I admit: I’m the type of person who sees every New Year as a chance to reboot, revisit and refresh.
And this year, 2016, I want to try and sustain a yearlong exploration of wonder.
Part of the reason for that is pretty straightforward: on January 1, I officially became a partner in a global design studio that helps communities reimagine learning at the intersection of space, culture and story.
Our name? WONDER, By Design.
But part of it is also a desire to wrestle with some questions my colleagues and I want to understand more deeply:
If wonder is to learning as carbon is to life, then what are the neurochemical underpinnings of wonder itself?
In what ways does our capacity for wonder help explain what is most essential to what shapes and drives us as human beings?
What blocks our ability to wonder widely about the world? What gets us unblocked?
You can imagine my excitement, then, when I saw that the Renwick Gallery, a century-old museum in Washington, D.C. once described as the “American Louvre,” had recently undergone its own reboot – a literal, massive, two-year renovation – and was reintroducing itself to the public by having its first new exhibit transform the entire building into an immersive, multisensory work of art.
The inaugural exhibit’s name? WONDER.