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Mit: The Latest Architecture and News

SOM Collaborates with the European Space Agency to Research Habitation on the Moon

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to further develop their existing research for Moon Village. Signed in Paris, by Colin Koop, Design Partner at SOM, and Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of ESA, the announcement was made earlier this month.

© SOM | Slashcube GmbH © SOM | Slashcube GmbH © SOM | Slashcube GmbH © SOM | Slashcube GmbH + 13

MIT India Initiative

DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY & SOCIAL INNOVATION WORKSHOP

The MIT India Initiative is a not-for-profit effort of students and alumni from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to delve into pressing problems in novel, challenging contexts, and tackle these with technology and design. This is a first of its kind workshop where mentors from multiple departments of MIT and Harvard will work with talented participants chosen from all across India to design solutions to some of today's most pressing challenges.

The workshop will be held in Mumbai, India facilitating participants to work on solutions that cut across boundaries of cultures, disciplines, and institutions.

America's Most Admired Architectural Schools 2020 Ranked

The annual DesignIntelligence architecture school ranking for 2020 classified the establishments according to the “most admired” rather than the “best”, for the second year in a row. The subjective classification is based on the responses of hiring professionals.  

Airbnb Ventures into House Design

With an aim to become a company that also offers houses, not just housing, Airbnb is venturing in the creation of prototypes of homes. Through Samara, its future-oriented product design team, and the Backyard initiative, new ideas are tested, new ways of living and experiencing the sheltered space are explored.

The World’s First Dynamic Bridge and Autonomous Boats in Amsterdam

The roundAround project, developed by researchers at MIT Senseable City Lab, in collaboration with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, is basically a bridge made of autonomous boats called Roboats. The least traditional solution, roundAround, but the most versatile and modular answer, connects the waterway between Marineterrein and the City Center in Amsterdam, allowing the transportation of people and goods.

MIT's New Travel Platform Finds You Cheaper Flights Around the World

MIT's Senseable City Lab, led by the architect Carlo Ratti, has launched Escape, an interactive platform for visualizing air travel data. "Escape" serves as a search engine that helps users find the cheapest flights from a particular city, and to make the decision on their next trip faster and easier.

The World's Top Universities for Studying Architecture in 2019

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has revealed it's ranking of the world’s top universities for the study of Architecture / Built Environment for 2019, based upon academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.

On this edition, the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL (University College London) has been named the best university for studying architecture, taking MIT's place, which has topped the rankings for the past four years .

Keep reading and check out the complete ranking.

This Week in Architecture: Awards Season

The dominating news of the week came courtesy of RIBA and IIT, with the two announcing this year’s laureates of the Stirling Prize and Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, respectively. Foster + Partners were awarded RIBA’s Stirling Prize for their Bloomberg HQ in London. Said jury member Sir David Adjaye, “Bloomberg is a once-in-a-generation project which has pushed the boundaries of research and innovation in architecture.” The project has been a controversial choice, with some citing the tension between the building’s massive price tag and the current UK housing crisis.

MIT Team Working with Neri Oxman Design "Fiberbots" to Respond Quickly to Natural Disaster

The MIT-based Mediated Matter Group have created Fiberbots, an autonomous digital fabrication platform designed to quickly build architecture during disaster. By utilizing cooperative robotic manufacturing, Fiberbots can create highly sophisticated material structures. The small robots work as a group to wind fiberglass filament and create high-strength tubular structures. MIT researchers envision the bots building in extreme environments and natural disaster zones.

Fiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter Group Fiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter Group Fiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter Group Fiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter Group + 15

BAM Ranks the 20 Best Master of Architecture Programs in the World in 2018

Spain-based platform Best Architecture Masters (BAM) has revealed its inaugural ranking of the best postgraduate architecture programs in the world. Based on the QS Ranking by Subjects – Architecture / Built Environment, the rankings were selected by 13 educational-performance indicators, including quality and internationality of faculty, alumni, and postgraduate program.

Harvard's Master in Architecture II has topped the BAM ranking, followed respectively by TU Delft's Berlage Post-master in Architecture and Urban Design, and MIT's Master of Science in Architecture and Urbanism. By region, Tsinghua University's Masters in Architecture was ranked first in Asia (#5); Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile's Magíster en Arquitectura in Latin America (#11), and Sydney University's Master of Architecture in Oceania ranks 17th worldwide.

The best master's degrees in architecture are:

J. Meejin Yoon to Serve as First Female Dean in Cornell AAP's 122 Year History

Cornell University has named J. Meejin Yoon as the next dean for the School for Art, Architecture and Planning. Yoon, co-founder of Boston-based practice Höweler + Yoon, is the first woman to be named dean in the school’s 122-year history. She moves to Cornell after serving as dean for the architecture School at MIT, where she has been on faculty since 2001.

MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable Design

MIT Mass Timber Design, a cross-disciplinary design workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed a building prototype that aims to tackle the world’s growing energy crisis, “one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.” Extensively using the wood-based building design and construction technology mass timber - a method growing in popularity within North America - the project utilizes the “efficiency, speed, precision and versatility” of prefabricated timber construction elements to realize a multi-functional, sustainable building. The longhouse typology, often one of the first permanent structures of a civilization, is a common across the world, but in adapting its construction to face modern-day issues, the team hopes to create a space that “builds upon this rich cultural icon.”

Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design + 14

MIT Students Team With Nonprofit to Flip a Prison Into an Agricultural Community Center

Group Project, a student group from MIT, is helping GrowingChange, a non-profit that works with previously incarcerated youth, to transform an old North Carolina prison into an agricultural community center. GrowingChange looks to take advantage of the small, decommissioned prisons scattered throughout the state's landscape. They see these sites as "places where communities can work together to provide clinical support, education, and vocational training as a means to divert youth from the criminal justice" system.

Read on for more about how prison flipping intends to "counter a legacy of incarceration."

Prison buildings are inherently inward facing. A new porch next to the community kitchen reclaims outdoor space for eating and lounging. Additional porches will be used throughout the site to encourage a more outward facing campus vibe. Image Courtesy of Group Project The upper platform offers a larger and higher space with views over the whole site. Operable wire mesh barriers within the large square openings provide safety while still allowing each of the walls to be used for rappelling. Image Courtesy of Group Project A colorful illustration showing different type of planting throughout the Growing Change campus. These plantings are organized to create a range of spaces—from an intimate and enclosed space for bonfires to the grand entrance leading to the exhibition space. Edible gardens are also planned throughout the campus. Image Courtesy of Group Project Large glass openings connect the exterior courtyard to the Kitchen—the heart of the campus—and invite visitors inside to watch chefs prepare healthy food, using ingredients grown on the GrowingChange campus. Image Courtesy of Group Project + 9

Neri Oxman and MIT Develop Programmable Biocomposites for Digital Fabrication

Courtesy of MIT Media Lab
Courtesy of MIT Media Lab

Neri Oxman and MIT have developed programmable water-based biocomposites for digital design and fabrication. Named Aguahoja, the project has exhibited both a pavilion and a series of artifacts constructed from molecular components found in tree branches, insect exoskeletons, and our own bones. It uses natural ecosystems as inspiration for a material production process that produces no waste. “Derived from organic matter, printed by a robot, and shaped by water, this work points toward a future where the grown and the made unite.”

Courtesy of MIT Media Lab Courtesy of MIT Media Lab Courtesy of MIT Media Lab Courtesy of MIT Media Lab + 15

MIT Press to Make Landmark Architecture Books Freely Accessible Online

A selection of out-of-print books are soon to be made available by MIT Press. Image © Niall Patrick Walsh
A selection of out-of-print books are soon to be made available by MIT Press. Image © Niall Patrick Walsh

The MIT Press, in collaboration with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is set to digitize landmark out-of-print architecture and urban studies books published by the MIT Press, making them freely accessible online for discovery and research. Aided by a $157,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MIT Press are enabled to digitize a collection of “image-rich and intellectually prized architecture and urban studies titles” complete with the commissioning of new forewords for the works. Following the project’s completion, MIT Press intends to distribute a minimum of 25 titles for free on several platforms, including its own ebook service.

Among the titles to be released are Francoise Choay’s “The Rule and the Model: On the Theory of Architecture and Urbanism,” which links modern theory with classical and Renaissance architecture, and John Templer’s “The Staircase,” regarded as the first theoretical and historical analysis of the elemental stair. Books on the subject of famous architects will also be released, such as Donald Leslie Johnson’s “Frank Lloyd Wright vs. America: The 1930s” and Grant Hildebrand’s “On Leon Battista Alberti: His Literary and Aesthetic Theories.”

The Top 200 Universities in the World for Architecture 2018

Global higher education analysis firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has revealed its rankings of the world’s top universities for the study of Architecture / Built Environment for 2018. The eight edition of the survey compared 2,122 institutions across the globe offering courses in architecture or the built environment, narrowing down the list based on criteria including academic and employer reputation.

For the fourth straight year, MIT has topped the rankings, once again coming out ahead of the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Read on for the full rankings.

4 MIT Architecture Courses You Can Take Online (Video Lectures Included)

Learning doesn't have to formal, or expensive. As education becomes increasingly commodified the world over, here are four courses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) exploring architecture and landscape, urbanism, photography, and the production of space that are—significantly—free of charge and available to all.

This Super Fast Algorithm Edits Photographs Like a Professional – Before You Take Them

In the past decade or so, smartphones and social media apps have revolutionized our culture's relationship to images. From Instagram to Facebook to Pinterest to Youtube, photographs and videos are now so ubiquitous that they have become literally disposable, with apps such as Snapchat trading on their promise to delete your images after a certain period of time. But while smartphones are a very visible driver of this change, what is often forgotten are the huge developments in image-editing software that have supported this revolution—from the HDR built into your smartphone's camera to the wide range of filters provided by Instagram.

Now, as reported by MIT News, Google and MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory may have created another cosmic leap forward: an algorithm that can provide automatic, professional-level image retouching so quickly that you can see a preview before even snapping the photograph.