The Media Lab was conceived in 1980 by Professor Nicholas Negroponte and former MIT President and Science Advisor to President John F. Kennedy, Jerome Wiesner. It grew out of the work of MIT’s Architecture Machine Group, and remains within MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. The Lab opened the doors to its I.M. Pei-designed Wiesner Building in 1985.

  • In its first decade, the Lab pioneered much 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 Lab is focusing on “human adaptability”–work ranging from initiatives to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression, to sociable robots that can monitor the health of children or the elderly, to the development of smart prostheses that can mimic–or even exceed–the capabilities of our biological limbs.