What is a Lab? Inspired by Culture....

I was recently in Stockholm hosting a workshop on 'Creating a Culture and Arts Lab for Transformative Solutions'.

We had  a really inspiring day and I discovered new insights on how culture and arts can help humanity make new meaning - including how it can help us shift our values to those that emphasize creativity and interconnectedness.

Later that  evening I decided to visit Stockholm’s Moderna Museet.  There I discovered Henri Matisse’s work Apollo.

For me his work was a beautiful metaphor for 'What is a Lab?'

Apollo was a piece that Henri developed the collage technique that he had used many years earlier in the stage sets and costumes he designed for the Russian Ballet. “Apollo is a large collage format collage – the symmetrical composition and the mythological subject matter are unusual for Matisse. In the middle of the picture we see Apollo, surrounded by trees and with the sun rising above him – symbols of life and fertility in cultures all over the world. Apollo was the God of the Sun, of music, and of poetry and the piece can be read as a celebration of life and love’.”

‘What is a Lab? It is ….

A contained safe space that provides structure (the pillars)

For a diverse community of individuals (the many flowers) to come together for a common purpose

To experiment with creating new solutions (the three clusters), new capacities and new cultures

Which put learning (the 6 waves), people (the face) and love (the heart shape) at the centre.

The Lab gives hope and light (the sun at the top) for humanity’s future.’