Students, faculty design space envisioning the library of the future

2 min read


Labrary: A Harvard Library Experiment officially opened on November 15 at 92 Mt. Auburn Street. Labrary, a storefront space envisioned and realized by students in Harvard’s Library Test Kitchen course, explores how innovations in design can help libraries evolve. “We wanted to make this a collaborative endeavor—incorporating students and faculty—to show how libraries can be palettes from which to design,” said Jeff Goldenson, co-instructor of Library Test Kitchen and designer at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab.

“We are moving from exclusivity of content to exclusivity of experience,” said Hattie Stroud, a master’s of architecture student. “Now that [the idea of the library] has been so radically destabilized by the Internet, what the libraries have to offer is prime space for engagement. The library will best serve its community—academic, social or otherwise—by providing unique experiences.”

The space features a large, metallic “inflatable reading room” designed by Ben Brady, a teaching fellow for the course, and Arielle Assouline-Lichten, a master’s of architecture student.

Labrary: A Harvard Library Experiment will be open through December 21, serving as a space for speaking engagements, a study area and a drop-in public space. Currently scheduled Labrary events are listed below and more will be added soon:

Learn more about the Harvard Library Test Kitchen here.