Actively promoting a unique, antidisciplinary culture, the MIT Media Lab goes beyond known boundaries and disciplines, encouraging the most unconventional mixing and matching of seemingly disparate research areas. It creates disruptive technologies that happen at the edges, pioneering such areas as wearable computing, tangible interfaces, and affective computing. Today, faculty members, research staff, and students at the Lab work in 24 research groups on more than 350 projects that range from digital approaches for treating neurological disorders, to a stackable, electric car for sustainable cities, to advanced imaging technologies that can “see around a corner.” The Lab is committed to looking beyond the obvious to ask the questions not yet asked–questions whose answers could radically improve the way people live, learn, express themselves, work, and play.
The Media Lab opened the doors to its I.M. Pei-designed Wiesner Building in 1985, and in its first decade was at the vanguard of the technology that enabled the “digital revolution” and enhanced human expression: innovative research ranging from cognition and learning, to electronic music, to holography. In its second decade, the Lab literally took computing out of the box, embedding the bits of the digital realm with the atoms of our physical world. This led to expanded research in wearable computing, wireless “viral” communications, machines with common sense, new forms of artistic expression, and innovative approaches to how children learn.
Now, in its third decade, the Media Lab continues to check traditional disciplines at the door. Future-obsessed product designers, nanotechnologists, data-visualization experts, industry researchers, and pioneers of computer interfaces work side by side to tirelessly invent—and reinvent—how humans experience, and can be aided by, technology.