“Lessons from the Social Condensers” by Anna Bokov

In anticipation of the opening of the Rubenstein Commons, Institute for Advanced Study in May 2022, Anna Bokov wrote “Lessons from the Social Condensers,” published in the IAS Fall 2021 newsletter.

“The playful geometry of its forms lets the mind wander and search for associations with manmade and natural phenomena around it. If you are a mathematician, you might be reading into the patterns of light dancing across the ceiling (reflected from the pools through the prismatic glass). For a historian, its complex forms might bring a sense of wonder but also connections with patterns of the past. Ultimately, its architecture inspires the experience both within and outside one’s field of knowledge.”

“Instead of precisely defining the activities inside it, the Rubenstein Commons creates a space between —not just between walls, but between life and architecture. Like a hadron collider, the building smashes atoms (or, to paraphrase David Rubenstein, collides great brains together), in order to expand the horizon of our knowledge and collective human consciousness. It is not simply about giving form to life but rather allowing life to unfold in its most unpredictable form.”

Read the full essay here: https://www.ias.edu/ideas/lessons-social-condensers