More about “The Perceptual Form of the City” study in Archives’ May exhibit

Map of central Boston used in studyThe May Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections illustrates some of the experiences of researchers in the five-year study of the city environment directed by MIT Professors Kevin Lynch and Gyorgy Kepes from 1954 to 1959. “The Perceptual Form of the City” project was the foundation of Lynch’s book The Image of the City, published in 1960. The part of the study featured in the exhibit involved field trips in Boston to ask directions of a diverse sample of people to get a sense of their perceptions of the city.

The complete documentation of the project is included in the papers of Kevin Lynch (MC 208) and includes research notes, working papers, interview transcripts, trip diaries, course notes used for teaching, and other materials. The collection is available for research at the Institute Archives and Special Collections, room 14N-118. Many of the images and documents have been digitized and are also available in DOME, the MIT Libraries’ digital repository.