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POSTPONED: McDermott Award Keynote Lecture by Thomas Heatherwick

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Huntington Hall

MIT Lecture Hall 10-250

222 Memorial Drive

Cambridge, MA 02139

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UPDATE: Given the evolving COVID-19 public health situation, MIT has announced that all events from March 5 through May 15, 2020 with more than 150 attendees must be cancelled, with possible adjustments to be made to the policy thereafter depending upon evolving public health concerns. We therefore must postpone Thomas Heatherwick’s public keynote lecture scheduled for April 25, 2020.

We plan to reschedule the lecture for the fall and will be in touch with ticket holders as soon as we have a new date.

We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause.

The Council for the Arts at MIT presents

Thomas Heatherwick, 2020 Recipient of Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT

Togetherness: How can the physical make us come together?

Amazing things happen when people meet and share—cities are themselves a manifestation of this. As a designer, the 2020 Recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT Thomas Heatherwick is interested in public space and making the world better for everyone.

The digital revolution has transformed our lives and allows access to information that many of us benefit from. While it has the potential to steer us toward a more sustainably efficient and humanitarian future, one of the negative aspects for humans is loneliness. As we become less reliant on physical interactions in the ways we consume products and access knowledge, there is a growing realization that we miss each other and still need to interact in the physical world.

How can cities respond to this modern problem? What does it take to create meaningful spaces that inspire people to leave the digital realm and directly engage with others in real life? Too often a good idea can turn into a cliché and suddenly there are “pop-ups” everywhere and everyone wants an amphitheatre outside their commercial space.

Thomas Heatherwick examines how thoughtful design can address these issues and create thriving, sociable, and ultimately successful pieces of a city. Through reappraising design approaches from the outset, Heatherwick Studio believes it is possible to create richly sensory and exciting urban environments at any budget.

Demonstrating how urban interventions can unlock a neighborhood’s potential, Heatherwick will present the ideation behind the Heatherwick Studio’s recent work, including London’s Coal Drops Yard, Singapore’s Learning Hub, Cape Town’s Zeitz MOCAA, Shanghai’s 1000 Trees, Tokyo’s Toranomon-Azabudai, and New York’s Vessel.

For full details about the award and programming, visit: http://arts.mit.edu/mcdermott/



We recommend that you claim your seat by 4:30pm. We will release open seats at 4:50pm. An overflow room will live-stream the event if there are no longer any available seats in the venue. There will also be a limited number of seats available at the door.




Photo: Learning Hub, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio.

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Huntington Hall

MIT Lecture Hall 10-250

222 Memorial Drive

Cambridge, MA 02139

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