read in design mind
On a recent rainy morning I walked through the front door of a former bank in downtown Brooklyn to find myself in a dusty lobby with cracked windowpanes. An elevator ride took me to another floor where I found cluttered rooms filled with lopsided bookshelves, used beakers, and dirty wine glasses. Finally, I arrived at my destination: a nonprofit organization called Genspace, where an unlikely community of artists and attorneys, high school students and Ph.Ds, venture capitalists, and architects regularly come together to get their hands dirty, literally—experimenting with, say, growing synthetic leather from bacterial cellulose.
That’s what the lively Genspace lab, behind its dingy façade, is all about. “We offer the possibility of getting into science hands-on,” Ellen Jorgensen, a TEDGlobal speaker and co-founder of the organization, told me. “We help people become able to talk more about and understand biology. Potential inventors can learn here.”