“Our responsibility at MIT is not to prepare students for practice. Practice as it is today is on the verge of obsolescence in the same way it was ten years ago,” says Nader Tehrani, head of MIT’s Department of Architecture, in the inaugural episode of a new video series produced by Architect magazine. “In many ways, the kind of research that we do here, the kind of experiments that we do here, set the stage for transforming practice and engaging the building industry from the bottom up.”
That MIT should be the first stop for the “Architect Visits” series is fitting, since the Institute’s Department of Architecture, dating back to 1865, offered the first formal architecture curriculum in the United States. These days, research projects in the department include developing robotic exoskeletons and designing a futuristic fish factory and market on Boston’s aging fish pier.
“Going back to the motto of MIT—mens et manus—there is a deep commitment within the Institute in translating thinking into making,” Tehrani also says in the Architect video, which provides a glimpse into the “Fab Lab” where MIT architecture students get a chance to do just that.