Founded in 1985, the MIT Media Lab is one of the world’s leading research and academic organizations. Unconstrained by traditional disciplines, Media Lab designers, engineers, artists, and scientists strive to create technologies and experiences that enable people to understand and transform their lives, communities, and environments.
The MIT Media Lab promotes an interdisciplinary research culture that brings together diverse areas of interest and inquiry. Unique among other laboratories at MIT, the Media Lab comprises both a broad research agenda and a graduate degree program in Media Arts and Sciences. Faculty, students, and researchers work together on hundreds of projects across disciplines as diverse as social robotics, physical and cognitive prostheses, new models and tools for learning, community bioengineering, and models for sustainable cities. Art, science, design, and technology build and play off one another in an environment designed for collaboration and inspiration.
More than 25 faculty and senior researchers lead the Lab’s research program, working with over 175 research staff members, visiting scientists, postdoctoral researchers, and lecturers. The academic program enrolls some 150 master’s and PhD candidates. In addition, each year over 200 MIT undergraduates engage in research projects at the Lab through MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. The Lab and MAS program originated in and report to MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) with which they share an emphasis on design, hands-on learning, collaborative research, and critique and reflection.
Media Lab alumni and researchers go on to careers in research and academia; to become entrepreneurs; to bring their unique skills and insights to industry; or to become independent designers, artists, inventors, and consultants.
Research and projects developed at the Media Lab frequently grow and evolve out of the Lab, too—as spinoff companies, as exhibitions and performances, as tech transfer to member companies, and, perhaps most importantly, as the basis for continued research and exploration for others, both within Lab and all over the world.