About

metaLAB

We are an idea foundry, knowledge-design lab, and production studio dedicated to innovation and experimentation in the networked arts and humanities.

as an idea foundry

We draw inspiration from an ever-expanding variety of disciplines, including coding, filmmaking, internet studies, interaction and experience design, comparative literature, the history of the book, science, technology, & society, architecture & design, art, and the study of visual culture.

as a knowledge­-design lab

We build tools and pose questions that acknowledge more than one way to tell a story, make an argument, or express a truth claim about the world. For any topic, site, or problem, we cultivate multiple streams of meaning across a varied spectrum of media,reaching beyond any single audience or approach.

as a production studio

We model and make by means of a transdisciplinary practice that merges scholarly and scientific rigor with a concern for wonder, ingenuity, and beauty. Participatory, relational, and process-driven, an art-inflected approach to knowledge production offers abundant means for exploring perception, meaning, and experience in the analog, the digital, and the dappled in-between.

How can data be explored and expressed in critically informed, historically grounded ways?
What is a technological identity, a networked secret, a digital mess?
How does the Internet reshape experience, cultural memory, beauty, and creativity?
How can the digital and the analog be woven together meaningfully in the design of contemporary libraries, museums, archives, and learning spaces?
How can we leverage the power of databases to tell stories or make arguments on scales from the minuscule to the magnificent?
What are the architectures of silence in a networked world?
How might the experience of pixels and printed pages productively converge or diverge?
How can team-based learning through making complement traditional models of humanistic training and education?
What new forms could books assume in the digital age?
And what about scholarly books?
Can we extend curatorial interventions beyond galleries and classrooms into the built environment and the natural world?
How might we bring methods from studio teaching to bear across the liberal arts?

These are some of the questions posed at metaLAB, a community of scholars, technologists, artists, and designers based at the Berkman Klein Center, with ties to Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Design.

Partners

With partners at the Berkman Klein Center, across the university, and in the world at large, metaLAB explores the digital arts and humanities through research, experimentation, tool building, teaching, through publications in print and online, and via exhibition, performance, and social practice. Our projects infuse traditional modes of academic inquiry with an enterprising spirit of hacking, making, and creative research.

Arts @ 29 Garden
Critical Media Practice
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Film Study Center
GridRepublic
Harvard Art Museums
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Harvard Library Lab at the Office for Scholarly Communication
Harvard University Press
Museum of Fine Arts
NovelTM
Project Projects
PRX
Small Design Firm Inc.
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
The Center for Geographic Analysis
The Getty Foundation
The Laboratory at Harvard
The Observatory of literary life
The Sensory Ethnography Lab
Villa i Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies
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