MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery

The MIT Museum Studio connects MIT undergraduate and graduate students with the unique learning opportunities of the MIT Museum. In the tradition of mens et manus, “mind and hand,” the studio is a fully functional maker space and learning laboratory that supports the creation of student projects and installations. Through a series of MIT classes, students integrate design and communications to engage audiences in science, technology, and innovation. Many of these student-generated installations are now displayed in the museum’s galleries.

The studio culture fosters student creativity and collaboration, and teaches how to move an idea from the conceptual stage to reality. Students explore art and technology, lighting, robotics for expression and communication, and interaction and interface technologies, among other areas. Equipment can support the creation of kinetic sculptures, alternative vehicles, prosthetic technologies and robotic devices.  

All studio projects are expanded communication-learning projects. Students from across the MIT campus explore technologies as instruments of communication, applied within the museum’s multi-sensory learning environment. Students develop projects at the studio and other facilities on campus and experiment with display methods and technologies in the Compton Gallery, where feedback from members of the MIT community and the visiting public is essential to the learning experience.

Dessert of the Real in the Compton Gallery

On view through April 30, 2019
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Dessert of the Real features MIT student projects that explore various stages of visual processing. Using light as a medium and the darkened studio as a canvas, students study the hierarchy of visual processing—from the time light first strikes the retina enabling us to experience a rich visual world. The semester-long projects aim to give external form to internal neural processing through which the perceptual system can observe itself. 

The hands-on projects were developed in Vision in Art and Neuroscience, a new course that fosters an in-depth exchange between the science of vision and the mindful perception that is practiced in the creation of visual art.

Vision in Art and Neuroscience is offered by the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and taught at the MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery


MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Bldg 10-150, Cambridge MA 02139
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