The Cultural Mediations and Technology option began in 2009 and was active until 2016. The program was concerned with the reciprocity between the intellectual and representational models we construct and the lived world. Candidates studied how architectural practices are mediated by the broader contexts in which they are rooted, and how practices in turn mediate our understanding of the cultural, social, technological, and political environment. Research focused on contemporary theory and interdisciplinary approaches to architectural, artistic, and community-based activities.
The option was aimed at students with a professional trajectory interested in understanding the impact of technologies on creative processes as well as those who aimed to pursue a Ph.D. Drawing on methods in philosophy, architectural history, cultural geography, anthropology, media studies, psychology, and social history, participants in the program studied the various ways in which we conceptualize and realize our built world. Contributing faculty included Annmarie Adams, Torbern Berns, Michael Jemtrud, Robert Mellin, Aaron Sprecher, and Ipek Türeli.
Overall, the Cultural Mediations and Technology option capitalized on the capacity of the architect-researcher to move freely between art and science and to facilitate robust interdisciplinary teams of engineers, technologists, media artists, and social scientists. Both faculty and students looked to understand, explain, and create the contemporary built environment.