Posted in biology, design and architecture, education, museum

Artist in the lab

I found this article about a cool Lab-art-ory, about artist Daniel Kohn’s collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a center for genome and biology studies.

As posted on the Kohn Workshop website:

“My conceit is that I can help you do better science,” says artist Daniel Kohn in his fourth floor workspace. And he speaks with confidence and some tangible results under his belt. You might even call them preliminary experimental results.

For the first year, Kohn visited the Broad informally to talk with scientists, and now has a full-blown residency, splitting his time between Cambridge and his home in Brooklyn. For a while, the Broad had some free lab space, which Kohn converted to his art studio. “They were very kind to put up with my mess,” Kohn says. Most of his day-to-day interactions with his new lab mates in the shared space were positive. “I tended not to be exposed to the people who thought I was crazy.”

Kohn’s small workspace – a downsized version of the full lab space he used to occupy in the Broad – is filled with dozens of 8×8″ watercolor sketches exploring the forms of chemical bonds, DNA sequences, and chromatin structure. “They’re not art,” explains Kohn, “they’re thinking drawings.” Despite his humble description, these works are colorful, organic and evocative of the intricacy and messiness of biology.

Read full article

Read more about Daniel Kohn’s research and art.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.