The Synapse is an initiative for the communication of science at the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia University.

Project video

Our design for this space includes exhibits, visualizations and story-telling components, and draws upon the disciplines of architecture, journalism, art, psychology, education, design and more. The goal of the initiative is to create a networked public space that will actively engage, and be genuinely accessible to, a heterogeneous population of visitors, including resident scientists and community members alike.

Like a synapse in the brain, The Synapse is a path of connection, the strength of which is defined by surrounding activity. While a synapse in the brain connects two or more brain cells (neurons), The Synapse connects the Zuckerman Institute to the local community, to other schools at Columbia, and to the global landscape of neuroscience research. Collaborative activity in the corridor will strengthen these connections and in doing so will strengthen the mission of the Zuckerman Institute and the Manhattanville campus. Located on the institute’s ground floor, this space physically connects the laboratories above to the Manhattanville community beyond its doors; and institutionally, it connects university research to a broader public, including virtual audiences for maximal impact.

Project Team:

Project Director: Mark Hansen & Laura Kurgan
Project Lead: Jochen Hartmann

 The Synapse   View to campus 
 The Synapse   View to broadway entrance 
 The Synapse   The Brain Index, a 23x20 foot robotic, interactive display system for science narratives. 
 The Synapse   Neuro+: an interactive display wall for experimental neuroscience collaborations. 
 The Synapse     
 The Synapse   Thought Bubble: an interactive chandelier.