Honorable Mention: Innovative Minds 2013 – Virtual Context



Sarah Hatch
Fashion Institute of Technology
New York, New York

Exploratory Collaboration Laboratory for Advancement in Neurotechnology

Brain science is today’s greatest frontier. A great mystery in science and challenge in medicine, discovering the brain will lead to powerful capabilities, providing insight into health and performance. Technologies being invented rapidly can be applied to learn the brain’s language, responding to the speed of thought. This is our foundation for new insight, impacting future information, communication, and building technologies.

We need a place promoting public awareness of development, engaging all types of people, showing impact on life, spreading enthusiasm about biotechnology’s future, bringing it to a personal level. Researchers need a hub, and public access to make their work known.

At Neocortex, researchers and the public learn together, aiding each other in the brain’s exploration. The public is directly exposed to research processes, and scientists access the public as research samples.

Located in a historic building in Manhattan’s Civic Center neighborhood, the design intervention references the existing architecture, showing the original structure’s elements. The design inserts a new, living, breathing, architecture into the existing shell, reflective of biological forms. Spaces become kinetic and responsive to people inside them. Membranes based on morphologies act as boundaries changing shape and form, expanding, contracting, opening, and closing. They control privacy, view, light, and climate, customized to users inside.

As the design intervention is porous to the existing structure, the scientific community is permeable to the public. Layers of information are exposed – science to visitor, and old building to new structure, allowing glimpses into our past, and a nurturing a leap into our future. With president Obama announcing a brain science initiative recently in April, he states, “now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the space race.” Experience how brain science will change your life and your world. Enter Neocortex.



gURROO – A new generation of innovative minds.