Our Lab

Outside the broad recognition of general public, the year 2018 might have marked a stepping stone for a new, more humane era of productivity. Results from a study conducted at the University of Surrey (UK), in which participants were deprived from sleep for a 40 hour period of time, had shown that this acute loss of sleep is measurable in the participant’s blood. Futher research will concern the individual evaluation of cronic sleep insufficiency. As an essential puzzle piece to our physical and cognitive capabilities and thereby our productivity, the quantification of sleep deprivation puts a handle on the most neglected  basic human need in order to increase public understanding as well as leveraging it as a new metric for productivity.

Presenting Our Lab, an exhibition concept created to shed a light on our unhealthy habits around sleep and it's connection to the labour force.
// 2019
// collaborators
/ Maria Ramon Vazquez
/ Yang Yu


‘Our Lab’, derived from the linguistic  rearrangment of the word labour, aims to promote the conceptual metaphor ‘Labour as socities labratory’, in which evidence is extracted from historical explorations, observations of human behaviour and immersive experiences.
By leveraging the uncomfortable facts around our unhealthy relationships with sleep and its labour interdependance we propose the formation of new priority structures in our behavioural patterns. This exhibition acts as an invitation to reimagine and contribute to the discussion of these new hierarchies.


While focussing on the interrelatedness of labour and sleep, the broader issues around sleep deprivation get carried across generational and individual borders. Our behaviour and mental models today shape the culture for future generations to grow up in. Which is why we decided to open the exhibition also towards a younger audience. Using the character of the "Dark monster" as a narrater to the exhibited pieces, giving parents a new, more responsible story to tell about sleep and making the science more accessible to the young ones.


Sectioned into three parts, the exhibition aims to guide the visitor in a single direction, from history to a potentially preferable future. Narrowing down the scope along the rooms, from broader context and frameworks to the current state of sleep in society and finishing with a speculative piece reflecting on the main research finding.

The display

The shown display aims to bring to light what is underestimated by the most, ignored by many and commoditized by the masses. Our daily behaviours around sleep, it’s consquences on labour and the people involved in it. Each of the exhibited testing tubes represents a personal entry from a visitor of the gallery and illustrates,  by color of the ‘blood’ sample, the subjective amount of sleep the corresponding person usually gets during their work-week. Accompanied by a collection of curated storylines from manifold workfields this wall builds a reference for the visitor to refelct on their own behaviour and contribute in order to raise public awareness.
Whereas experts recommend seven to nine hours of daily sleep, the absence of immediate and directly relatable consequences has lowered our standards of accaptable tiredness within our work environments and forced us to sleep less. Change has to happen and the initiating discourse has to start now!