Mel Chin and Rick Lowe

Mel Chin and Rick Lowe explore the complexities of building healthy communities through art and activism.

Projects by Mel Chin and Rick Lowe reveal the contributions artists can make to urban revitalization. The artists work with MIT students in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) and the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) on a project that demonstrates the importance of cross-disciplinary intervention into planning and development practice.

Students are given a rare opportunity to participate in art-making with these renowned artists in an experimental setting. Both artists are expert conveners and thinkers in this realm. Mel Chin’s recent work, Fundred Dollar Bill Project, is a nationwide initiative to support the recovery of lead-contaminated soil in post-Katrina New Orleans. Rick Lowe’s Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas, has been an outstanding and evolving model of community revitalization through public artwork since 1993.

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and the Community Innovators Lab.

 

Mel Chin was born in Houston, Texas in 1951. Chin’s art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.

Rick Lowe is the founder of Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community located in a historically significant and culturally charged neighborhood of Houston, Texas.

More at the artist’s website: Mel Chin.

More at the artist’s website: Project Row Houses and Rick Lowe.

Past Events

2015 Spring Lectures with Mel King Fellows

Embracing Experimentation: Urban Transformation through Participatory Art
February 9, 2015 / 12:30-2:00pm
MIT Building 9-451

Project Row Houses: Building Community Through Art
February 9, 2015 / 6:00-7:30pm
MIT Building 7-429

See Something, Say Something: Calls for Change Through Community Art
February 10, 2015 / 6:00-8:00pm
MIT Building 9-450A

Lecture on Artists and Community Planning with Mel Chin and Rick Lowe
September 24, 2013

MIT Visiting Artists Mel Chin and Rick Lowe present individual projects that engage art in planning diverse and lively urban environments. Active in their own communities and in national initiatives, each deploys art to reinvent locations in need of revitalization. Moderated by Dayna Cunningham, Executive Director of the Community Innovators Lab, a center of planning and development within the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the discussion examines the potential contributions of artists to an urban studies and planning curriculum.

 

Urban Planning Workshop with James Rojas
September 26, 2013

Panel for Graduate Arts Forum: “Making Space” with Rick Lowe
December 6, 2012

 

Class Visits

Visit to D-Lab Discovery Class with Professor Amy Smith
September 24, 2012

Visit to Production of Space Class with Professor Gediminas Urbonas
September 25, 2012

 

Exploratory Research Visits

Lunch and Presentation to DUSP Faculty
December 10, 2012

Meeting with Students Participating in “Book of Questions” Project
December 12, 2012

Lunch Seminar with MIT Faculty
September 24, 2013

Lunch with Students to Discuss Semester Art Project
September 25, 2013

Visit to the Poverty Action Lab, MIT Economics
September 26, 2012

Team Meeting at Co-Lab
September 24, 2013

Center for Civic Media charrette of Student Projects
September 26, 2013

 

Project Row Houses

Fundred Dollar Bill Project

Houston Chronicle: Chin’s Encyclopedic Approach Yields Collages Full of Memories

CNN: Kids Draw on Imagination in Bid to Clean Up Lead-Tainted Dirt

Al.com: Lowe’s ‘Memory Project’ Characterized by Diversity, Compelling Artwork

Angela Ambroz, Research Manager in the J-PAL Global Program Staff

Xavier Briggs, Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Gabriella Carolini, Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Dayna Cunningham, Executive Director of the Community Innovators Lab in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Catherine D’Ignaziois, Research Assistant in the MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media

Renée Green, Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

Markus Kayser, Research Assistant in the MIT Media Lab Mediated Matter group

Annette M. Kim, Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, International Development group

Mel King, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Libby McDonald, Program Director of Global Sustainability Partnerships in the Community Innovators Lab

Ceasar McDowell, Professor of the Practice of Community Development group

Deitmar Offenhuber, Research Fellow in the Sensable Cities group

Brent Ryan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Anne Spirn, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning

Gediminas Urbonas, Associate Professor in the MIT Program for Art, Culture and Technology

James Wescoat, Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Sarah Williams, Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning