Office of the Dean for Student Life
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Cambridge, MA 02139
The updated Murals and Artwork policy based on the work detailed below was posted on the HRS Policies page on October 26, 2023. Click here to review the policy.
Student artwork in the form of murals has been an important part of several undergraduate residential communities for many years. As MIT makes significant investments in large-scale projects to renew older residential buildings -- particularly those that have been previously designated as “mural buildings” – the expectations and approaches to artmaking are changing.
In preparation for these changes, the Chancellor’s Office charged the 2018-2019 Undergraduate Housing Working Group to develop principles and best practices for the creation and curation of artwork in ways that do not involve art directly applied to permanent building surfaces. The aim of the group was to advance support for creative expression and to ensure effective stewardship of the significant investments in renewal for many years to come. The working group included students, heads of house, and DSL staff who partnered with the Office of the Associate Provost for Campus Space Management and Planning to develop principles that support these important objectives.
The principles the group developed (see below) were put into action through house-based protocols developed in Next House (2019), New House (2020), and Burton Conner (2022). During the planning for renovations of New House (2018), Burton Conner (2022), and East Campus (2025), the project architects developed approaches to support installation of artwork that would not be directly applied on surfaces (e.g., canvas, fire-proof panels). The unique needs of each community have been considered in applying the art-making principles, and there has been continued refinement of protocols. .For example, a pilot in Next House offered the opportunity to test new approaches in a building that was not designated as a mural building under the existing Mural Policy.
The means and methods of creating artwork in this new way along with the continuation of community-based approaches to the development of content, can be found in the Murals & Artwork section of MIT’s residential policies webpage.
Undergraduate Housing Working Group Outcomes 2018-2019
Background Summary of Art-Making Discussion
Best Practices for Murals
Recommended Principles for Murals