07/19/2018: MITArchA Visit to the National Academy of Sciences

On July 17, 2018, over thirty MIT alumni, guests, and friends signed with MITArchA, AMITA, and the MIT Club of Washington DC to attend a unique event at the National Academy of Sciences. The event included: a tour of the building and the exhibitions, an outdoor film screening, and a scavenger hunt. The group met at the bronze Einstein statue on Constitution Avenue.

The National Academy of Sciences was established under Abraham Lincoln in 1863 as a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars. There are many connections between MIT and the NAS including a number of key persons such as Charles Vest, the former MIT president who served as the president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The National Academy of Sciences building was designed in 1924 by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, business partner of Ralph Adams Cram, professor and chairman of Architecture at MIT. The building was expanded under the aegis of Harrison and Abramovitz, with an auditorium featuring advanced acoustic design by Cyril Harris who was later involved in the Metropolitan Opera, the Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln Theater. 

Attendees were able to view many exhibitions in the Academy of Sciences, including Aquahoya, developed by the MIT Media Lab. After the tour there was a scavenger hunt and an outdoor screening of the 1974 science fiction film Westworld, featuring Yul Brynner.

06/22/2018: 150 Years of Course IV: NYC Preview Event at the New Museum

 On June 22, 2018, the MIT Club of New York joined forces with MITArchA (MIT Architecture Alumni) and the Department of Architecture to celebrate the upcoming 150th anniversary of Architecture at MIT. Scheduled to coincide with the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture, this event was held at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Over 140 alumni from class years ranging from 1955 to 2018 were in attendance.

Jacob Kain, M.Arch ’00, President of MITArchA, kicked off the event with a brief introduction. He introduced MITArchA, explained its history and reason for being, and encouraged attendees to engage with the Department and their alumni colleagues. Kenneth Namkung, M.Arch ’03 (board member of MITArchA and a VP of the Club of New York) spoke briefly about the alumni community, describing MITArchA as a new but powerful force within the alumni universe. He touched on the storied history of Course IV, noting that its graduates include: the first African-American architect in history, the first professional female architect in America, and two Pritzer Prize winners amongst its alumni before introducing Department Head J. Meejin Yoon.

Professor Yoon began her talk by discussing Course IV’s founding under William Robert Ware, the philosophy that guided those early years, and the Department’s tradition of progressiveness and activism. She described the Institute as an open and generous place that rewards risk-taking, spoke about its commitment to improving the built environment, and discussed the social and environmental values that undergird design education at MIT. Professor Yoon encouraged alumni to attend the upcoming 150th anniversary-related events in Cambridge, including: Experiments in Pedagogy, an exhibition at the MIT Museum, and a symposium on design and research.

Associate Professor Ana Miljacki then took the stand to discuss the Master of Architecture program. She discussed the size of the program—there are about 100 M.Arch students at any time, with an incoming class of between 24 to 30 students. The applicant pool has grown steadily in recent years, and the admissions rate is currently about 10%. In addition, the incoming class now has more women than men. Miljacki discussed the curriculum itself—it is split into Core Studios, which emphasize different entries into architecture as a vocation, and Research Studios, which explore a variety of experimental topics.

Mark Jarzombek, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, then took the stand to discuss the structure and ethos of the Department, stating that the Institute supports long and productive careers through the tenure process. The Department currently has 38 tenured faculty (attaining tenure at MIT is not easy), creating an enduring academic community that has helped propel MIT Architecture to a #1 ranking worldwide.

Associate Professor Skylar Tibbits then spoke about his work within the Department, beginning with his work in undergraduate education, describing his role in the BSAD program, as well as his efforts in creating the Design Minor, which reaches undergraduate students from all disciplines. Tibbits then discussed his research group, the Self-Assembly Lab, which works in “programmable materials”. He showed a number of innovative studio and research projects including: 4D Printing (customizable smart materials), Rock Printing, which combines robotically assembled textiles and granular materials to create self-supporting dry masonry structures, and a design studio which focused on rapidly deployable structures for extreme environments.

A number of accomplished local alumni then came to the stage to discuss the impact of the Department on their careers and personal lives. Speakers including: Marcel Botha, SMArchS ’06, Elliot Felix, M.Arch ’06, Mimi Hoang ’93, Scott Lawin ’93, and Andrea Lamberti ’91, gave engaging, insightful, and deeply personal stories about the role that Course IV played in their lives and careers. Professor Yoon then returned to the stage to present awards to other local alumni, including: I.M. Pei ’40, Richard Dattner ’60, Nico Kienzl, SMBT ’99, and William Pederson, M.Arch ’64. After the event ended, the festivities continued with an after-party on a rooftop on the Lower East Side.





Mackenzie Muhonen (MArch ’19) awarded 2018 Kohn Pederson Fox Traveling Fellowship

mack-kpf (1).jpg

Article reposted from architecture.mit.edu. Read original article here.

Please join us in congratulating Mackenzie Muhonen (MArch ’19), one of three recipients of the 2018 Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) Traveling Fellowship for her portfolio and proposal, "Learning from Love Motels: The Semiotics of a Civic Bedroom." Muhonen will travel to five cities in Brazil during a five-week trip this summer.

“Love motels are a ubiquitous architectural typology in Brazilian cities. A stop at the motel—or moteis for plural— is as commonplace as a visit to the market,” writes Muhonen. “As an urban system, the love motel generates a tectonic visibility that lacks scholarship.” Following Lauro Cavalcanti and Dinah Guimaraens’s seminal text, Arquitetura de Moteis Cariocas: Espaço e Organização Social, Muhonen will survey the semiotic language of Brazilian love motels.

Muhonen’s research in Brazil is the subject of her M.Arch thesis project in Fall 2017. “The goal is to offer a new reading of the Brazilian city, as predicated on an architecture of human desire, escapism, and the absurd,” she states. 

Muhonen studied Architectural History, Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to MIT, she spent a year in Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro. View her portfolio submission for the Fellowship.

Previous recipients of the KPF Traveling Fellowship include Hoi Lung Damian Chan (MArch 2009), T. Buck Sleeper (MArch 2010), and Erioseto Hendranata (MArch 2014). Dennis (Hoi Kwan) Cheung and Alan Lu (MArch 2013) received an Honorable Mention in 2012, and Maya Shopova (MArch 2018) received an Honorable Mention in 2017. 

The other two winners of the 2018 fellowships are Eric Hsu (Rice University) and Eduardo Martinez-Mediero Rubio (Harvard GSD).This year’s jury included Andrea Simitch, Chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell; Kiel Moe, Associate Professor of Architecture and Energy at Harvard GSD; Inaqui Carnicero of Columbia University GSAPP and Rica Studio; and Hana Kassem and Rob Whitlock, Principals at KPF.

Each year, KPF awards three travel grants to students in their penultimate year at one of 26 design schools in the United States. Winners of the annual competition are selected by portfolio review. The goal of the award is to allow students to broaden their education through a summer of travel before their final year at school. Each winner receives $10,000 in support of their travels.

Leslie Lok, M. Arch ’11 and Sasa Zivkovic, M. Arch ’12 announced as winners of 2018 Folly/Function Competition

Leslie Lok, M. Arch ’11 and Sasa Zivkovic, M. Arch ’12, co-principals of HANNAH Architecture and Design, and faculty at Cornell University, produced the winning proposal for the 2018 edition of Folly/Function, an annual juried design/build competition for architects and designers.

Their proposal, titled RRRolling Stones, is a moveable outdoor seating system made from 3D-printed concrete and uses the standard ergonomics of a functional chair to create durable, mobile outdoor seating. RRRolling Stones are designed for all-season use and may be rotated to reveal new seating profiles or tumbled across the Park’s landscape by users. Their playful design encourages creative interaction and emboldens park visitors to configure them in original arrangements based on preference and need.

The RRRolling Stones seating was prototyped and 3D-printed at the Cornell Robotic Construction Laboratory in Ithaca, New York. Executed in layers of a special cement mixture reinforced with nylon fibers, the seats’ striated surfaces reveal their incremental manufacturing process. During printing, the seats’ interior is supported with a bed of gravel, enabling the creation of their cantilevered forms. A layer of gravel remains imprinted on each chair’s interior surface, giving it a geologic character. This innovative production process begets a distinct aesthetic layered with rousing and unanticipated associations.

Their proposal was selected from a group of international submissions by a jury of leaders in the fields of architecture and design.

Learn more here: https://archleague.org/competition/folly-function-2018/


HANNAH is an experimental design practice for speculative and built projects across scales, addressing subjects of architecture and urbanism. The office, led by Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic, focuses on contemporary building practices and utilizes specialized novel material and fabrication methods. HANNAH’s object of inquiry is material, process, and construction.

Learn more at http://hannah-office.org/

Coryn Kempster, M.Arch ’08, wins 2018 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers

Coryn Kempster, M.Arch ’08, co-founder of Coryn Kempster Julia Jamrozik and adjunct assistant professor of architecture at SUNY-Buffalo, was announced as one of the winners of the 2018 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers, intended to foster up-and-coming architectural and design talent. The 2018 theme, Objective, asked entrants to examine the role of objectivity in contemporary society.

Kempster received a BA from the University of Toronto and an MArch degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduating from MIT in 2008, he gained professional experience as an architect at Herzog & de Meuron and a Project Director at Harry Gugger Studio in Switzerland before founding his own office in 2014.

Currently located in Buffalo and Toronto, Coryn Kempster Julia Jamrozik endeavours to create spaces, objects and situations that interrupt the ordinary in critically engaging and playful ways. Together they have won numerous competitions and have exhibited and published in Canada, the US, Germany, France, Italy and South Korea, including solo shows at Vtape and Convenience Gallery in Toronto.

Learn more via the Architectural League website:





A Tour of Joya Studio with B.Alex Miller, M.Arch ‘04

On April 25, 2018, the MIT Club of New York and MITArchA held an event at Joya, a renowned fragrance studio located in Brooklyn, whose showroom was designed by alums B. Alex Miller and Jeffrey Taylor of Taylor and Miller. Over twenty alumni and guests attended the event, which included a presentation and a tour. Kenneth Namkung, M.Arch ’03, Vice President of the MIT Club of New York and local representative of MITArchA, gave a brief introduction. Frederick Bouchardy (founder of Joya) began the talk by introducing the company, its history, and its philosophy.

B. Alex Miller started his talk by discussing the evolution of Taylor and Miller’s design philosophy, beginning with the graduate school design collaborations that would lay the groundwork for his future career. He explained that Taylor and Miller fabricates most of its work, allowing them to deeply explore the materials and details within their projects. He showed a number of recent commissions, including: Echoing Green, an interior project in Manhattan based on a reconfigurable modular furniture, the Lighthouse School, a yoga studio in Brooklyn defined by a serene interior; and the Lake House—based on a timber retaining wall punctured by a series of sleeves that connect the house to the site beyond.

Miller then discussed the Joya Showroom itself, explaining that it was driven by a desire to connect the factory and retail space. The showroom is defined by a series of moveable floating panels made of steel plate covered by a thin wood veneer. Insets within the panels allow for the display of retail products and also serve to light the space—Alex stated that “the architecture holds the light.”

After the presentation, Frederick Bouchardy led attendees on a tour of the factory space. Alumni and guests were able to see production spaces outfitted for ceramics (with slip-casting molds and kilns) and wax forming (with silicone, ceramic, or 3D printed molds). The event ended at a scent development laboratory, filled with unique prototypes and objects of inspiration.

150 Years of Architecture at MIT: 2018-2019: Hong Kong Kick-Off

The School of Architecture and Planning of MIT is celebrating its150th anniversary this year and chose Hong Kong to kick start the year-long celebration on January 25, 2018. Four faculty members came to speak at this event: J. Meejin Yoon, Professor and Department Head; Andrew Scott, Professor of Architecture + Urbanism; Miho Mazereeuw, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism; and Yung Ho Chang, Former Head of the Department came to Hong Kong to give updates on the state of the Department and the profession in general.

47 alumni, friends, and guests attended the cocktail reception and dinner generously sponsored by the Department of Architecture and hosted at the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node. Course IV alumni, spanning five decades, many of whom were first-time attendees of a MITArchA event, had a memorable evening together, celebrated our shared MIT heritage, met current faculty, and reconnected with old friends.

Special thanks to Sean Z. Kwok, BSAD '97, M.Arch '01 for his efforts executing this remarkable event.

Faculty Additions and Promotions at the School of Architecture + Planning


Reposted from architecture.mit.edu. Link to original article here.

The School of Architecture and Planning has announced that 10 faculty members have been recognized with promotions.

In addition, five new professors have joined the school in the Department of Architecture, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Their research ranges from architectural history to disaster resilience to the design of prosthetics.


Recently Promoted Faculty in Architecture

Hugh Herr has been promoted to professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Herr joined the MAS faculty as an assistant professor in 2004 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2009. Since 2004 he has led the Biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab. Driven by his personal experience as a double amputee, he has pursued his research goal of designing smarter and more efficient prosthetics and orthotics. Herr has also been active as an entrepreneur, translating his lab research into commercial products that improve the quality of life for amputees and the disabled worldwide. He has won numerous awards, including the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award (2014), and has been a co-inventor on more than 70 patents and patent applications. The author of many peer-reviewed publications, Herr teaches the core “Principles of Human Augmentation” course. He earned a master’s degree from MIT in mechanical engineering and a PhD in biophysics from Harvard University.

Lauren Jacobi has been promoted to associate professor without tenure in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art program of the Department of Architecture, where she was appointed assistant professor in 2013. Jacobi’s scholarship resides at the intersection of multiple disciplines: art, architecture, and aesthetics; the cultural analysis of money; economic history; and the early history of modernity. Jacobi is the author of several published and forthcoming peer-reviewed articles on her historical research and the forthcoming volume "Pathways to the Modern Economy: Spatial Practices and Banking in and beyond Florence, ca. 1250-1600." Among other scholarly fellowships and awards, in 2015-2016 she was awarded the Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome. Jacobi holds a BA from Swarthmore College, an MA from Courtauld Institute of Art, and an MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.

Janelle Knox-Hayes has been appointed associate professor with tenure in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where she was named Lister Brothers Associate Professor of Economic Geography and Planning (without tenure) in 2015.  She was previously a tenured associate professor in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. Knox-Hayes is an economic geographer. Her research draws on empirical evidence of how societies have sought to mitigate climate change through the creation of carbon emissions markets and related financial instruments. She is the author of many peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and she serves as an editor of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. Her most recent book is "The Cultures of Markets: The Political Economy of Climate Governance" (Oxford University Press, 2016). Knox-Hayes is a contributor to the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative. She holds a BA from the University of Colorado and an MS and PhD from the University of Oxford.

Miho Mazereeuw has been promoted to associate professor without tenure in the Department of Architecture. She directs the Urban Risk Lab, where her research focuses on disaster-resilient design. Before coming to MIT in 2012, Mazereeuw taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the University of Toronto. She has experience in professional practice with architectural offices in the Netherlands, Japan, and the United States. Her research in Japan inspired a pioneering approach to “preemptive design,” in which she shows how urban public space (e.g., plazas, parks, and schoolyards) can be reconfigured as safe havens that have emergency response infrastructure and supplies to anticipate and mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Mazereeuw contributes to post-disaster reconstruction through the design of evacuation structures and strategies that link emergency shelter with resilient infrastructure and communication networks, most notably in Haiti and Indonesia. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA and MLA from Harvard University.

Ana Miljački has been promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Architecture. Her research interests range from the role of architecture and architects in Cold War-era Eastern Europe, through the theories of postmodernism in late socialism to the politics of contemporary architectural production. Miljački contributes to exhibitions and installations as an exhibitor and curator; she was selected to co-curate the United States Pavilion in the 2014 Venice Biennale of Architecture. She is the author of numerous refereed conference papers, book chapters, and articles, and an editor of proceedings and other collected volumes. Her most recent book is "The Optimum Imperative: Czech Architecture for the Socialist Lifestyle, 1938-1968" (Routledge, 2017). She teaches the Architecture Core 2 Design Studio, the required introductory class in history, and directs the graduate thesis program in architecture, as well as leading advanced research seminars. Miljački holds a BA from Bennington College, an MS from Rice University, and a PhD in the history and theory of architecture from Harvard University.

William (Liam) O’Brien has been promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Architecture. An architect and educator, he seeks to bridge the traditional formal and material concerns of the discipline and the new representational and fabrication potentials opened up by computer-aided design and manufacturing. O’Brien has a professional practice, WOJR, which focuses on the realization of real-world architectural commissions and competitions, as well as a large number of installations and drawn design work. He is also a founding member of a research collaborative, Collective-LOK, which undertakes experimental research projects, often without a client. O’Brien has won numerous fellowships and awards, including a Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome in 2012. He is the author of "Room for Artifacts" (Park Books, 2016). He holds a BA from Hobart College and an MA from Harvard University.

Neri Oxman has been promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. She directs the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab, which focuses on nature-inspired design. Oxman’s research brings together design, biology, material science, and computer science to fundamentally rethink how we design and manufacture objects from the micro scale to the building scale. As an engineer and scientist, she has contributed to the development of additive manufacturing technologies by pioneering new techniques in 3-D printing. This work has resulted in 14 patents and patents pending as well as almost 100 papers in journals, book chapters, and refereed proceedings, along with many awards. Her work as an artist and designer has been exhibited at museums worldwide and become part of numerous permanent collections. Oxman holds an AA Dipl. from the Royal Institute of British Architecture and a PhD from MIT.

Christoph Reinhart has been promoted to professor in the Building Technology program of the Department of Architecture. He is a building scientist focusing on the development and deployment of computational tools for a more sustainable built environment. His development and validation of fundamental computational methods to predict daylighting potential for buildings led to the deployment of DAYSIM, an open source daylight simulation engine now used globally in over 90 countries and in thousands of consulting firms. He leads the Sustainable Design Lab, which has developed the Boston Citywide Energy Model; Mapdwell and SolarSystem, an online solar energy potential calculator; and the Urban Modeling Interface, a decision-making platform for urban planners and architects to enhance daylighting potential, improve mobility options, and reduce operational and embodied energy in the built environment. Reinhart holds an MS from Simon Fraser University, a Dipl.-Phys. from Albert-Ludwigs Universität, and a doctorate from Ing. Architecture Technical University of Karlsruhe.

Sarah Williams has been promoted to associate professor without tenure in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She is the director of the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, which works with data, maps, and mobile technologies to develop interactive design and communication strategies that expose urban policy issues to broader audiences. Her research as a scholar and designer in urban informatics and civic media involves the collection, analysis, and visualization of civic data in spatial and temporal dimensions, with a goal of promoting public understanding and debate and informing public policy and urban planning and design. Williams lectures at technology and innovation conferences in Europe and North America and exhibits her work widely. She is the author of numerous journal articles and an editor of Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. Williams holds a BA from Clark University and an MCP from MIT.

Jinhua Zhao has been promoted to associate professor without tenure in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where he is the Edward H. and Joyce Linde Associate Professor of Transportation and City Planning and directs the Urban Mobility Lab. His research focuses on three interconnected themes: behavioral theories, mobility management in China, and governance of new transportation technology. This work brings a behavioral perspective to an emerging area in the transportation field: advances in information and communication technologies and their implications for mobility innovations based on social networks, autonomous vehicles, and integrated public and private mobility systems. Zhao leads long-term research collaborations with major transportation authorities and operators worldwide, and his work has been published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. He teaches courses in transportation research design and quantitative reasoning and statistical methods for planning. Zhao holds a BH from Tongji University, and an MS, MCP, and PhD from MIT.

New Faculty Members

Judith Barry has been appointed professor in Art, Culture and Technology in the Department of Architecture. An internationally recognized artist, she utilizes a research–based methodology to explore a wide range of topics. Her work makes use of immersive installations based on experiments incorporating architecture, sculpture, performance, theater, film/video/new media, graphics, and interactivity. She has exhibited internationally at such venues as the Berlin Biennale, Carnegie International, Documenta, Nagoya Biennale, São Paolo Biennale, Sydney Biennale, Sharjah Biennial, Venice Biennale(s) of Art/Architecture, and the Whitney Biennale, among others. Her awards include the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts (2000), “Best Pavilion” at the Cairo Biennale (2001), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2011). Her publications include "Judith Barry: Body without Limits" (2009), "The Study for the Mirror and Garden" (2003), and "Projections: mise en abyme" (1997). "Public Fantasy," a collection of Barry’s essays, was published by the ICA in London (1991).

Mariana Ibañez has been named assistant professor in the Department of Architecture. She has taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and the University of Buenos Aires. Her research focuses on the relationship between technology, culture, and the environment. Ibañez co-founded (with Simon Kim) Ibañez Kim Studio, a research and design practice whose work has received multiple awards and been exhibited in international venues. Other professional work includes positions at ARUP and the office of Zaha Hadid. Recent publications include articles in Harvard Design Magazine3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, and AD. She is co-editor of Paradigms in Computing: Making, Machines, and Models for Design Agency in Architecture (Actar D), and editor of Platform 5 (Harvard GSD) and Organization or Design?(a+t). Ibañez holds a BA in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires and a master’s of architecture and urbanism from the Architectural Association in London.

Jason Jackson has been named assistant professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where he has been a lecturer. His research focuses on the historical origins and evolution of the institutional arrangements through which states and markets are constituted. Jackson’s work is particularly interested in the role of economic ideas and moral beliefs in shaping market institutions. It assesses the implications of political struggles between business, government, and societal actors for market structure and resulting competitive and distributional outcomes. Empirically his work centers on contexts ranging from the politics of monopoly and foreign investment in India from the late colonial period to the present, to the “sharing economy” and urban transportation markets in contemporary cities in Asia, Europe, and the United States. The recipient of several research grants and awards, Jackson holds a BA from Princeton University, an MS from the University of London SOAS, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and a PhD from MIT.

Erica James has been appointed associate professor of medical anthropology and urban studies with tenure in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, in a transfer from MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, where she has been on the faculty since 2004. She is the founding director of MIT’s Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative. Her work is focused on violence and trauma; philanthropy, humanitarianism, and charity; human rights, democratization, and postconflict transition processes; race, gender, and culture; and religion and healing. Her publications include "Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in Haiti" (University of California Press, 2010), which documents the psychosocial experience of Haitian torture survivors targeted during the 1991-94 coup period and analyzes the politics of humanitarian assistance in “postconflict” nations making the transition to democracy. James holds a BA from Princeton University, an MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and an MA and PhD from Harvard University.

Danielle Wood has been named assistant professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, beginning work at the MIT Media Lab in January 2018. Her areas of expertise include aerospace engineering, systems engineering, technology policy, international development, and satellite-based earth observation. She will establish a new research group called “Space Enabled,” with the mission of advancing justice and development using designs enabled by space. Her work aims to help developing communities and nations adopt satellite and other technologies for earth and environmental observation. A key focus is the design of satellites that collect data that serves societal needs — for example, data on crops, water, and weather, specifically in Africa and Asia. Wood has presented her research through many scholarly publications, conferences, and invited talks across Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. She has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards. Wood holds a BS, an MS, and a PhD from MIT.

MIT SA+P sweeps 2017 North American LaFargeHolcim Awards


MIT School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) alumni and faculty were honored during the fifth annual LaFargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction, the most significant international competition in green construction. The awards are administered by the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, based in Zurich, Switzerland. North American Award winners were announced in Chicago on October 12, 2017.

Alumna Constance C. Bodurow, (SMArchS/MCP ’91), and her transdisciplinary design collaborative studio[Ci] took Gold—the top North American prize—for “Grassroots Microgrid: the Seebaldt Pilot” in Detroit, Michigan.  The proposed community-owned and managed infrastructure includes local renewable energy and food production, water and waste management, and strengthens civic empowerment. Bodurow has been working with the Detroit/48204 community and the organization It Starts at Home since 2013. “Taking the pocket vacancies normally characterized as the biggest problem in Detroit, the design turns them into an opportunity to create a compelling sustainable neighborhood,” praised the jury. Upon accepting the Gold award on behalf of her large team, Bodurow said: “We are humbled and thrilled! While we have always believed in our design agency to address the grand challenges, to have our work recognized by this significant prize allows us to move our collective vision into reality.” DUSP Senior Lecturer Karl Seidman and five MCP students were part of Bodurow’s 26-member team.

Professor in Practice Sheila Kennedy and her firm Kennedy Violich Architecture, Ltd., received the North American Bronze prize for “Net-zero greenhouse for Wellesley College, Boston, USA.”

Alumnus Mitchell Joachim (PhD, ‘06) and his firm Terreform ONE, received a North American Acknowledgement Prize for “Modular Edible Insect Farm”, New York City, USA.

Latin America regional awards honored former SA+P Dean and Professor Adèle Naudé Santos, and the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, Cambridge, MA, who received an Acknowledgement prize for “Affordable housing neighborhood with integrated workspaces”.

Projects awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award in each of the five regions are subsequently qualified for the Global LafargeHolcim Awards competition. As the Foundation writes, these finalists are evaluated by a panel of independent experts of international stature engaged in the sustainable development of society, building processes, and building projects. The Global LafargeHolcim Awards Jury on which SA+P Dean Hashim Sarkis will sit, meets in March 2018 in Zurich and consists of: Alejandro Aravena (head of jury), David Adjaye, Xuemei Bai, Hashim Sarkis, Stuart Smith, Werner Sobek, Rolf Soiron, Brinda Somaya, and Marc Angélil.

This fifth cycle of the LafargeHolcim Awards attracted 5,085 entries by authors in 121 countries. The LaFargeHolcim Awards are divided into a regional and a global phase. The administration opens with five regional competitions, seeking entries allocated to region based on project location: Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

For more information, see: https://www.lafargeholcim-foundation.org/awards/5th-cycle/north-america/winners

November 1, 2017: Course IV Alumni Social (New York)

On November 1st, 2017, the MIT Club of New York and the MIT Architecture Affinity Group (MITArchA) hosted its second Course IV Alumni Social event in New York City. The event was hosted by Elliot Felix M.Arch ’05 and Adam Griff M.Arch ’03 at brightspot strategy, located in Manhattan’s Financial District.

The evening was conceived as a social event with a presentation component. Attendees had the opportunity to give short, rapid-fire talks focused on their personal or professional work. Presentations covered a wide range of topics including: data-based mapping, architecture, responsive toy design, and landscape urbanism. Many talks focused on companies founded by MIT alumni, highlighting the Institute’s unique entrepreneurial spirit.

Six alumni gave presentations. Arlene Ducao SM ’13 presented the work of her company, Multimer, which aggregates data from biosensors to create a unique understanding cities and neighborhoods. Byron Stigge SMArchS ’01 showed recent projects with his company, which designs and implements sustainable infrastructure and development projects across the globe. Elizabeth Silver M.Arch ’03 presented the Lower Don Lands Master Plan, a masterplan for Toronto which will transform an underdeveloped industrial area and re-integrate the Don River into the city.

Jonathan Bobrow SM’16 showed Troxes, an origami-inspired interactive toy, and Blinks, a tabletop game platform based on electronic tiles programmed as cellular automata. Ben Hizak MBA ’15 presented his work with Cherre, which aggregates real-estate data from multiple sources to provides detailed insight into asset value and viability. Katherine Chia M.Arch ’91 presented the work of her company, Desai Chia Architecture, which creates refined designs with expressive materials and details.

This event was intended to help foster an active Course IV alumni community in the New York City area and increase engagement between local alumni and SA+P. MITArchA plans to hold many more events in the New York City area in collaboration with the Club of New York.