SPACES – Le Laboratoire Cambridge

In ALL, SPACES by Cat Lau

Nestled in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a unique centre called Le Laboratoire Cambridge that dedicates space to art and science collaborations. A brainchild of Harvard Professor David Edwards, the centre first started in Paris in 2007, before opening its Massachusetts location in 2014. Le Laboratoire welcomes the public into an interdisciplinary culture lab where they participate in experiments and discover alongside artists, designers, and scientists. The centre is a part of a global organization known as ArtScience Labs, which aims to promote social innovations through a multifaceted approach of experimentation involving creative minds across all disciplines.

Curated collaborations between artists and scientists are established to produce original work which is put on display in the gallery for the public. Visitors receive a personalized experience, since gallery interpreters have not only studied the work extensively, but have also seen parts of the process and can provide a unique insider’s perspective.

Lab Lounge at the entrance of gallery

A notable exhibition, 10° (degrees), featured artist Chuck Hoberman who created large-scale installations which were transformable through hands-on play. These pieces were inspired by “prismatic structures” from crystal-lattice geometries and have applications in deployable buildings, shape shifting robots and deformable metamaterials. This exhibition is one of the many impressive experiments that have been conducted in this space since its opening.

10 Degrees Exhibition View

150 Milliseconds Exhibition View

The Trouble with Jellyfish Exhibition View

Cummulus Exhibition View (Le Laboratoire Paris)

In addition to exhibits, Le Laboratoire hosts regular public lectures featuring innovators from different disciplines including music, culinary arts, architecture, engineering, and biology. Speakers talk about creativity and the culture that exists between art, science, and design. These programs engage the community by offering new perspectives as well as opportunities for youth to get involved. Youth workshops invite young participants to explore issues within different themes, such as the field of human-machine interactions.

Learning @ Le Lab Lecture Series

Education workshops for youth

Life in Picoseconds Exhibition View

By highlighting the importance of art and science in our culture, Le Laboratoire evolves our way of thinking, learning, and creating. With twenty-three experiments under their belt already and many successful public initiatives, this one-of-a-kind space is definitely one to keep your eye on.

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About the Author

Cat Lau

Cat is a former behavioural neuroscientist-turned-science communicator. She is passionate about integrating creative approaches in science communication and knowledge mobilization. For the past few years, Cat has held diverse roles as a science writer, amateur-artist, nomadic science outreach facilitator and knowledge translation coordinator. Her interest in art-based science communication inspired her research in Canadian organizations and programs that use interdisciplinary approaches to engage the public in the sciences. This led to her interest in the evaluation component of the Science-Artist Residency at Art the Science. Ultimately, she hopes to develop resources that will contribute to the growth of Canadian science-art culture. Twitter: @scicommcat