Dean, School of Architecture and Planning

The School of Architectureand Planning deals with a far wider range of fields and issues than its name suggests. In addition to the Department of Architecture (the oldest such department in the country) and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), it houses the Program in Media Arts and Sciences (MAS), the Media Laboratory, the Center for Real Estate (CRE), and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS). 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 2002-2003, 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 presents selected highlights of these achievements. Reports from the School's departments, programs, laboratories, and centers provide additional information about the past year.


After 11 years as dean, William J. Mitchell will step down as head of the School to concentrate on a new role as head of Media Arts and Sciences, one of the three main units of the School of Architecture and Planning and home to MIT's Media Lab. During his tenure as dean, he mounted a multimillion-dollar renovation of the School's administrative and academic spaces, reconvening the School around the dome in MIT's main complex and giving MIT the most up-to-date architecture and planning facility in the nation. These renovations enabled the development of new coursework and research into the use of computers and communications technologies in design work, allowed experimentation with new ways of providing access to knowledge, new ways of structuring collaborative processes, and new approaches to teaching.

To staff these new ventures and to enhance existing efforts, Mitchell also oversaw the development of the School's faculty to include a host of new members, notable for their academic excellence as well as for the diversity they bring to the community. And he supported collaborative efforts such as the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice, a new venture between the Center for International Studies and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

When he assumes his new position, Mitchell will continue to serve as architectural advisor to MIT president Vest, a position he has held since 1998. He is widely credited as a source of inspiration and guidance for MIT's Evolving Campus program—a $1 billion building initiative—that is remaking the campus.

Professor Terry Knight, associate dean of the School, is chairing the advisory committee for the selection of the new dean. The other members of the committee are Professors Rodney Brooks, Charles Correa, Michael Dennis, Langley Keyes, Mitchel Resnick, and Anne Whiston Spirn.

In the Department of Architecture, Leslie Keith Norford was promoted to full professor effective July 2003. Visiting professor Mark Goulthorpe has accepted a tenure track appointment effective July 2003.

In the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, Joseph Paradiso was appointed associate professor of media arts and sciences. Justine Cassell was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Lawrence Vale, professor of urban design and planning, was appointed head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning effective July 1, 2002. He succeeds Bishwapriya Sanyal, head of the department since 1994. In the fall of 2002, Professor David Geltner joined DUSP and the Center for Real Estate. He recently completed work as coauthor of Commercial Real Estate Analysis Investment, a graduate-level investment textbook. He will take over as director of CRE on July 1, 2003. J. Phillip Thompson joined the faculty as associate professor in the area of urban politics and community development. Annette Kim was appointed assistant professor and focuses her research in the areas of urban development, institutional change, and spatial analysis. DUSP has succeeded in its efforts to increase diversity within its department and now has 39 percent women faculty.

In the Center for Real Estate, professor of economics William C. Wheaton served the last year of his 11-year tenure as director. As mentioned above, professor of urban studies and planning David Geltner will succeed him.

Professor of media arts and sciences Stephen Benton is stepping down as director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies on June 30, 2003. Professor of architecture Krzysztof Wodiczko has been appointed new director of the center.

Increasing the diversity of the faculty continues to be an important goal for the School. In the summer of 2002, a School Diversity Committee was established by the dean to continue the work of the Committee on Women Faculty and to follow up on the recommendations of that committee's report on women faculty in the School. The Diversity Committee is chaired by the associate dean, with members from each of the three departments. The committee updated the School's affirmative action policies to reflect new and stringent Institute search standards and to include guidelines specific to the needs of the School. The committee is responsible for monitoring and approving all faculty search plans and reports and, most important, for helping search committees identify and recruit strong women and minority candidates. This past year, faculty searches resulted in the appointments of four new junior faculty, three of whom are women. The School now has over 25 percent women faculty, a significant increase from the 19 percent reported in AY2001.

return to top


The school's summer project—installing plasma displays around the Building 7 fourth-floor dome—is about 30 percent complete. PLAZmA, the new, high-tech communications resource, will show faculty and student work as well as simulcasts of lectures. It is a valuable new multimedia display for the School. AVT technology was upgraded with a new computer projector. The summer project also includes the replacement of some exterior windows and installing a wheelchair lift to the Building 10 fourth-floor mezzanine.

A new master plan has been submitted for consideration by the Committee for Review of Space Planning. The plan advances the School's long-term goal of consolidating its programs in the main building group and continuing to upgrade School spaces.

return to top

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.

In the Department of Architecture, Jan Wampler taught a Level 1 undergraduate studio in connection with MIT's OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative. This is the first video documentation of a studio's process to be put online. The idea behind OCW is to make almost all MIT undergraduate and graduate subjects available on the web, free of charge, to any user anywhere in the world.

A collaborative research and educational initiative was begun between the Design and Computation Group in the Department of Architecture and the Specialist Modeling Group of Fosters and Partners in London. A spring design workshop on generative and parametric design was cotaught by Axel Kilian, Larry Sass, and Terry Knight, with input from members of the Specialist Modeling Group at Fosters. A plan to establish the design and computation area as a fifth independent discipline is underway for the next academic year.

DUSP faculty member Dr. Eric Klopfer continues as director of the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Through TEP, undergraduates can complete certification in secondary math and science teaching. In the past, MIT students who wanted to obtain teacher certification were required to attend classes at Wellesley College. This year, however, the TEP trained its first class of teachers entirely at MIT. Over the last year, TEP has strengthened its relationship with the Cambridge Public Schools and the Boston Public Schools.

DUSP faculty members participate in a wide range of collaborations with departments and organizations within the Institute as well as in the United States and around the world. They often incorporate class projects and thesis work with these "real-world" partners. Professors Joseph Ferreira and Lorlene Hoyt and DUSP technical staff worked with MIT Information Systems and the MIT Libraries to enhance the capabilities and interoperability of MIT's spatial data infrastructure. In a joint initiative, Professors Diane Davis and John de Monchaux are designing a research seminar focused on Jerusalem, with the aim of making it a "place for peace." The three-year project, sponsored by the Center for International Studies in conjunction with their Middle East Peace Initiative, will bring together faculty from Urban Studies, Political Science, Architecture, and Anthropology to discuss a new vision for Jerusalem.

The Housing, Community, and Economic Development group designed this year's luncheon lecture series around the theme "The New Immigrant City." Participants Xavier Briggs, a visiting MLK scholar, Alethia Jones, a political scientist PhD candidate from Yale, and MIT professors Phil Thompson and Cesar McDowell each provided their views, resulting in lively debate.

In the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Professor Steve Benton and principal research scientist Glorianna Davenport conducted a fall-term seminar series that brought artists Cory Arcangel, Marc Downie, Yael Kanarek, Bill Seaman, Grahame Weinbren, and Jonah Bruckner-Cohen to MIT for a day of discussions with students, fellows, and faculty. At the end of the fall semester, an exhibition of student-produced interactive installations was presented at CAVS. A total of 17 MIT students joined CAVS as UROPs during this year.

ArchNet, an online community for architects, planners, urban designers, interior designers, landscape architects, and scholars, with a special focus on the Islamic world, continues to grow. The successful public launch, in October 2002, was hosted by both MIT and Harvard University presidents and attended by over 200 people, including the sponsor, His Highness the Aga Khan. ArchNet now has over 23,000 images, 2,000 publications, and 12,000 members from over 120 countries around the world. Located in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, ArchNet aims to become an indispensable educational tool that will bring diverse communities together through the discipline of architecture.

StudioMIT is a comprehensive web-based environment that supports the creative learning community of students and faculty in the Department of Architecture's studio-centered professional degree programs. In its second year of development, StudioMIT has provided flexible online workspaces for 14 pilot classes and nearly 200 members. StudioMIT continues to expand as it becomes an important tool for sharing course material and design work inside and outside the classroom, for allowing opportunities for long-distance collaborations, and for strengthening our local and extended community.

return to top

Events and Awards

Each year faculty and students of the School receive numerous honors in recognition of their research and service with the School or the Institute; other awards come from professional societies for national and international recognition. 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, assistant professor John Fernandez was named to the Class of 1957 career development chair, and assistant professor Erika Naginski was named to the Alfred Henry and Jean Morrison Hayes career development chair, both for a period of three years. Assistant professor Arindam Dutta received a J. Paul Getty postdoctoral fellowship in art history in the humanities. Associate professor David Friedman received grants from the Delmas Foundation, Graham Foundation, and National Endowment for the Humanities to support his leave next year. Professor William Porter received a Class of 1960 Innovation in Education Award for his work on the SMArchS introductory subject and for the innovative theses he has supervised. Professor Leon Glicksman was named a consultant to the board investigating the NASA shuttle accident.

Department of Architecture student Shaohua Di received the Francis Ward Chandler Prize for achievement in architectural design. Leslie Robertson delivered the sixth Felix Candela Lecture. The Arthur H. Schein Memorial Lecture was given by Rafael Viñoly, and Kazuyo Sejima presented the 10th Pietro Belluschi Lecture.

In the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, associate professor Joseph Paradiso was named Sony professor of media arts and sciences. Associate professor John Maeda was appointed to a new professorship in memory of Muriel R. Cooper. Assistant professor Judith Donath, along with graduate students Fernanda Viegas, Ethan Perry, and Ethan Howe, participated in an exhibition entitled "Artifacts of the Presence Era" at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston. Associate professor Scott Manalis was selected for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.

In the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, assistant professor Klopfer became the first holder of the newly created Joseph B. '54 and Rita P. Scheller career development professorship in teacher education. Professor Alice Amsden was named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Technology Visionaries and was also awarded the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute Leontief Economics Prize. Professor Robert Fogelson was awarded the Urban History Association Prize for the best book in North American urban history published in 2001. Assistant professor Lorlene Hoyt was selected to hold the Edward H. and Joyce Linde career development assistant professorship, and assistant professor Keith Hampton was appointed the Class of '43 career development professor. In addition to the many departmental, School, and Institute awards received by DUSP students, many also received national and international recognition. Genevieve Connors received the David L. Boren graduate fellowship from the National Security Education Program; Susana Williams, Will Bradshaw, Benjamin Forman, and Zoe Weinrobe received the Greater Boston Affordable Housing Competition First-Place Winners; and the National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship was awarded to Will Bradshaw.

The Center for Real Estate hosted a lively meeting in November for corporate supporters, current students, faculty, and members of the public. The symposium was organized to discuss causes and possible solutions for the high housing costs that afflict many parts of the country. Robert Danzinger, retired chairman of Northland Investment, led the popular Real Deals speaker series for the seventh year in a row.

A team of students from MIT that included Robert Morgan, a joint CRE and Architecture student, was selected as one of four finalists in a nationwide urban design competition sponsored by member firm Hines and the Urban Land Institute.

At the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Professor Otto Piene, director emeritus of CAVS, and Elizabeth Goldring, fellow, chaired the Sky Art Conference 2002 held in Delphi, Greece, and the Greek island of Ikaria. The conference was organized by CAVS in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Foundation for Hellenic Culture, and the European Cultural Center of Delphi. Otto Piene received the UNESCO Joan Miro Medal, a life achievement award, in May 2003.

The Ralph Adams Cram Award for outstanding interdisciplinary work at the master's level was presented to a team of three students who combined their individual theses to produce a single impressive document, "Bhutan: Tradition in the face of Urbanization." The students, Alexis Bennett, Rosemary Dudley, and Rachel Loeb, collaborated on their research topics dealing with issues of heritage, development, and modernization in Bhutan.

The Harold Horowitz '51 Student Research Fund was awarded to the following five students this year: Michael Sable, Danny Cherian, and Maggie Scott from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Jacquelyn Martino and Javier Arbona from the Department of Architecture.

Terry Knight
Interim Dean
Associate Professor of Architecture

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


return to top
Table of Contents