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Meet the 2021 ASC Co-Chairs

The Architecture Student Council (ASC) is a student organization of the Department of Architecture at MIT. The student council is composed of representatives from all of our degree programs and two elected co-chairs. The council works in close collaboration with the department’s leadership, faculty, and staff to advocate on the student body’s behalf and to foster a culture of support, collaboration, and openness. The council changes over at the beginning of each Spring term. This February, Hugh Ebdy and Hampton Smith took over as ASC Co-Chairs for 2021.

Hampton Smith is a current PhD student in the History, Theory, and Criticism Department. He received a B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2019. His research centers on the art and material culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly as it relates to questions of technology, race, and labor.

Hugh Ebdy is a current third year M.Arch student, having come from the University of Dundee for undergrad, followed by a number of professional and voluntary roles in London, Berlin, Mumbai, and Geneva. He plans to take his thesis on cooperative housing in the fall of 2021 before hopefully beginning a career that sits somewhere between urban planning, housing, real estate development, and design.   

The ASC student representatives for 2021 include Amanda Ugorji, Latifa Akhayat, Carol-Anne Rodrigues, Xio Alvarez, Mohamad Nahleh, Emma (Yimeng) Zhu, Samuel Dubois, Aidan Flynn, Athina Papadopoulou, Rania Kaadan, Demi Fang, Norhan Magdy Bayomi, Daniel Landez, Stephanie Li, Ibuki Iwasaki, and Catherine Yang.

We asked Hampton and Hugh about their goals and vision for the role of ASC in the Department of Architecture this year. Read their statement below:

Beyond relaying student concerns, we envision ASC as a support system for students, especially during the exhaustion of living in a COVID impacted world.  

This can take many different forms; whether that is providing moments for connection, helping develop paths towards racial and social equity, or creating opportunities for strengthening the community. 

Up to this moment in time, we have really just been responding to abnormalities the best way we know how. Like everyone, we miss the opportunities for spontaneous conversation and collaboration that a physical structure actually provides us. Nevertheless, over the past year we have seen students forge connections across the digital realm and proceed forward in new and exciting ways, and together we are aiming to amplify those voices and ideas. 

Yet we also recognize that this experience has exasperated existing inequalities and we hope this “break” in the normal will offer a chance to think more about: 

  • Emphasizing increased collaboration across discipline groups

  • Being more consistent in addressing issues of inequity, celebrating difference, and working to dismantle white supremacy alongside our colleagues and collaborators in NOMAS, the DEI committee, and the wider department 

  • Developing methods to enable students to have more agency over their education

  • Amplifying the inherent creativity and ideas of our diverse community 

  • Serving as a conduit between students, faculty, and staff, as well as the larger Cambridge and Boston communities

  • Working with the department to bring about further financial equity for students

As has always been the case with the ASC, our successes have been built on the backs of students who put their time and effort into the department. We will always warmly welcome ideas, feedback, energy, and life; please do reach out at any time.

We are here for you.
Hampton and Hugh

If you would like to get involved with ASC, email them at mitarchstudcouncil@gmail.com

Image Credits:

1) Hampton Smith headshot. Courtesy of Hampton Smith. 

2) Hugh Ebdy headshot. Courtesy of Hugh Ebody.