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.

Slice of MIT: Alumni Modernize Boston Architecture

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Article by Katherine J. Igoe (MIT Alumni Association). Reposted from Slice of MIT. See original article here.

In a recent roundupMetropolis magazine named greater Boston as one of 15 Best Design Cities in the world. Boston was praised for effectively contending with centuries of history while simultaneously balancing modernization and sustainability, all in dense space with ever-increasing population. MIT alumni from the School of Architecture + Planning have been at the forefront of this movement, creating some of its most modern, integrated spaces.

Metropolis also acknowledged the strong institutional connection of MIT to design in Boston. Principal of internationally recognized studio Höweler + Yoon, Meejin Yoon is also head of MIT’s Department of Architecture. One of Yoon’s most recent works, the Sean Collier Memorial, features prominently on MIT’s campus.

The original Cambridge Public Library has existed since 1888 and is flanked by historic streets and two parks that the Cambridge community wanted to retain. William Rawn MArch ’79 and Ann Beha MArch ’75, along with their respective firms, were faced with the challenge of preserving the surrounding space while undertaking much needed expansion.

“Many cities can get away with ‘object buildings,’ which stand on their own as the product of a design impulse,” says Rawn, who has also been involved with other striking design projects including the W Boston Hotel. “But we were creating a civic heart of the city, and the design had to integrate seamlessly.”

The new award-winning space, with a glass building joined to the original restoration, opened in 2009. Three times the size of the original structure, it nevertheless meshed with its surroundings; the library’s grass landscape abuts the grass of one park.

MIT graduates have been involved in the Boston architecture space for decades, most notably I.M. Pei ’40 and his design of the iconic John F. Kennedy Museum in the 1970s. But design has evolved since then.

Andrea Lamberti ’91, together with her firm Rafael Viñoly Architects, contributed to the design of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute as the spiritual sister to the Kennedy Museum, embracing Pei’s original vision while reflecting a more modern space and incorporating the building’s purpose as an educational resource.

Lamberti, along with Chan-Li Lin ’88, MArch ’90, was also involved in the design and construction of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

“There was a very strong commitment on the part of the owner and the public agencies to do something out of the box,” she said. “We improved the experience by allowing daylight in and making the walkways and communal areas pleasant spaces.”

Beha, whose firm also worked on preserving and restoring Jordan Hall and Liberty Hotel, also recently finished construction of an additional New England Conservatory building. America’s oldest conservatory of music, the redesign aims to breathe new life into campus—this is the first new building in 60 years.

Beha believes Boston’s history and scale work together, instead of at odds, with modern values. “I see more and more of the need to address resilience, and sustainable reuse of existing resources. There is a lot of new building, in step with a huge interest in making more of what we have,” she says.

This repurposing isn’t limited simply to buildings; Marie Law Adams MArch ’06 and her firm Landing Studio work in peripheral, under-utilized areas of the city to introduce public access and activities.

Her firm designed a new public park underneath I-93 with MassDOT called Underground at Ink Block. The award-winning project, unveiled this month, was covered in the Boston Globe.

Alumni say that SA+P continues to influence their design thinking. “Our architecture is architecture of the public realm,” says Rawn. “At MIT, you quickly learn how to become a student of the city.”

September 13, 2017: Accelerating Innovation: DesignX@MIT

On September 13, 2017, the MIT Club of New York, in collaboration with MITArchA (the MIT Architecture Alumni Affinity Group) hosted a talk by students and leaders of DesignX, a startup accelerator hosted within MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P). Held at the New York office of Gensler (a sponsor of DesignX), the event drew enormous interest from New York-area alumni, with over seventy in attendance.

Jay Damask ’90, President of the Club of New York, and Rocco Giannetti, Principal at Gensler, introduced the event. Three DesignX leaders then spoke. Hashim Sarkis, Dean of SA+P, stated that DesignX was created to prepare students for an evolving profession. Dennis Frenchman MCP ’76, Class of 1922 Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Faculty Director of DesignX, made the case that schools cannot let students and their ideas “fall off the edge of the table” after graduation, and said that SA+P would continue to support DesignX entrepreneurs as they transitioned from students to professionals. Frenchman then stated that this relationship would operate in two directions, and invited alumni to participate in DesignX as mentors and champions of the program and the community. Gilad Rosenzweig MCP ’13, Executive Director of DesignX, gave a brief introduction as well.

Representatives of five DesignX startups then gave short presentations. Kim Smith MAS ’17 presented Learning Beautiful, which creates analog learning tools that teach children computer science concepts. Rachelle Villalon PhD ’17 discussed Hosta, which converts interior photographs into BIM-ready 3D models that facilitate home renovation. Ariana Salazar MCP ‘16 and Nissia Sabri SDM ’16 presented Bitsence, which uses analytics and remote sensing to help building owners understand how their spaces are used. Noelle Marcus MCP ‘17 and Rachel Goor MCP ’17 explained Nesterly, a community-driven digital marketplace which allows homeowners to rent spare rooms to young people at affordable rates in exchange for help with mutually determined tasks. Finally, Daniel Fink SMArchS ’17 presented Placeful, which combines design, computation, and development to reveal untapped opportunities in local communities, empowering homeowners to maximize the value of their properties. Andrea Chegut, Head of Research at DesignX then gave a short talk on the role of data and analytics within the DesignX universe.

The talk concluded with a question-and-answer session moderated by Gilad Rosenzweig. Alumni in attendance asked many detailed and specific questions regarding technical and business issues, with some alumni expressing interest in supporting the activities of DesignX and its cohort.

Special thanks to Gensler and the MIT Class of 1960 for their support of DesignX.

Innovation + Technology: A Talk by Marcel Botha SMArchS '06 (with video)

To see video of the event click this link or scroll to the bottom of this page.

On June 06, 2017, the MIT Club of New York and MITArchA, (the MIT Architecture Alumni Affinity Group) and CAMIT (the Council for the Arts at MIT) hosted a talk by Marcel Botha, SM ’06 for a talk about his company, 10xBeta, an innovative product design consultancy focusing on consumer and healthcare products. The event was held at Arup New York, located in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Marcel Botha began the talk with a brief introduction to his company, followed by a description of NewLab, the Brooklyn-based technology and innovation incubator space in which 10xBeta resides. He described the resources available to NewLab affiliated companies and the unique community which inhabits the space. Botha then spoke about his company in greater detail, describing its operating method and philosophy, and gave examples of various working arrangements for products in which 10xBeta has been involved. He noted that his MIT education helped his career immensely, stating that the Institute helped him learn (among other things) how to first define a problem before looking for solutions.

Having described his background and approach, Botha showed attendees a number of products developed by 10xBeta, including: Beatbot, a programmable self-driving robot designed to motivate athletes by giving them a target to beat (Usain Bolt is a fan); Footprintless, a sneaker prototype created from CO2 recovered from energy production (each pair of shoes includes 78 grams of captured carbon dioxide); Timesulin, a digital add-on to a standard insulin pen that tracks injection schedules to assist diabetic patients; and Spuni, an infant spoon designed to trigger a baby’s innate latching instinct to improve feeding and reduce mess.

Alumni in attendance asked many detailed and insightful questions after the talk concluded, touching on topics including management, technology, partnerships, and the like, creating a lively and stimulating conversation that extended well into the evening.

[ See video below ]

2017 Awards Ceremony at MIT Architecture

Reposted from architecture.mit.edu. See original article here.

Congratulations to all of our 2016-2017 Department of Architecture graduates! 

Special congratulations go to the following students who were the recipients of the 2017 Departmental Awards:

to an Architecture Senior for Academic Excellence
Sofie Belanger

to an Architecture Senior for Academic Excellence and Achievement in Design
Maria E. Roldan

in recognition of promise for the future in the General Field of Building Construction
Noor K. Khouri

to a student who demonstrates excellence in building technology research
Carlos Cerezo Davila

to a Female Third-Year Doctoral Student in History, Theory and Criticism
Jessica A. Varner

to a Year-Two Master of Architecture Student for Outstanding Academic and Design Achievement
Anne M. Graziano

to a Year-Two Master of Architecture Woman for Outstanding Academic and Design Achievement
Mackenzie P. Muhonen

to a Master of Architecture student whose thesis proposal best exemplifies the spirit of Professor Grimshaw
Sean Phillips
Mary P. Lynch-Lloyd
Ching Ying Ngan
Maya Shopova

to a Graduating Master of Architecture Student for Service, Leadership and Promise of Professional Merit
Jessica Y. Jorge

to a Graduating Master of Architecture student for Achievement in Architectural Design
Jessica N. Pace

to a Graduating Master of Architecture Student for Academic Excellence and a Thesis in which the Design Recognizes the Expanding Responsibility of Architecture
Blanca E. Abramek

to a Master of Architecture student for Academic Excellence
Nicolo V. Guida
Jessica Y. Jorge

to the Top Ranking Graduating Master of Architecture Student
Kristina E. Eldrenkamp

Ali Khodr
Oscar Rosello Gil

to a Graduating Master of Science in Architecture Studies Student for Highest Academic Achievement
Akshita Sivakumar

Jeffrey Heller ’64 ’67 FAIA receives the inaugural MITArchA Alumni Achievement award in San Francisco on May 18, 2017 (with video)

Fifty years after completing his Masters in Architecture and Planning at MIT, Jeffrey Heller is being honored with the FIRST MITArchA Alumni Achievement Award.

Jeffrey Heller ’64 ’67 FAIA is president and founder of Heller Manus Architects. Since its beginning in 1984, the firm has established a reputation for influencing architecture and urban design in the San Francisco Bay Area, nationally and internationally.

As SAP Dean Hashim Sarkis and Department of Architecture Head Meejin Yoon noted in their letter of congratulations, Jeffrey Heller has “set a high standard for those who follow [him], and ably represent MIT’s guiding principle of mens et manus, and our permeating value of a better world.”

The initiative to honor distinguished MITArchA alumni was conceived and implemented by Pamela Tang (nee Chang Sing) ’83 ’85, MITArchA’s founding board member and Vice-President of Programs. The initiative quickly received the support of the MITArchA board, the MIT Alumni Office and the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

The ceremony and reception at the Olympic Club in San Francisco sold out quickly as MIT alumni and the AIA San Francisco community gathered to celebrate this honor bestowed on a fellow alumnus, a Fellow of the AIA, and a dear friend of the community. John Chisholm ’75 ‘76, MIT Corporation Trustee and immediate Past President of the MIT Alumni Association, presented the Joint Letter of the Award recognition from the SAP Dean and Architecture Head, and the original MITArchA Award designed and fabricated by MITArchA President Jacob Kain ’00.

The evening was livestreamed by the acoustical engineering firm of Charles Salter ’69 which beamed the event across the evening skies to Architecture students gathered in Building 7’s Long Lounge in Cambridge and Architecture alumni across the country and the world.

MITArchA at AIA Orlando

MITArchA would like to thank everyone who came to the reception hosted at the AIA Convention in Orlando by Mina Marefat, MITArchA VP of Communications and John Klein, Research Scientist at MIT. More than twice the number initially registered attended the gathering and were encouraged to join.

Several attendees had been to the AIA Philadelphia as well as a number who came for the first time. The mission and activities of MITArchA in various cities including New York, Hong Kong, Detroit, DC, and Cambridge and was discussed and John Klein (who teaches at MIT) gave a synopsis of activities at SA+P.

Building an Affinity with Architecture

Article by Nancy Duvergne Smith (MIT Alumni Association). Reposted with edits from Slice of MIT. See original article here.

 MITArchA tour of I.M. Pei’s National Gallery.

MITArchA tour of I.M. Pei’s National Gallery.

When some 45 MIT alumni and friends met April 2 for a private tour of the newly renovated East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, they were doing more than celebrating the 100th birthday of I.M. Pei. ’40. True, Pei remains one of the world’s most influential architects and the building is one of his masterpieces. But the tour, led by Mina Marefat PhD ’88, was also a perk of participation in MITArchA, a two-year old affinity group dedicated to sharing common interests of School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) alumni, faculty, and students, as well as all MIT alumni and friends.

Marefat, who teaches at Georgetown University and is the principal of Design Research, based in Washington DC, was a perfect guide for the behind-the-scenes tour of the building’s Center for Advanced Study since she was a fellow there. She commented on Pei’s groundbreaking design that accommodated the galleries and public spaces for the museum as well as its administrative, curatorial, educational and scholarly needs.

 Jeffrey Heller ’64, MArch ’67 will receive the MITArchA Alumni Achievement Award in May.

Jeffrey Heller ’64, MArch ’67 will receive the MITArchA Alumni Achievement Award in May.

The National Gallery East Wing tour was one of several MITArchA gatherings this spring. On April 28, the Alumni Association group will join with the Department of Architecture to host a casual gathering at the AIA convention in Orlando, Florida. On May 18 in San Francisco, Jeffrey Heller ’64, MArch ’67 will receive the Inaugural MITArchA Alumni Achievement Award. On June 6, MITArchA members will be invited to a talk in New York City by Marcel Botha, SMArchS ‘06. Learn more about upcoming MITArchA events here.

“MITArchA was founded in 2015 to represent the more than 5,000 MIT architecture alumni world-wide by a group of course IV alumni,” says Jacob Kain MArch ’00, the group’s president and a project architect at Elkus Manfredi Architects in Boston. “It was time to organize our alumni community in order to develop a greater awareness of one another and to connect to each other, the School of Architecture and Planning, and the Institute. "Our events offer opportunities for our alumni to share their work with the MIT community, often by collaborating with established regional MIT alumni clubs. In our short history, we have held events from coast to coast and as far away as Hong Kong.”

 Course IV Alumni touring the Detroit Center for Design and Technology as part of MITArchA's recent ACSA event.

Course IV Alumni touring the Detroit Center for Design and Technology as part of MITArchA's recent ACSA event.

The group also celebrates MIT’s role as the first professional school of architecture. “The first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture was from MIT and the first professionally credentialed African American architect was an MIT alum,” says Marefat, communications vice president of the group. “MIT invited cutting-edge architects like Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, and I.M. Pei to build modern buildings on campus, a trend that has continued well into the 21st century with a campus that represents a physical history of our profession. All this to say that as we face unprecedented challenges today, bringing together MIT architecture alumni helps remind us of the privilege we all share and the responsibility we all bear toward the well being of our planet and its inhabitants.”

Learn more about MITArchA and its activities.