Meet the Labbers: Kelly Donovan

Andy Ryan

In our ongoing audio series, Meet the Labbers, we hear people from all roles across the Media Lab talk about what they do and why they do it.  

Today, meet Kelly Donovan.

"I'm Kelly Donovan, and I support the Mediated Matter group which is at the intersection of architecture, engineering, computational design, and synthetic biology. My very first day here at the Media Lab was the last day of some of the graduating researchers, and we ended up having a celebration—not just for their time here at the Lab but to celebrate all of the accomplishments of the group. And, it was in that moment that I realized how close-knit the family of Mediated Matter really is.

My favorite project here at the Lab is definitely the G3DP project, which is glass 3D-printing. This was a project that, when it first came up, we weren't sure whether we wanted to actually pursue it. And the more that we thought about the story of glass ... glass has such a deep history through all of human civilization, and it's also so advanced. When we look at our cities around the world, you see glass everywhere, and glass is something that really combines old with new. I think that Mediated Matter at its core also combines old with new through all of the projects—so glass and its story and its life really is exemplified.

I feel like I go to the real-life museum of science, where the machines and the projects all come to life. 

When people ask me about my job, I begin by telling them it doesn't feel like going to work every day. I feel like I go to the real-life museum of science, where the machines and the projects all come to life. They come to life through the people; they come to life through the passion of the researchers and the principal investigators, and they really come to life through the staff here as well. Everyone talks about the research with such passion that really brings the mind, magic, and mischief to life. I think that's so unique to the Lab, and something that you're not going to find anywhere else."

Music: Discovery by Jon Luc Heffernan

Page image: Copyright Andy Ryan

Related Content