"Science of Art Laboratory" (SOFALab) Event


"Science of Art Laboratory" (SOFALab) was created to initiate the spark of communication and to look for commonalities that can bring out new understanding and develop new tools of interactions from both the sciences and arts with the aim that these interactions and findings can affect boarder intellectual and/or social changes. The project is a collaborative effort from the Executive Director of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Shanti Norris; the Director of Printmaking at George Mason University, Helen Fredrick; and the Founder of Hamiltonian Artists and physics professor of George Mason University, Paul So. The SOFAlab is generously supported by the Center for Consciousness and Transformation from George Mason University.

Join us November 3 for an event with MIT Professor Neil Gershenfel. 

What would you make if you could make (almost) anything?
Give ordinary people the right tools, and they will design and build the most extraordinary things.

Thursday, November 3

Reception: 6pm 
Keynote: 7pm

Where:  Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1530 P Street, NW, Washington, DC  20005

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As a part of the SOFALab initiative to bring the science and art communities closer, Hamiltonian Artists with FabLab DC are co-sponsoring an exciting keynote presentation by the founder of FabLab and MIT Center for Bits & Atoms (CBA), Prof. Neil Gershenfeld, on the evening of November 3.  Prof. Gershenfeld's talk will be the first of a series of events to help launch FabLab DC.

Fab labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention. They began as an outreach project from The MIT Center for Bits & Atoms (CBA). CBA assembled millions of dollars in machines for research in digital fabrication, ultimately aiming at developing programmable molecular assemblers that will be able to make almost anything. Fab labs fall between, comprising equipment and materials that can be used today to do what will be possible with tomorrow's personal fabricators. 

Fab labs have spread from inner-city Boston to rural India, from South Africa to the North of Norway. Activities in fab labs range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research. Projects being developed and produced in fab labs include solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines.


Professor Neil Gershenfeld is the Director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. His unique laboratory is breaking down boundaries between the digital and physical worlds, from creating molecular quantum computers to virtuosic musical instruments. Technology from his lab has been seen and used in settings including New York's Museum of Modern Art and rural Indian villages, the White House and the World Economic Forum, inner-city community centers and automobile safety systems, Las Vegas shows and Sami herds. He is the author of numerous technical publications, patents, and books including Fab, When Things Start To Think, The Nature of Mathematical Modeling, and The Physics of Information Technology, and has been featured in media such as The New York Times, The Economist, and the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, has been named one of Scientific American's 50 leaders in science and technology, has been selected as a CNN/Time/Fortune Principal Voice, and by Prospect/FP as one of the top 100 public intellectuals. Dr. Gershenfeld has a BA in Physics with High Honors and an honorary Doctor of Science from Swarthmore College, a Ph.D. from Cornell University, was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows, and a member of the research staff at Bell Labs.

He is the originator of the growing global network of field fab labs that provide widespread access to prototype tools for personal fabrication, and directs the Fab Academy, the associated program for distributed research and education in the principles and practices of digital fabrication.

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