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 with guidance from John Durant, Director of the MIT Museum, and Seth Riskin, MIT Museum Studio manager, students learn 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. The 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 at Building 10-150 under the MIT Dome, where feedback from members of the MIT community and the visiting public is essential to the learning experience.

Used by about fifty students each semester including classes such as STS.035, Exhibiting Science, the studio program also hosts UROPs (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program), senior theses, and students working on MIT student showcase projects. Some of the clubs using the space are the Engineering Design Group for Exhibitions (EDGE), the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team, and the Solar Electric Vehicle Team.

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