Located in Vassar College’s new Integrated Science Commons, the “Sources” exhibitions by Poulin + Morris (New York) celebrate interdisciplinary collaboration that has been an integral part of the sciences at Vassar for over 150 years.
The 157,000-square-foot Commons, designed by Ennead Architects, is composed of both new and renovated buildings creating a cohesive and vibrant science community while providing state-of-art teaching and research laboratories for students and faculty. The centerpiece of the project, The Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, a newly constructed, 82,000-square-foot, LEED-Silver certified building, serves as a link to the other recently renovated science buildings—Olmsted Hall, New England, and Sanders Physics. By physically uniting different disciplines into the Integrated Science Commons, Vassar supports increased collaboration by simple proximity.
To encourage faculty and students to continue moving the sciences into the future, Poulin + Morris was asked to create a series of exhibitions that honor the past and the present by showcasing the ground-breaking research and renowned education conducted at Vassar. Poulin + Morris was responsible for the thematic development, design, curatorial selection, casework design, and artifact mounting/installation.
Each of the individual exhibitions designed by Poulin + Morris focuses on a verb, the “source” of science education. In Olmsted Hall, Measuring, Observing, and Modeling are the focus, The Bridge displays Exploring and Connecting, while Innovating and Pioneering are found in New England and Sanders Physics respectively. The exhibited stories, tools, devices, and artifacts are paired with contemporary work from the classroom lab and community to illustrate the integral and vital role Sources has, and continues to play, enabling faculty and students to explore broader scientific realms.