Lectures & Events — March 28 – April 1

A busy week of lectures and events coming up…

Anna-Sophie Springer: Curating the Anthropocene: A Palimpsest of Species and Spaces
March 28 | 6 PM, E15-011 | ACT Lecture Series


Image courtesy of Anna-Sophie Springer, used in the 125,660 Species of Natural History exhibition, 2015


Arguing that current matters in natural history are messier than some of the most compelling scientific and artistic representations seem to suggest, Springer will discuss her current research and previous exhibitions and publications which have engaged a complex spectrum of species and spaces to create possible affective and conceptual affinities beyond representation.

Anna-Sophie Springer is a writer, editor, curator, and co-director (with Charles Stankievech) of K. Verlag, an independent press exploring the book as a site for exhibition making. Her practice stimulates fluid relations among images, artifacts, and texts in order to produce new geographical, physical, and cognitive proximities, often in relation to historical archives. She is currently researching her PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths College, London.


Image courtesy of Anna-Sophie Springer, used in the 125,660 Species of Natural History exhibition, 2015

On Tuesday, March 29, David Adjaye presents “Geography, History, Community: Designing to Context”, his keynote lecture for the McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. Through an exploration of his completed and ongoing work, David Adjaye will discuss how architecture can be harnessed as a tool for community enrichment and development. David Adjaye’s work ranges from large-scale public projects—such as the soon-to-be completed National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. and the recently opened Sugar Hill housing and museum project in Harlem, New York—to private residences for prestigious artists. This lecture will address how his work across a variety of programs and scales is united in its attention to the nuances of the geographies, histories and cultural significance of their contexts and places. The lecture takes place at 5 PM in Room 10-250.


MIT, 1929. Image courtesy MIT Department of Facilities.

On Wednesday-Thursday, March 30-31, 2016, MIT hosts the first of two symposia as part of the MIT 2016 Celebrations. Designing Places for Inventing the Future: The Campus–Then, Now, Next brings together architects and experts from academia, government, and architectural practice. The symposium takes place in Kresge Auditorium. Register here!

Wednesday March 30 [12 PM Lunch]
1:15 – 3:00 PM — The Infinite Corridor and Beyond: The symposium opens by exploring campus architecture and design, including the story of MIT’s Main Group and its influence on other campuses during the past 100 years. With Hashim Sarkis (MIT), Mark Jarzombek (MIT), Hilary Ballon (NYU), David Adjaye (Adjaye Associates), Christian Veddeler (UNStudio), Julie Newman (MIT Office of Sustainability)

3:30 – 5:00 PM — From Instruction to Innovation: Innovation districts are growing in cities worldwide, thanks to partnerships between universities, government, and industry. The session includes reflections on incubating urban innovation spaces, such as Kendall Square (Cambridge, MA) and Roosevelt Island (New York, NY). With Adèle Naudé Santos (MIT), Israel Ruiz (MIT), Katie Stebbins (Commonwealth of Massachusetts), Roger Duffy (SOM), Marion Weiss (Weiss/Manfredi), and Carlo Ratti (MIT)

Thursday March 31 [8:30 AM Breakfast]
9:45 – 11:00 AM — Learning in 02139: A report from speakers at the front lines of experiments in education at the university, secondary, and childhood levels. With Christine Ortiz (MIT), Thomas Magnanti (MIT), Mitchel Resnick (MIT), and Saeed Arida (NuVu Studio)

11:15 – 12:30 PM — The Virtual Campus: The future of online learning will be determined by our comprehension of its challenges and opportunities. From lessons learned to ongoing data-driven educational experiments, how are we thinking differently today—now that we know what we know? With Sanjay Sarma (MIT), Susan Singer (NSF + Carleton College), Paul LeBlanc (Southern New Hampshire University), Anant Agarwal (edX, MIT)



Finally, we close the week with Future of Suburbia, a conference hosted by the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, on March 31-April 1, 2016 at the MIT Media Lab.

We are living in a global suburban age. Modern suburban development has endured in our cultural imagination for almost a century.  While statistics demonstrate that the amount of the world population in metropolitan areas is rapidly increasing, rarely is it understood that the bulk of this growth occurs in the suburbanized peripheries of cities. Domestically, over 69% of all U.S. residents live in suburban areas; internationally, many other developed countries are predominately suburban, while many developing countries are rapidly suburbanizing as well. By 2030, an estimated half a million square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) of land worldwide will become suburbia. Suburbanization is a contemporary global phenomenon.

With the success, growth, and increasing global social and economic dependence on suburbs, the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism believes it is time to explore how they may be improved through better design and planning. What new land tenure models are needed to ensure that suburbs will become the frontier of innovation, tapping into flexible land-use to enable experimental economies, programs, and building? What technological innovations and productive systems will be embedded within suburban development to allow for self-sufficiency, or even perhaps to become a net producer of food, water, and energy? How do new forms of suburbs in these contexts evolve over time?

The Future of Suburbia conference will outline four design frameworks that project a future that is heterogeneous, experimental, autonomous and productive. Each of these themes will be explored by panelists from a broad array of fields including: design, architecture, urban planning, history and demographics, policy, energy, mobility, health, environment, economics, and applied and future technologies.


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