Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) celebrates the oldest architecture program in the United States with the exhibition, Drawing, Designing, Thinking: 150 Years of Teaching Architecture at MIT February 14 - August 25, 2019 at the MIT Museum. Featuring works by distinguished alumni such as Robert R. Taylor ‘1892, I.M. Pei ‘40, and Charles Correa ‘55 that they created while students at MIT, the exhibition also presents educational material created by faculty including founder William R. Ware, Gyorgy Kepes, and Joan Jonas, highlighting the Institute's forward thinking leadership in architectural education.
The exhibition is designed around five themes - Studio, Proxies, Research, Interdisciplinarity and Futures - that highlight the work of students and faculty in the course of the department's history. In this way, the exhibition shows how the department has constantly innovated pedagogically to prepare its students to design for the rapidly changing world around us.
The exhibition's 200 drawings, models, and videos present highlights from the 150-years of history, and provides a glimpse of its future. The exhibition is part of the yearlong celebration of 150 years of architecture at MIT which includes a series of teaching experiments, alumni events, concluding with a symposium on design research this spring.
"The ways in which the education of the architect has changed over a century and a half and the evolution of professional practice itself is revealed through an examination of the MIT program, the first in the country," said Gary Van Zante, Curator of Architecture, Design and Photography at the MIT Museum. "The early mission of the department was to elevate the profession of architecture and evolved to encompass an expanding field of practice, scholarship, and research. The earliest students had a rigorous training in architectural drawing and in the principles of design, but as the profession and architecture itself grew more complex, "architectural thinking," as the founding architect and first instructor William R. Ware called it, required a multidisciplinary education."
"The School of Architecture and Planning at MIT of today is a large community of educators who work in a wide range of disciplines with a diverse student body from around the world," said Mark Jarzombek, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, MIT School of Architecture and Planning. "Aiming to address global challenges, the department is a place where architecture is explored along a wide spectrum of possibilities, from the pragmatic to the visionary. "