Dean, School of Architecture and Planning

The School of Architecture and Planning deals with a far wider range of fields and issues than its name might suggest. In addition to the Department of Architecture (the oldest such department in the country), and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, it houses the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, the Media Laboratory, the Center for Real Estate, and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies. The cross-disciplinary research and education occurring among these units enables faculty and students to address all aspects of the human environment.

During academic year 2001–2002 the School saw a number of particularly exciting developments in faculty appointments, initiation of new research and teaching ventures as well as continued efforts to improve current course offerings, and in improvement of physical facilities. This report will present selected highlights of these achievements while reports from the School's departments, programs, laboratories and centers will provide additional information about the past year.


Associate Dean and Ford Professor of Urban Development Bernard Frieden retired this year and is now Ford professor of urban development emeritus. The School appointed Associate Professor of Architecture Terry Knight associate dean beginning in January 2002. In addition to teaching and research, her responsibilities will include monitoring and implementing new school-wide faculty diversity initiatives, school outreach and communication efforts, and web-based educational technology projects.

In the Department of Architecture structural engineer John Ochsendorf will join the Building Technology group in July 2002. Caroline Jones will join the faculty as a tenured associate professor of the history of art. John Fernandez was named to the Class of 1957 Career Development Professorship and Wendy Jacob was named to the Class of 1947 Career Development Chair, both for a three-year term. Professor Edward Levine, the first director of the Visual Arts Program, retired this year.

In the Program in Media Arts and Sciences (MAS) Cynthia Breazeal and Chris Csikszentmihályi were both appointed assistant professor of media arts and sciences. Associate Professor Justine Cassell received tenure this year.

After eight years as department head in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Professor Bish Sanyal is stepping down. He is succeeded by Professor Larry Vale, a Margaret McVicar Faculty Fellow and associate head for the past two years. Ford Professor Langley Keyes has been appointed associate department head. Professor Vale was promoted to full professor this year. Assistant Professor Dara O'Rourke was selected to hold the Mitsui Career Development Professorship. Professor David Geltner, from the University of Cincinnati, was appointed to replace departing Associate Professor Timothy J. Riddiough. He will be teaching courses for the Center for Real Estate (CRE) program.

Institute Professor Emeritus Gyorgy Kepes, who came to MIT in 1946 as associate professor of visual design and became a full professor in 1949, died this year. He founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) in 1967 and served as its director until 1972.

Increasing the diversity of our faculty and students continues to be an important goal for the School. Over the past few years, with help from the provost's special programs, we've had great success in attracting women and minorities to the School.

In the spring of 2000, a Committee on Women Faculty was constituted at the request of the dean and provost. Its members included six senior faculty—two each from the Departments of Architecture, Urban Studies and Planning, and the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Through the use of data collection and structured interviews, the committee was charged with preparing a report assessing the status and equitable treatment of women faculty in the School. The committee found inequities in all four parts of the study—in numbers, salary, recognition and resources, and experience. The focus of the report was on the status and treatment of women, however, from their interviews the committee found problems of concern to men and women faculty alike. Quality of life issues (for example, excessive work demands, and difficulties balancing work and family responsibilities), mentoring, and the distribution of incentives were issues important for both men and women. In addition to suggesting a separate initiative to address issues affecting all faculty, the report included recommendations for improving the status and equitable treatment of women faculty, and for increasing the proportion of women faculty in the School. Work in these areas is being continued through a number of newly formed committees.

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Construction documents for the new Media Laboratory expansion, designed by world-renowned architect Fumihiko Maki, have been completed.

The most recent phase of the School's master plan—the renovation of offices, project rooms and the Computer Resources Labs of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning—was completed last fall.

The renovation of the graduate student studio spaces of the Visual Arts Program, providing much needed upgrading and added security measures, were completed in time for the fall term.

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Educational Initiatives

Departments throughout the School continue to develop their undergraduate and graduate programs in new directions, as described in the departmental sections of this report.

The ArchNet project, an initiative of particular interest, is an Internet-based network intended to be a resource and online community for scholars and design and planning professionals in developing countries, with a special focus on the Islamic world. This project is a collaboration between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, Harvard University, and six partner schools in Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan, India, and Malaysia. Currently over 5,000 online subscribers from more than 120 countries are utilizing ArchNet's resources and virtual workspaces. Detailed information can be found at

The goal of StudioMIT, another new project in the School, is to design, implement, and maintain a comprehensive web-based environment that supports the community of students, staff, faculty, alumni and prospective applicants of MIT's studio-centered professional degree programs.

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Events and Awards

Each year faculty and students of the School receive numerous honors in recognition of their research and service, many offered by the School, the Institute, professional societies, as well as national and international recognitions. This year was no exception. The reports of the School's departments, laboratories, centers, and programs make note of many of these awards. Several especially notable awards deserve additional mention here.

This year in the Department of Architecture, Professor Krzysztof Wodiczko won a major competition for a Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in France. Assistant Professor J. Meejin Yoon was named a New York Architectural League Young Architects winner. Among the many awards received by students in the department, Junko Nakagawa and Daniel Steger received the Francis Ward Chandler Prize for achievement in architectural design. Heinz Isler delivered the fifth Felix Candela lecture. The Arthur H. Schein Memorial Lecture was given by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw. The Architecture Lecture Series included distinguished guests Jane Thompson, Takashi Yamaguchi, Peter Eisenman, Brian Mackay-Lyons, Jesus Aparicio, Rick Joy, James Stewart Polshek, and Taina Rikala, Vito Acconci, Peter Wheelwright, Mario Coyula-Cowley, Juhani Pallasmaa, Nicholas Adams, and Rafael Moneo. In addition, the department sponsored a lecture series and related activities on "September 11 and Aftermath," coordinated by Helene Lipstadt.

In the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor John Maeda was honored with the "special award" of the Mainichi Design Prize for 2001. The award is Japan's oldest and most prestigious design award. He also received the 2001 National Design Award from the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Museum. Assistant Professor Scott Manalis was selected by Technology Review as one of the 100 "brilliant young innovators—all under 35—who will have a deep impact on how we live, work, and think in the century to come." Associate Professor Joseph Jacobson was one of eight recipients of Discover magazine's 2001 Award for Technological Innovation.

In the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Professor Anne Spirn received the 2001 International Cosmos Prize, which recognizes achievements in promoting the concept of "harmonious coexistence of nature and mankind." The Lewis Mumford Prize of the Society of American City and Regional Planning History was awarded to Professor Robert Fogelson. Associate Professor Diane Davis has been named one of sixteen leading researchers by the Carnegie Scholars program. Student Liou Cao won Best Student Paper at the 2001 Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Annual Conference. City Design and Development faculty and students organized a special colloquium and seminar entitled "The Resilient City: Trauma, Recovery, and Remembrance" that brought together scholars and urbanists to consider the meaning of the September 11 tragedy by examining historical precedents for rebuilding in cities world-wide. The Environmental Policy Group (EPG) organized and hosted a number of conferences and workshops, including the continuing "Civic Environmentalism Roundtable." For the ninth year in a row, EPG faculty chaired the International Programme on the Management of Sustainability, held each year in the Netherlands to assist 40 governmental and non-governmental staff from the developing world in their efforts to implement Agenda 21. The Housing, Community and Economic Development group continued to get strong speakers, active in Boston planning issues, for the Wednesday luncheons. The faculty in the International Development and Regional Planning group are involved in nine major multi-year research and teaching projects. For example, in one project, Professor Bish Sanyal is leading an effort to establish a Learning and Education Alliance and Resource Network (LEARN) as a way for universities to influence urban poverty alleviation policies in developing countries.

The Center for Real Estate hosted a meeting in November for corporate supporters, current students, faculty, and, for the first time, members of the public. The topic of the symposium was trends affecting the commercial brokerage sector of the industry. In May the spring symposium, "Smart Growth: What's Behind the Rhetoric?," examined the pros and cons of growth management. Robert Danzinger, retired chairman of Northland Investment, led the popular Real Deals speaker series for the sixth year in a row.

At the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Director Emeritus Otto Piene is organizing center documentation for 1968 to 1994 as a preparation for a documentary volume. Fellow Seth Riskin was invited to present "Light Dance" performances on seven occasions, including a new piece for the Kepes Memorial Event at Kresge Theatre, MIT, in June.

The Ralph Adams Cram Award for outstanding interdisciplinary work at the master's level was presented to Omar Khan (SMArchS, 2001). The School received a number of outstanding proposals for the Lawrence B. Anderson Award, so the review committee decided to present three awards. This year's recipients were Nina Chen, Murat Germen, and Jennifer Gilbert. The Harold Horowitz (1951) Student Research Fund was awarded to five individuals this year: Zhang Yan, Malo Hutson, Joao Rocha, Celina Su, and the team of Matthew Pierce and Andrew Marcus.

William J. Mitchell
Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences

More information about the School of Architecture and Planning can be found on the web at


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