Media Lab was founded in the 1980s as a place for the university's misfits to pursue the kinds of ideas and projects that simply couldn't be shoe-horned into departmental missions. With some key funding by Steve Jobs when he was between jobs, the Lab gained a foothold and went on to become a legend. Perhaps even more remarkable is that it has managed to maintain a perch on the cutting edge. Famously "anti-disciplinary," it is also in a sense anti-institutional. Just when you think you know what Media Lab does, it goes and does something else.
Media Lab "looks for spaces between and beyond disciplines," explains Joi Ito, the director for the last half dozen years. "Can we fund those crazy ideas that in retrospect seem obvious?"
The short answer is Yes! For details, watch the video. (Related: Joi Ito's book, co-authored with Jeff Howe, "Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future")