Emotions run high at the PRO–designed Mandala Lab

At the Mandala Lab, a new learning-based initiative at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan, everything is primed with meaning. Naturally, this includes the plan of the 2,700-square-foot space itself, which conforms to the outline of a mandalic diagram, up to and including the “void”—a coil of steel, glass, and marble treads—at its center.

“The mandala is a map,” said architect Miriam Peterson at last week’s press preview. “It makes you aware of your journey.” The choice of words is intentional and reflects the Buddhist principles that underpin the semi-permanent exhibit. In traditional depictions, the way from the hard-edged outer precincts of the mandala to the nebulous inner

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