"The Media Lab has been called the Bauhaus of the late twentieth century, and like the Bauhaus, it is fronted by an architect (or at least a former student of architecture), Nicholas Negroponte. In the 1920s, the Bauhaus became the focus for the newly emerging Modernist movement in art, architecture and design. And just as the Bauhaus used the new industrial technologies of plastic, steel and electricity, so the Media Lab uses the new information technologies of AI, silicon chip microprocessors and fibre optics.
The Media Lab emerged from the coming together of several departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the largest of which was the Architecture Machine Group (ArchMac), formed by Negroponte in 1967.
The early work of the ArchMac group involved seminal research in computer-aided design for architects, followed by the development of the Spatial Date Management System (1977), an important contribution to the evolving 'desktop' metaphor for graphical user interfaces on PCs, and the Movie Map project (1978), and historically important step in the history of interactive media.
During the early 1980s ArchMac linked up with other MIT departments, and by 1985 it had become the Media Lab. Its range of activities expanded to embrace R&D in the various electronic media, including electronic publishing, speech, TV, movies, computer animation, digital music, spatial imaging, visible language, computer entertainment, education, and human-machine interface. These Media Lab activities are sponsored by some of the largest and most forward-looking multinationals operating in the consumer electronics, telecommunications, media and computing businesses companies that are corporately shaping the global media scene now, and are building the technological and industrial base for the new cyberspace 'hypermedia' of the twenty-first century."