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MIT's latest think tank (photos)

MIT Media Lab Complex by architect Fumihiko Maki and his firm offers labs on display to encourage creativity and collaboration.

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Candace Lombardi
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1 of 11 Andy Ryan/MIT

MIT Media Lab Complex

The MIT Media Lab Complex by Fumihiko Maki that opened Friday hints at the resemblance of a Japanese paper lantern when lit up at night. It cost approximately $90 million to construct, according to MIT.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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2 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Fumihiko Maki design

In contrast to the old Media Lab Space in the Wiesner Building by I.M. Pei, the MIT Media Lab Complex by Fumihiko Maki is filled with glass and natural light.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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3 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Six stories

The six-story complex consists mainly of a series of seven labs or cubes around a common atrium. Each double-story cube is staggered by floor so that the first floor of one cube is adjacent to the second floor of another cube.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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4 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Boston skyline

A view of the Boston skyline, shown here from the inside of the Silverman Skyline Room, can be seen from many places within the building, since the MIT Media Lab Complex sits only one block from the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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5 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Maki and team

Maki and his team, admittedly influenced by Piet Mondrian, included touches of bold primary colors among the building's white space filled with geometric lines and angles.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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6 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Wide-open hallways of MIT Media Lab Complex

Wide-open hallways skirting the center atrium evoke the open corridor plan of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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7 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Frank Moss

Frank Moss, director of the MIT Media Lab, gave reporters a tour of the new space. Moss replaced Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder and director of the MIT Media Lab since 1985, after Negroponte left to pursue his $100 computer initiative with the One Laptop Per Child nonprofit organization.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

Correction, March 29, 7:14 a.m. PDT: This caption initially miscast the name of the One Laptop Per Child organization.

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8 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Tod Machover

Tod Machover, head of the Media Lab's Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group, explains his current project: composing a digital opera with a libretto written by former poet laureate Robert Pinsky, set to debut this fall in Monaco and next year throughout the United States. The stars of this opera, of course, are not the tenors but a three-dimensional sound system integrated with robotic instruments, set pieces, and staging.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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9 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

City Car concept

Recognize this car? Michael Chia-Liang Lin and Nicholas Pennycooke show a half-scale working chassis of the City Car concept unveiled by MIT's Smart Cities group in 2007. The collapsible electric vehicle is intended to solve the "last mile" problem in public transport by offering communities with EV kiosks at key locations.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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10 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Robotic prosthetic feet, ankles, and limbs

Robotic prosthetic feet, ankles, and limbs in the lab for the Biomechatronics group. The PowerFoot One from iWalk, the first robotic prosthetic ankle and foot, grew out of an MIT Media Lab project from the Biomechatronics group.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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11 of 11 Candace Lombardi/CNET

Guitar and Wii remote

A guitar and a Wii remote left on the floor by Rob Morris of MIT Media Lab's Affective Computing group. Morris is working on a project to track and analyze the natural gestures and movements of humans while playing guitar.

Read more in our related article: MIT Media Lab Complex ready to illuminate

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