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« “We Need Agile Thinking” and Schools to Match

Feeling like a very awe-struck and engaged kid roaming around a learning and technology candy shop is the sensation of spending time in MIT’s famed Media Labs, a design, technology, and education epicenter of innovation. In some respects, it epitomizes the best of what a learning environment can inspire due to what the spaces are meant to engage over time.

Many of you may recall that the Media Lab was due for a major expansion a few years ago. The dot.com crash caused the university to pause the now-$120 million project designed by Fumihiko Maki. Architectural Record, however, reports that the mothballs have come off and the project is back underway:

Unrealized during MIT’s recent spate of marquee projects, the Media Center project had to be resold to decision makers as a space that would benefit numerous departments and the greater campus community, according to Adele Naude Santos, dean of MIT’s school of architecture and planning. “There’s a larger mission than serving one entity,” she says. During the go-go ’90s, the Media Lab, avatar of the so-called new economy’s melding of digital media, advanced design, and marketing, proposed funding the building itself through mostly corporate donations. As the tech bust proved, Santos explains, “that was not a tenable position.” MIT wound up investing in the project along with corporate and private donors.

Here is more on the project expansion from MIT itself.

We also were pleased to note 2 programs that will be housed in the expansion that have great promise for the future of school design and learning: the Okawa Center for Future Children and the LEGO Learning Lab.

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