The Rubin Museum of Art

Mandala Lab: Touch Screen Interactives

Mandala Lab: Where Emotions Can Turn to Wisdom

Visitors at the Mandala Lab


To create touch screen interactive experiences designed to help visitors gain insights about their emotional reactions as they respond to various stories and multisensory installations in the Mandala Lab, and also to inspire feelings of connection and empathy.


User Experience/Interface Design Customized WP applications Data Visualization Design



Press Coverage


How big can you dream? They’ll help you find a way to make it come true. The team at MediaCombo can look at any complex problem and find sophisticated solutions that meet the needs of your visitors. We asked for an easy to manage, beautiful, and sustainable product and they delivered!"

Jamie Lawyer

Chief Experience Officer

The Rubin Museum of Art


At the Rubin Museum’s new Mandala Lab visitors engage in thought-provoking, playful experiences – smelling scents, ringing gongs, responding to light, watching videos, engaging with touchscreen interactives – that guide them along an inner journey focused on self-awareness and awareness of others.

Our Approach

In close collaboration with the Rubin team, we crafted the language, navigation and sequence of actions that gently guide visitors through these touch screen experiences. Then we designed and developed the applications.

Exploring the Connection between Emotions and Senses

On the west side of the Lab visitors explore the relationship of smells, emotions and attachment at six touchscreen interactives. Six artists chose a smell and created a short video about the emotional memories they attach to that scent. At each station, a visitor can smell that scent, enter their own emotional response to it, and then watch the artist’s video, gaining an appreciation for how different people’s interpretations can be to the same experience.

Screenshot of visitor's selection of emotions from the emotion wheel in the Scent Interactive in the Mandala Lab.
Exploring Insights about Your Emotions

On the south side of the Lab, visitors complete their journey around the Mandala. On the touch screens here they have the opportunity to choose one of the five emotions or states they’ve experienced as they walked: pride, envy, anger, attachment and ignorance. They can receive a “teaching,” that offers advice or insight about a practice to help them transform that tendency.

These teachings come from many sources, from the Dalai Lama to Bruce Springsteen, from Audre Lorde to Pixar’s film, The Good Dinosaur!

Visitors can email their teaching to themselves and access the website where they can contribute their own insights, which may be shared with future participants.

Three screenshots of the south-side Interactive in the Mandala Lab: Touch to Begin welcome screen, Select an Emotion screen and Screen where visitors can see the percentage of people who selected the same emotion.


ARTISTS: Laurie Anderson, Sanford Biggers, Tenzin Tsetan, Choklay Amit Dutta, Wang Ya Hui, Apichatpong Weerasethakul OTHER DESIGN PARTNERS: Master perfumer: Christophe Laudamiel. Architects: Peterson Rich Office MEDIACOMBO UX: Lina Zhang, Design: Ian Fooks/Curious Ways, App development: Wei Chao, Systems Integration: Brad LaBoe, Project Manager: Elena Pessina

What Others
Are Saying.

Jamie Lawyer

Chief Experience Officer

The Rubin Museum of Art



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