines largely operate detached from the dynamics of real-world interaction, remaining unaware of human intention or the complexities of material behaviors and constraints. In this project, students created AI-driven fabrication machines and techniques, envisioning a future where the creative process becomes a harmonious blend of human intuition and machine intelligence.   

About the Courses
4.S00/4.S12 Design Intelligence introduces students to a practical, hands-on approach to machine learning and artificial intelligence. Providing a new lens through which to engage machine learning through aesthetic, form-finding and behavior, the course introduces students to neural networks, CNNs, RNNs, VAEs, and GANs, as well as how to collect and prepare data for training their own models. Situated within a graphic, product and interaction design context, students learn to develop a new kind of creative practice that not only actively engages in shaping the future of artificial intelligence, but is also instrumental in addressing its biases and failures.  

4.043/4.044 Interaction Intelligence provides an overview of core principles and techniques for the design of interaction, behavior and intelligence across objects and spaces. In a studio environment, students develop low and high-fidelity interactive prototypes that can be deployed and experienced by real users. Lectures cover the history and principles of human-computer interaction, behavior prototyping, physical and graphical user interfaces, machine intelligence, neural networks, and large language models. The course provides a foundation in technical skills, such as physical prototyping, coding, and electronics, as well as how to architect, train and deploy neural network models.

About the MIT Department of Architecture 
The MIT Department of Architecture opened its doors in 1868 as the first Architecture department in the United States. MIT Architecture is currently home to around 250 graduate and undergraduate students. Numbered among the Department’s over 5,000 alumni are Sophia Hayden ’1890, Robert R. Taylor ’1892, I.M. Pei ’40, and Charles Correa ’55. 

Annie Dong, Aria Xiying Bao, Artem Laptiev, Arthur B. S. R., Arzy Abliadzhyieva, Cassie Lee, Danning Liang, Diego Yanez-Laguna, Haoheng Tang, Kai Zhang, Kat Labrou, Karyn Nakamura, Merve Akdogan, Mrinalini Singha, Olivia Seow, Quincy Kuang, Selin Dursun, Shua Cho, Tanya Estrina, Tod Zhu, Treyden Chiaravalloti, Nix Liu Xin, Youtian Duan, Yubo Zhao, and Zain Karsan. 

Special Thanks 
Hashim Sarkis, Nicholas de Monchaux, John A. Ochsendorf, Skylar Tibbits, Caitlin Mueller, Diego Pinochet, Roy Shilkrot, Suwan Kim, Bill McKenna, Inala M Locke, Tessa Haynes, Amanda Moore, Joel Carela, Chris Dewart, Jeonghyun Yoon, Chris Haynes, Marion Cunningham, and Jim Harrington.

Courses developed with support from the 2021-2022 Alumni Class Funds, the Department of Architecture, and hosted by Morningside Academy for Design.

Curation and Exhibition Design 
Marcelo Coelho, Lecturer in the Department of Architecture 

Visitor Information 
MIT Architecture HQ Gallery, 77 Mass Ave, 7-337, Cambridge, MA

Monday through Sunday, 7AM to 7PM  

Media Contacts
Joél Carela
Communications Coordinator, MIT Department of Architecture
jcarela@mit.edu/ 617-253-0692