The Rubin Museum Is Building an Emotional Wellness Lab, and Other News

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Renderings for the Rubin Museum's Mandala Lab

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The Rubin Museum enlists Peterson Rich Office to build an emotional wellness lab.

In response to the emotional strife brought about by the global pandemic and economic depression, New York’s Rubin Museum is transforming its entire third floor into a space for social and emotional learning. The Mandala Lab will teach visitors how to channel energy into coping with turbulent times through contemplation, meditation, and other Buddhist practices. Designed by Peterson Rich Office, the lab draws design influences from the mandala—a spiritual symbol that appears in more than 100 pieces across the museum, which focuses primarily on art and cultural artifacts from the Himalayas. The space will be divided into quadrants, each offering resources on how to address emotions such as anger and jealousy. 

Creating a dedicated physical space for emotional wellbeing feels like a natural evolution for the Rubin, which has lately prioritized mindfulness with year-long programming around the Buddhist theme of Impermanence. “With the Mandala Lab, our hope is to empower us to face today’s challenges: to widen our imagination, understand and manage our emotions, enrich our capacity for empathy, and connect with others,” said Rubin Museum executive director Jorrit Britschgi in a statement. “Our hope is for the Rubin to be a Museum where art, ideas, research, and our emotions connect.”

Move over, Pizza Rat: Eco-friendly cars are the new treat of choice for rodents. 

Major automotive companies are grappling with an unexpected consequence of going green. It turns out that the eco-friendly, biodegradable wire coating inside their cars, which contain soy, are delectable treats for rodents. One Volvo owner has reported that rats have been chewing through the wires in her car, and owners of Honda, Mazda, and Toyota vehicles cite similar incidents. The common denominator appears to be soy. The good news? There might be a solution: Coyote urine, available at Home Depot for $24.

Shepard Fairey’s cover for “Time”

Shepard Fairey encourages voting on his third cover for Time magazine.

On a new cover for Time magazine, the artist Shepard Fairey—who created Barack Obama’s famous “Hope” poster in 2008—is encouraging readers to vote. His artwork features a woman wearing a bandana that says “Vote!” underneath a ballot-turned loudspeaker along with elements of the American flag. “Even though the subject in the portrait knows there are additional challenges to democracy during a pandemic, she is determined to use her voice and power by voting,” Fairey wrote on Instagram. Marking one of the first times in Time’s nearly 100-year history that it has replaced its logo, the issue also includes a special report on the closing days of the 2020 election and tips on how to vote safely.

Brad Pitt narrates a documentary about the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple.

A new feature-length documentary that chronicles the meticulous restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple will soon be available for streaming. Called “Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece,” the film will feature narration by Brad Pitt and dives into the rich history of the storied house of worship, which was completed in 1908 after a series of construction, technical, and financial difficulties. “I hoped to convey a window into Wright’s mind, beyond the often repeated autobiographical mainstream material, so we could better understand Wright’s guiding philosophy and intent that his buildings reflect the people who use them,” said the director Lauren Levine in a statement. “It was important to capture both the tremendous task and details of the restoration itself as well as the spirit, diversity, and commitment of the congregation who continue to bring the building to life.”

Brooklyn’s new Greenpoint Library pivots from books to eco-education.

A new library in Brooklyn is rethinking a future beyond paperback books. Designed by the firm Marble Fairbanks and landscape architecture practice Scape, the new Greenpoint Library, double the size of the original, is billing itself as an environmental education center. “The library is a refuge for readers,” says Gena Wirth, design principal at Scape, “but also a place for patrons to get their hands dirty and understand the less tangible aspects of our fragile earth systems—which need our attention more than ever.” The new renovation and expansion now includes more than 15,000 square feet of sunlit interiors and solar panels that adhere to the biophilic design philosophy of bringing the outdoors in. Other notable additions: a bioswale that transports and stores rainwater runoff, a rainwater-capturing water tank, and a rooftop demonstration garden for workshops. 

Crate & Kids x Jane Goodall

Today’s attractive distractions:

Though not a gas-guzzler, the new electric Hummer can drive diagonally.

Globe’s new skateboard decks are dipped in Pantone’s Colors of the Year.

Manolo Mesa completes a massive mural of elegant ceramic tableware.

Jane Goodall’s furniture line aims to teach kids about wildlife conservation.

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