The Borderline Mural Project

Connecting people and places at MIT

About the Project

The Borderline Mural Project covers a 200 foot long wall in the tunnels under the campus of MIT with murals and magic. The tunnel is a commonly used route between MIT Buildings 66 and E17 during bad weather. A useful connection between point A to point B,  Borderline aims to make the tunnels a destination. The magic comes in the form of augmented reality: viewers can use the Artivive mobile phone app to experience an extension of the imagery.

More than twenty-five MIT-affiliated artists added their individual contributions throughout spring 2017, culminating in a single, connected mural in May 2017. New murals and animations are added each semester. In addition to their work at MIT, the Borderline team has created AR animations for work by Takashi Murakami at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and traveled to São Paulo, Brazil in summer 2018 to meet with artists and designers and create a collaborative work at the FabLab in the Porto Seguro Cultural Center. In 2018, Borderline was runner-up in HUB Madness, a competition for creative projects at the intersection of art, science, and tech in Boston, hosted by HUBweek.

In spring 2019, students from The MIT Borderline Mural Project participated in the painting and augmented reality development for a mural in the Suffolk County South Bay House of Corrections. The project is a collaboration between The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and several groups at MIT, including Music and Theater Arts, The Educational Justice Institute (TEJI), and Arts at MIT. Funding for was provided by the MIT Office of the Vice Chancellor and The Council for the Arts at MIT. Pioneered and produced by Co-director of TEJI Carole Cafferty, SCSD Teaching Artist Peggy Rambach and SCSD Director of Women’s Programming Christina Ruccio, the project was also made possible through the leadership of Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and Superintendent Yolanda Smith. The January IAP painting workshop was directed and taught by Sara Brown, Senior Lecturer with MIT Music and Theater Arts. Organization and student engagement were conducted by Sam Magee, Manager of Student Programs for the Arts at MIT.

Read the WBUR article about this project.

Download the Artivive app

If you aren’t physically at MIT, the murals can be viewed online at AR-Enabled Murals

More at the project website: The Borderline


Borderline: Mural Augmentation Challenge
February 26, 2019 / 1:00-5:00pm
MIT Stata Building Lobby, 32
32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Borderline: Mural Augmentation Workshop
Sunday, February 10, 2019 / 2:00-4:00pm
MIT Stata Building Lobby, 32
32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

The Borderline: Mural by Numbers
Friday, May 18, 2018 / 4:00-6:00pm
MIT Building 4, Room 145

Borderline at OneWorld @ MIT 2018
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Sustainable World Lounge, Kresge Lawn

Borderline at Campus Preview Weekend 2018
Saturday, April 14, 2018 / 1:00-3:00pm
Student Activities Midway, Johnson Ice Rink

Borderline at the MFA
Animating Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Opening Reception
Thursday, May 18, 2017 / 5:00-7:00pm
MIT Building 66, Lower Level Tunnels
More information

About the Artists

The Borderline Mural Project was launched by Julia Rue ’18, Tara Lee ’17, Jessie Wang ’19, Emma DeSoto ’18 and Iris Fung ’17.

Learn about the full Borderline team on their website: The Borderline.