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The most formal of the Stata Center entrances which obstructs the view of its whimsical architecture except for the upper stories. Similar to the way the Cinderella Castle draws you down Main Street at the Disney World, you are drawn up the stairs by your curiosity of what lies ahead.


About Ray Stata: Stata was a 1957 MIT graduate. In 1965 he founded Analog Devices with MIT classmate Matthew Lorber. He is also the co-founder of the Massachusetts High Technology Council. Stata advocated that engineering education and university research funding were a shared responsibility of both the government and industry, and not just government. One educational initiative from the MHTC is dedicated to nurturing interest in math and science among students in K through 12 grade levels. In 1997, Stata made a significant donation to the construction of a new academic complex on the MIT campus called the Ray and Maria Stata Center. The building was designed by Frank Gehry.


This one was a toughie to process... the reflected sunlight gave me a lot of noise, a bunch of clipping, and a banded gradient. Meh... it was my fault, really. I don't use a lens hood and I wasn't really thinking about the glare when I took the shot. That being said, I did the most I could with this and it's good enough for me :).


A couple people asked how I blend gradient banding in Photoshop. The process is pretty simple... in short, I selected the sky, created a new layer (via copy), performed a gaussian blur on the new layer to soften the transitions, created an "overlay-neutral (50% gray)" layer, added 2% uniform noise, and that pretty much did the trick. I couldn't rely on Picnik at all after I uploaded... the Flickr resizer is not at all gradient-friendly. The step-by-step is outlined here.


A re-work of an older image.


The M.I.T. Stata Center - Cambridge, MA

August 2011


"The Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences is built on the site of MIT's legendary Building 20, a 'temporary' timber-framed building constructed during World War II that served as a breeding ground for many of the great ideas that were born at MIT. Designed by renowned architect Frank O. Gehry, the Stata Center is meant to carry on Building 20's innovative and serendipitous spirit, and to foster interaction and collaboration across many disciplines.


The building is home to the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) and the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Its striking design—featuring tilting towers, many-angled walls and whimsical shapes—challenges much of the conventional wisdom of laboratory and campus building.


When the building opened in 2004, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Robert Campbell wrote in the Boston Globe that the building is 'work of architecture that embodies serious thinking about how people live and work, and at the same time shouts the joy of invention.'"




Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Stata Center (by Frank Owen Gehry)

The Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Hit L -- view it large


One of the Stata Center buildings looking down at some un-hip 'square' and 'rectangle' buildings.


"The Ray and Maria Stata Center replaces the historic Building 20 site in the MIT campus. Despite what its odd appearance may suggest, architect Frank O. Gehry designed this building from the inside out. The building has been planned so as to foster interactions not just within a department but also between departments, under the assumption that “scientists are not just cogs in a research machine, but highly creative – and highly social - thinkers”. The center invites people to mix in every possible way. In addition to numerous common areas and a central indoor “street” which connects the departments, the Stata Center boasts a café, a pub, a fitness center, a dance studio, and an amphitheater. MIT hopes that this new building – in stark contrast to the many previous uniform rectangular box-shaped labs – will foster innovation on a far greater scale than conventional buildings."

Source: City of Cambridge Community Development Department information release

Did I ever mention that I'm in love with Frank Gehry's work? I love it, I love it, I love it! :) It brings so many opportunities to fine art photographers!

This is another picture that I took of the Maria Stata Center here at MIT in Cambridge MA. And a very different one from the first I shared with you first ( Be assured there will be more in the future, since creativeness just flows in as I start taking pictures of this building!


I had the image already constructed in my mind then, and I knew I could not leave without taking the picture when the conditions were optimal. It was a very hot day then, and I think I spend more than 4 hours straight, waiting for the perfect light and cloud formations. When that magical moment came, the sun was reflecting on the windows, forming these incredible streaks of light.

I am glad I waited that long. Thanks for inner vision, thanks for patience, and thanks for writers of novel, because they allow long exposure photographers to pass time and enjoy themselves when waitting for the perfect weather conditions! :D


To see this image bigger:


Technical info:

16 stops


ISO 100

17 mm

315s exposure




Silver Efex Pro2


For more information about my photography:

The whimsical architecture of MIT's Stata Center. The 720,000-square-foot academic complex, designed by Frank Gehry, opened in 2004.


Boston Globe architecture columnist Robert Campbell noted "...Columns tilt at scary angles. Walls teeter, swerve, and collide in random curves and angles. Materials change wherever you look: brick, mirror-surface steel, brushed aluminum, brightly colored paint, corrugated metal. It looks as if it's about to collapse. Everything looks improvised, as if thrown up at the last moment. That's the point. The Stata's appearance is a metaphor for the freedom, daring, and creativity of the research that's supposed to occur inside it."


I can't speak about the interior but the exterior is a work of art. Both Alice in Wonderland and the Cat in the Hat could work and live comfortably here.

Can you find a devil's face and his extended tongue in this picture?


This fantasy hut is a real-life MIT building.


To the left of the Nose is the Gates tower (no prizes for guessing who gave the money for this part of the centre). The yellow structure behind both of them is called Kiva and is a conference room.

View On Black


This capture is dedicated to:

Sarah and Jon

for their lovely and heart warming testimonials. Many thanks ;-)


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