It was an honor to meet US Senator Elizabeth Warren this morning and briefly share the BAC’s vision with her. She spoke about the infrastructure bill, which includes provisions to expand broadband access to underserved communities, address climate change initiatives, support the National Science Foundation (NSF), and address gaps in public health affecting minority communities. These issues are all closely aligned with the mission and vision of the BAC, which has launched strategic initiatives such as building cloud infrastructure, programs in design for human health, using geothermal energy to support our operations, and innovation incubation. The BAC now has the potential to reach 85% of the world through our partnerships with governments, NGOs, and corporations to expand last mile access. This allows us to bring design education to learners wherever they are.
It was a pleasure to present the BAC’s Mixed Reality Master Planning (MxMP) initiative at the Society for College and University Planning Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA on July 26. I was honored to speak about this innovative initiative in partnership with Janette Blackburn, FAIA, Principal at Shepley Bulfinch, and Peter Atwood, Faculty and Director of Digital Media at the BAC. The MxMP process is a revolutionary approach to master planning that integrates physical, augmented, virtual, and mixed realities, physical and cloud infrastructures, and curricular strategies into a single process. This approach fundamentally transforms traditional master planning processes.
It was an inspiring experience to meet US Representative Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts’s 8th Congressional District. We look forward to partnering with him to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and address climate change. Thank you for your excellent and long-standing work, Representative Lynch. We are excited to work with you and the BAC to make a positive impact in these important areas.
Recently featured in Boston Common magazine’s June edition of “Power Players,” I said, “Power is about empowering people to accomplish a shared vision and fulfill a common purpose. It is with joy, hope, and uplifting the most vulnerable people in our community that the power entrusted to me is best utilized.” In the feature, I discussed my experience and the positive impact of higher education. Read the entire feature to learn more about my perspective on the importance of education in creating positive change. https://hubs.la/Q01d6Dll0
It was a pleasure to join forces with 40 other Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), and the National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad, as well as other higher education leaders from prominent public and private universities in India and the US at the Visioning Workshop 2022 and Summit. This collaborative effort was organized by the Higher Education Foundation, MIT-World Peace University, Pune, India, the Association of Indian Universities, the Indian Embassy, and UNESCO in Washington DC. The Boston Architectural College was the only independent private institution from the US at the table, alongside many prominent public research universities. The workshop was expertly led by President Suresh Garimella of the University of Vermont in partnership with Executive President Rahul Karad of MIT World Peace University, Pune, India. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Sethuraman Panchanathan and Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu also addressed the distinguished gathering.
It was a pleasure to meet Director Panchanathan in Washington, D.C. today and discuss emerging research areas and programs for contributions from design disciplines.
I had the pleasure of meeting United States Senator Ed Markey and his staff this morning in Washington, DC, with a beautiful view of the US Capitol. We met to seek his support for two key strategic initiatives of the BAC’s “BAC to the Future” vision: the BAC Geothermal Micro-district and Design-driven Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives. Thank you, Senator Markey, for your warmth, enthusiasm, and appreciation of the BAC’s impact. It was a pleasure to discuss these important initiatives with you and your staff.
With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution ushered in by the proliferation of robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and other sentient technologies, we are witnessing a paradigm shift radically changing not only what and how we do things, but also who we are as humans. As a result, the construction industry’s fundamental assumptions, practices, and processes are being profoundly transformed. In contradistinction to CAD, BIM, VR, and digital fabrication innovations that either arose from within or adaptively absorbed by the industry, the robotics and artificial intelligence revolution is a disruptive movement from outside the industry and led by the generation of young tech entrepreneurs originating from Silicon Valley and other startup innovation hubs from Boston to Hyderabad. How might the Fourth Industrial Revolution transform architecture, engineering, and construction industries? Why should architects pay attention to robotics and AI now? What are the prospects, challenges, and opportunities? In his tour de force keynote speech, Dr. Mahesh Daas will paint a panoramic picture of the robotics revolution’s consequences for the future of architecture and construction.
It was a special experience to deliver the keynote speech “The Architecture of Construction Robotics Revolution” at the Indian Institute of Architects National Convention on May 15, 2022 to a gathering of 1800 delegates from all corners of India.
Thank you so much for joining us on Wednesday, May 4 evening for the Boston Architectural College’s inaugural “Gather in Gratitude” program. We are incredibly grateful for your support and we hope that our celebration showed you the enduring impact of your investment! Our host, Shawmut Design + Construction, was a major component in making this event possible – thank you again to Trustee Kevin Sullivan for your leadership and generosity.
It was great to reconnect with US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh last week on his first trip back to Boston since he joined the Biden administration!
Honored to meet Massachusetts Attorney General @maura_healey and hear her leadership and commitment to housing equity, social justice, workforce development, and climate resilience. @thebacboston looks forward to continuing to contribute to the region on all those fronts with our BAC to the Future Vision. #
BOSTON, April 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Boston Architectural College (BAC) announces the launching of its newest video venture, BAC Channel with Mahesh Daas. This ongoing program will offer a series of exclusive, insightful, and one-on-one conversations between President Mahesh Daas and thought leaders from around the design professions and related industries.
The BAC is honored to kick-off its inaugural episode of BAC Channel with Mahesh Daas by featuring Professor Balkrishna Doshi—India’s first and only Pritzker prize winning architect, educator, guru, and the BAC’s 2021 honorary alumnus. As President Daas noted, “While the number of his projects might be measurable, the impact of his influence is immeasurable.”
Watch this unique conversation during the inaugural launch of BAC Channel with Mahesh Daas—experience a candid discussion, and delve into the prodigious life of a leading architect, guru, and educator of our time, Professor Balkrishna Doshi.
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming episodes of BAC Channel with Mahesh Daas by visiting our website.
I have had the pleasure of collaborating with James Langley of Langley Innovations who taught me Advancement and Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania and developed this radically innovative framework. Guided by this framework, we have exponentially increased philanthropic giving at the Boston Architectural College.
The Penn GSE Magazine interviewed me in 2020 about how the BAC innovated in response to the pandemic:
Adapting in Times of Change: Penn GSE Alumni Shape Education’s Future
October 22, 2020
Despite the challenges of current times, Mahesh Daas, GRD’13, president of Boston Architectural College (BAC), sees opportunity for higher education innovation in both the need for social justice and the impact of the coronavirus.
Appointed to his current role in 2019, Dr. Daas has presided over a mission that has only increased in relevance—in his words, to “provide diverse communities access to professions that are acutely in need of better inclusion and diversification.” Consider, he says, that only 2 percent of licensed architects are African American, and a fraction of a percentage point are African American women. “That is how anemic the professions are in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
The 675-student BAC largely meets its goal, Daas says, through an education model in which students work a practicum from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at one of eighty-one partner firms and then attend classes, sometimes until 10 p.m., getting assessed on both fieldwork and academics. Students (Daas reports an average age of 28.5 years and 45.8 percent people of color) earn while they learn, which can make college more affordable, and an open admissions policy helps reduce barriers of access.
“We were talking about social justice well before all these issues became national and international discourses,” he says. “That is why our mission is what it is.”
“When the protests began to happen, or even when the pandemic broke out, in a way our vision and strategy aligned with what we saw emerging. We just had to accelerate, invest more.” —Mahesh Daas, GRD’13Click to Tweet
When COVID-19 struck, the college already had 43 percent of its programs online, which made for an easier transition, he says, noting that BAC also has the first primarily online master’s program to earn accreditation. Most students continued their practicum placements remotely, but those laid off were assigned to community-based projects, such as developing site proposals.
Soon after his arrival, Daas began a strategic plan, often seeking advice from his cohort in Penn GSE’s Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management program. The plan includes social justice, which encompasses diversity, equity, and inclusion, as one of six tenets of BAC’s “Vision Hexagon.” He envisions social justice initiatives cutting across all aspects of the college—the curriculum, extracurricular activities, research, and institutional structures—supported by the resources to make a difference.
“When the protests began to happen, or even when the pandemic broke out, in a way our vision and strategy aligned with what we saw emerging,” he says. “We just had to accelerate, invest more.”
Daas also has emphasized nonviolent communication developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg as a way to improve organizational culture, implementing faculty and staff workshops on the approach that puts empathy at its center.
“The world has shifted,” he says. “Our way through these times is through innovation, and not by managing the crisis to go back to models and paradigms from before the pandemic.”
This article appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of The Penn GSE Magazine.
Legendary architect, urban planner, educator, and the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Balkrishna Doshi has been chosen to receive an honorary doctorate from The Boston Architectural College, and deliver the commencement speech on Friday, May 28.
Professor Doshi was the first and only Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Prize. His illustrious work has made outstanding contributions to the world culture, transformed communities, and inspired generations of designers, including me.
I invite you to join us in celebrating our graduating classes, awarding Professor Doshi, and participating in the virtual festivities.
PRESIDENT MAHESH DAAS AND DEAN OF INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE DENISE RUSH SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS IN ARTICLE BY INTERIORS+SOURCES
It was a special experience to speak with Senator Elizabeth Warren last Friday.
She joined a group of Massachusetts presidents and held wide-ranging discussions about the state of higher education during these challenging times: The next federal relief funding for higher education, access to and affordability of testing, and special issues impacting international students to name a few.
I particularly stressed the multi-dimensional challenges faced by smaller colleges dedicated to the mission of educating diverse students.
Thank you, Senator Warren, for the extraordinary work you do! #bacbuzz@thebacboston
The Boston Architectural College was pleased to present the 28th lecture in the Cascieri Lectureship in the Humanities series featuring Dr. Mahesh Daas on April 2, 2020. Dr. Mahesh Daas, President of the Boston Architectural College hosted the Cascieri Lecture in its first-ever webinar format!
The lecture looked at a central question for years to come: How humans and robots could live together? A question that architects and designers need to proactively ponder in order to design buildings, neighborhoods and cities for decades to come. Based on his recent book Towards A Robotic Architecture, President Mahesh Daas will examine robotics and its architectural implications from phenomenological perspective.
“Boston Architectural College’s Mahesh Daas Is on a Mission to Reshape Design Education. In his new role as president, Daas seeks to help foster increased empathy, diversity, and creativity.”
Article by Rachel Kashdan. Portrait by Cody O’Loughlin
The robots and artificial intelligence are coming. They are rolling into all walks of life and all corners of the world. How will we live together, as humans and robots, and how will we ensure that we build a better world? How are robotics and AI impacting architecture and design?
Dr. Mahesh Daas, President of the Boston Architectural College, presents findings related to his recent book, Towards a Robotic Architecture. The field of robotics is coming of age. Robotics and artificial intelligence represent the next cutting edge technology to transform the fields of architecture and design. The past decade’s surge towards more computationally defined building systems and highly adaptable open-source design software has left the field ripe for the integration of robotics whether through large-scale building fabrication or through more intelligent/adaptive building systems. Through this surge, architecture has not only been greatly influenced by these emerging technologies, but has also begun influencing other disciplines in unexpected ways.
BOSTON, June 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Boston Architectural College’s Board of Trustees has named Mahesh Daas, M. Arch, Ed.D., as the College’s eighth president, effective July 12, 2019. He will succeed Glen LeRoy, FAIA, FAICP, who announced he would be retiring at the end of this academic year.
Mahesh Daas is a designer, a technologist with expertise in robotics, and an experienced academic leader who chronicled the presidential leadership of former MIT president Charles M. Vest. His career spans 23 years at four universities including 14 years in higher education leadership roles. Most recently, he served as dean of the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
In 2011, Daas was elevated as an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor, the highest national recognition for an architectural educator. He was recognized for contributions to design computing with the 2013 Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) Society Award of Excellence. ACADIA elected him twice as its president and he served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Architectural Computing and currently serves on the editorial board of Construction Robotics Journal.
“Mahesh is a visionary leader who has a proven track record of success,” said Richard Martini, B. Arch. ’84, BAC Board of Trustees Chair. “His experience and entrepreneurial vision uniquely align with the College’s needs today and our vision for the future. We are very excited to welcome him to the BAC community, where he will guide the College into the 21st century,” he said.
“I am honored to be chosen as the next BAC president, and to further propel our proven practice-based education of the designers, developers, and builders of the world’s built environment,” President-elect Daas said. “My life and educational experiences as a first-generation student and first-generation immigrant resonate with the experiences of many of the BAC’s students. Through our collective teamwork, I am confident we will continue the strong vision of building upon the strengths of this venerable institution. My goal is to continue the path of promoting creativity, diversity, and inclusiveness within all of the design professions. The BAC is, and has always been, a beacon for innovation―for all of our students, our alumni, our faculty and staff, and all of the communities we positively impact,” he said.
Daas earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India; a master’s degree in urban design from Kansas State University; and an executive doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Daas is also the author of Leading with Aesthetics: The Transformational Leadership of President Charles M. Vest at M.I.T. (Lexington Books, 2015 & 2019) and Towards a Robotic Architecture (Oro Editions 2018).
The 12-person BAC Presidential Search Committee included representatives from the faculty, student body, Alumni Council, and Board of Trustees, and was led by Judith Nitsch, Board of Trustees vice chair and founding principal of Nitsch Engineering.
According to Nitsch, “From the very beginning, a crucial component of the process has been engaging with the BAC community to hear what was wanted and needed in a leader. This input required us to focus on attracting a deep, diverse, and talented pool of candidates.” She continued, “Mahesh’s nomination as the next president received a unanimous vote of the Search Committee and unanimous approval from the Board of Trustees―we believe he is the leader who will advocate fervently for the BAC and its broader community.”
Over the next several months, the BAC will hold numerous events for members of the BAC and greater Bostoncommunities to welcome and engage with President-elect Daas.
Founded more than 129 years ago, the BAC offers bachelors and master’s degrees in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and design studies, which includes sustainable design, historic preservation, real estate development, and design for human health. Throughout its history, the College has upheld the importance of open admission, diversity, dedicated faculty, and the intrinsic value of both academic and experiential education.
SOURCE Boston Architectural College (BAC)
Happy to announce the publication of the latest issue of IJAC on AI and Robotics in Architecture that I’ve had the pleasure of co-editing with Andrew John Wit, Lauren Vasey, Vera Parlac, Mara Marcu, Wassim Jabi, David Gerber, and, Mark Clayton
A thoughtful review of our book (with Andrew John Wit) by Richard Marshall, BuroHappold in CTBUH Journal:
“The McKinsey Global Institute in 2013 published a report that highlighted 12 disruptive technologies. Two of those technologies, advanced robotics and 3D printing, are intertwined in Towards a Robotic Architecture, and the potential impact of both is clearly set out in the book.”
#technology #robots #robotics #reviews
I am delighted to be co-chairing a panel discussion at the Robotics in Architecture international conference hosted by ETH, Zurich. The panel features leading robotics experts in architecture from around the world: http://www.robarch2018.org/
Mahesh Daas (moderator)
Andrew John-Wit (moderator)
Sigrid Brell-Cokcan is the founder and director of the new Chair of Individualized Production at RWTH Aachen University and co-founded the Association for Robots in Architecture in 2010 together with Johannes Braumann.
Kendra Byrne is trained in architecture and a Software product manager with expertise in robotics, cloud software, and user experience. She has held product management positions with a mix of robotics companies, including Google and Bot & Dolly, and currently in the process of getting a new company off the ground. Bot & Dolly played a key role in the making of the film Gravity.
Matthias Kohler is a founding member of Gramazio + Kohler Research, world’s first architectural robotics lab, at ETH Zurich.
Achim Menges is a registered architect and professor at the University of Stuttgart, where he is the founding director of the Institute for Computational Design and Construction since 2008. He has also been Visiting Professor in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design from 2009 to 2015.
Sina Mostafavi is a practicing architect, researcher, and educator. Has practiced architecture since 2007, he is the founder of SETUParchitecture, a firm that offers consultancy for innovative design solutions to construction processes. He is currently the manager and coordinator of Robotic Building Lab at Hyperbody group of TU Delft.
My latest article w/ Andrew John Wit, “An Ontology of Robotic Architecture” is now available in the latest issue of The Plan Journal. V3 no.1!
One of the 12 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. On June 19, 2018, a conference was held at the UN in New York City on the topic of “The Role of Technology Implementing the New Urban Agenda to Achieve Sustainable Development.”
I was honored to speak on the panel on Emerging Technologies and address “Cities and Robots,” based on my recently co-edited book Towards A Robotic Architecture. The panel was chaired by H.E. Mr. Michal Mlynar, Permanent Representative of Slovak Republic to the United Nations, and moderated by Prof. Urs Gauchat, CSU, Dean Emeritus, NJIT College of Architecture and Design.
My fellow panelists include Mr. John Paul Farmer, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation, Microsoft; Mr. Jason Whittet, Associate Director in Innovation in Urban Data and Technology, Rockefeller Foundation; Prof. Sarah Williams, Associate Professor of Technology and Urban Planning; Director, Civic Data Design Lab, MIT School of Architecture and Planning; and Prof. Philip Bernstein, FAIA RIBA LEED AP, Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer, Yale School of Architecture.
Images courtesy the United Nations.
I was quite honored to address a multi-disciplinary audience at Studio CHI of DePaul University on May 29, 2018 on the topic of “Towards a Robotic Architecture: Robots Are About Being Human.” A reception and book signing ceremony followed.
“With a nod to Vers Une Architecture, Le Corbusier’s seminal 1923 collection of essays, Towards a Robotic Architecture casts a hopeful eye on the discipline’s technological future. Co-edited by Mahesh Daas, dean of the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Kansas, and Andrew John Wit, assistant professor of digital practice at Temple University, the work frames the possibilities for robots and artificial intelligence (AI) in architectural design.”