They have really gone to town (so to speak) with their new digs. Here’s more from a September 8, 2022 MIT news release (received via email),
NEW MIT MUSEUM OPENS TO THE PUBLIC ON OCTOBER 2, 2022
MIT Museum opens in a new building at 314 Main Street, Cambridge, MA
Cambridge, MA, September 8, 2022 — On October 2, 2022, the MIT Museum will re-open in a new location at 314 Main Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Reinvented with new exhibitions and programming, an enlarged Museum Store, and more, all within a 56,000 square foot space, the MIT Museum aims to make innovation and research available to all by presenting the best of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).
The MIT Museum turns MIT inside-out, inviting visitors to take part in on-going research and demonstrate how science and innovation will shape the future of society. The opening exhibits are both informative and interactive, allowing visitors to write poetry with an artificial intelligence (AI) in one room while considering the impact of AI on the future of work nearby. Highlights throughout the galleries include: a prototype of Nobel winner Rainer Weiss’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), which proved Einstein’s theory of relativity; the NASA-MIT Starshade Rendezvous Mission star-shade petal designed by Sara Seager to allow photography of exoplanets; the 1892 diploma of pioneering architect and professor Robert Robinson Taylor, the first Black graduate of MIT; the Apollo Guidance Computer (Block II), critical to the success of Apollo missions; and selected photography including Edward Weston’s Jiddu Krishnamurti (1935) and Judy Dater’s Lovers (1964).
The Museum will offer free general admission to all Cambridge residents through its Cambridge Resident Membership program and will host a Cambridge Community Day on October 1, providing residents with an advanced look at the new Museum. Starting on October 2, the Museum will open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, a newly imagined Cambridge Science Festival will kick off the Museum’s opening programming from October 3-9. The MIT community is invited to preview the Museum first on September 23.
The Museum is now located in the heart of the Kendall Square Gateway of MIT’s campus, which provides easy access for the MIT community and the general public alike. The Museum, with three floors of space purposely designed by architects Höweler + Yoon Architecture, is located in the recently constructed multi-use building designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architecture / Landscape / Urbanism.
“The opening of the MIT Museum completes the trio of spaces – including the Welcome Center and the two acres of community greenspace – that make up the heart of the gateway to our campus,” said MIT Provost Cynthia Barnhart. “Open to the public and made possible by a generous group of donors and supporters, the Museum showcases MIT’s historical contributions to science and technology and makes the Institute’s art and artifacts accessible to the world. We look forward to welcoming the public to the Museum this fall to celebrate this significant milestone for MIT.”
Highlights of the Museum include freshly conceived exhibitions featuring objects from the Museum’s prodigious collections of over 1 million objects, along with loans of art and artifacts; The Exchange event and meeting space for public dialogue and conversation; and a hands-on Maker Hub, where audiences can experiment with putting scientific ideas into action.
“It is with great anticipation that we welcome the MIT community and the public to the new MIT Museum this fall,” said MIT Museum Director John Durant. “The MIT Museum is consciously standing at the interface between a world-famous research institute and the wider world. We plan to ‘turn MIT inside out,’ by making what MIT does visible and accessible to all. Visitors will see that we are focused on the question: what does all this intensive creativity, research, innovation, teaching and learning mean – not least, for the wider community of which we’re all part?”
For more information about the new Museum, you can read a Q&A with John Durant, the Mark R. Epstein (Class of 1963) Director of the MIT Museum.
“The new MIT Museum is planned as a place where you can really learn something new. The exhibits present high-level research in a way that is interactive and meets visitors where they are, whether they are entirely new to science or already experts,” said Phillip A. Sharp, MIT Institute Professor and Chairman of the MIT Museum Advisory Board.
THE GAMBRILL CENTER
The Museum’s three floors designed by Höweler + Yoon are situated in the Gambrill Center, which is located in the multi-use building at 314 Main Street, Cambridge designed by Weiss/Manfredi.
The Museum’s light-filled lobby connects it to campus through its glass facade and to the Kendall T stop and Main Street through an open space concept that dissolves the boundaries between store and soon-to-be opened cafe. Two broad staircases that function as amphitheaters and gathering areas lead visitors from the lobby to the second and third floors, surrounded by spacious galleries on each floor. Together with the stair sequence, the Museum’s exhibitions inform an architectural spiral bookended with explorations of cutting edge ideas in science, art and technology, bracketed by MIT’s current research and its historic contributions. Gathering spaces and MIT’s only public Maker Hub punctuate the galleries, making room for visitors to enjoy the inspiring, spontaneous encounters that spark innovation within the university. The exterior of the building shifts and changes as one approaches, a chameleon-like experience designed by Weiss/Manfredi that amplifies the Museum’s long-standing interest in questions of visual perception. The facade of the building emphasizes the Museum’s position as a permeable membrane between MIT, Cambridge and the wider world.
IN THE GALLERIES
A list of MIT Departments, Labs and Centers, Artists, Groups and Companies whose work is on view can be found here. The following exhibitions and installations are on view:
Essential MIT – A look at the experimental culture and collaborative spirit of the MIT community via an interactive exploration of groundbreaking projects and ongoing innovation. Whether encompassing global issues, ventures into space, or efforts to improve our daily lives, these are all stories of challenges addressed through innovation and collaboration. The Essential MIT exhibition is supported by the Biogen Foundation. Located in the Brit J. (1961) and Alex (1949) d’Arbeloff Gallery.
Gene Cultures – In the last twenty years genetic research and biotechnology have developed astonishing innovations that offer possible solutions to some of the most intractable problems facing society today, but also create new moral and ethical challenges. This exhibition presents contemporary genetic and genomic research in conversation with Bioart. Located in the Henri A. Termeer Gallery.
Tracing Threads – A thought-provoking installation on the shifting movement of people and goods in an increasingly globalized world. The movement of population clusters and shifting cultural identities define our times. The highlighted projects, American DNA from MIT’s Senseable City Lab, and the textile art installation Coring America from the MIT Future Heritage Lab and Azra Aksamija, show the effects of international migration on the genetic histories of the United States and the environmental and social impacts of forced displacement.
A Life in a Day – Designed by Random International, the collaborative studio for experimental studies, this experience will have visitors contemplating what it might feel like to share the world with other forms of intelligence. The projected “swarms” developed for the piece – continuations of the artist’s Swarm Studies, ongoing since 2008 – move across the walls of the gallery, reacting to the presence of visitors and evolving and adapting throughout the lifespan of the exhibition. Located in the Martin J. (1959) and Eleanor C. Gruber Gallery.
In Concert: Ganson and Cavatorta – Interdisciplinary by nature, the field of art-science embraces a wide spectrum of creativity that spans the areas of making, mechanics, play, technology, the sciences, and engineering-based disciplines. Built around the work of Arthur Ganson and Andy Cavatorta (a graduate of MIT’s Media Lab), this exhibition offers up a harmony of sound and motion and a physical embodiment of a relationship forged on the MIT campus. A selection of Ganson’s sculptures will be on view alongside the American debut of Cavatorta’s Whale (2022), which plays a 200-year-long song inspired by the compositions of Hildegard von Bingen and the music of bowhead whales. Located in the Martin J. (1959) and Eleanor C. Gruber Gallery.
AI: Mind the Gap – The ubiquitous presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, from the home to robots in the workplace, compels us to ask questions about its potential and its risks, and about machine ability versus human ability. The contemporary and historical research presented in this exhibition spans computer science, mechanical engineering, neuroscience, and the social sciences.
To Look and Learn: The Creative Photography Laboratory at MIT presents the innovations and far-reaching influence of an unconventional curriculum and the photographer and educator behind it. The CPL taught scientifically-minded students to “see creatively” from 1965 to 1983 and left behind an expansive archive and visual collection. The exhibition features longtime director of the Lab, Minor White, as well as photographers such as Ansel Adams, Judy Dater, Emmet Gowin, Lotte Jacobi, Pirkle Jones, Milton Rogovin, and Edward Weston among others. Located in the Ronald A. (1954) and Carol S. Kurtz Photography Gallery.
MIT COLLECTS – objects from the Museum’s vast collection, arranged in topic areas: Located in the Edward O. Thorp Gallery.
Technology and the Dream – Recordings of students, staff, researchers, and community members offer a sense of the Black experience at MIT.
Modeling Everything – A wide array of models for teaching, discovery, research, and documentation, from ships to crystal structures to architectural design.
Virtual MIT – A virtual time capsule of MIT and the community that came together to create it.
A Sequence of Actions – A look at historical components and artifacts from a critical era in programming during the mid-20th century.
Totally Useless Things – Learn how curiosity is the fuel that discovery runs on.
Exhibition design by Studio Joseph
The Museum’s lobby will be a public and social hub: freely accessible to anyone, the space offers an opportunity to feature art installations, new technologies, and civic science. A Counting is the first of the offerings the space will hold. This art piece from the MIT Media Lab’s Ekene Ijeoma and the Poetic Justice Group of the MIT Media Lab uses sound and video to produce voice portraits of cities. A Counting is an evolving and participatory livestream linguistic portrait of the diverse spoken and sign languages of the Boston and Cambridge community in a count from 1 to 100, featuring the voice of each person and language for each number.
Spatial Frequencies – Connections between visual art, vision neuroscience and computational methods of representing and understanding human vision are in play in this work created through the MIT Museum Studio.
MAKER HUB AND LEARNING LABS
A range of guided drop-in activities offered daily, free with Museum admission, along with group workshops in the fully-equipped education space. Located in the Ulf B. Heide (1960) Education Suite.
The Yuchun (1989) and Agustina Lee Family Exchange, a double-height space featuring a massive media wall, hosts face-to-face meetings including short talks, demonstrations, panel discussions, and debates.
A space where students and instructors, whether from MIT or elsewhere, can discuss subjects aided by close-up engagement with artifacts. Located in the Ann Chase Allen Workshop.
The Museum’s event room, which is available to rent, accommodates meetings and other gatherings in its light-filled space. Located in the Phillip A. Sharp Room (made possible through the generous support of the Biogen Foundation).
MIT Community Day – September 23, 12-6:00 p.m. – preview for the MIT community including students, faculty, staff.
Cambridge Community Day – October 1, 12-5:00 p.m. – preview for all residents of Cambridge, MA, with the opportunity to register for Cambridge Resident Membership.
Cambridge Science Festival – October 3-9 – This week-long celebration will be action-packed with events, demonstrations, workshops and performances, many taking place at the MIT Museum and in the adjacent outdoor MIT Kendall/Open Space. Themes for the festival are Science + Climate October 6; Science + Food October 7; Science + Fashion in collaboration with Boston Fashion Week October 8; Science + Carnival October 9. Experience the magic of the Northern Lights right here in Cambridge with the experiential art installation Borealis by Dan Archer on October 6-9 each evening from 8pm-11pm (free admission).
Brain, Body + Breath – October 14 and 15 – Featuring three world premieres, a multisensory musical experience created by composer and innovator Tod Machover, Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab, for the opening of the new MIT Museum.
The MIT Museum will be open daily 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Its store is now open daily 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, including accessibility and amenities, please visit mitmuseum.mit.edu.
Address: 314 Mass Ave, MIT Building E28, Gambrill Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA
Located next to the Kendall/MIT MBTA Red Line stop at the new Kendall Gateway to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Campus.