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Level 2: Lichen Lab

Lichenlab V1
Recording an episode of Lichen Lab Radio (From Left: Louise Barrett, Mav Adacer, and Josie Mills)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Josephine Mills
Collaborators: Dr. Louise Barrett, Leila Armstrong, Miranda Lucas, Maria Madacky
Funding: SSHRC and Canada Council for the Arts

With the challenge of understanding public engagement in art, my colleagues Josephine Mills and Louise Barrett realized the opportunity to apply behavioural psychology methodology and analysis to study human behaviour in art galleries. The resulting partnership led to the establishment of Level 2: Lichen Lab, an interdisciplinary research group made up of scientists, artists, curators, art educators, designers, and new media producers. Together we are investigating the relationship between the public and art through exhibitions, graduate research, a workshop, our website, and a podcast, Lichen Lab Radio. My role has specifically involved the branding and design for the group, as well as creating the website and podcast. 

This collaboration stemmed from a previous project, Complex Social Change.

Lichen Lab Logo

Level 2: Lichen Lab Logo

The logo attempts to capture the symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi to produce a composite organism: lichen. Able to flourish in a wide range of environments and grow on almost any surface, Lichen is representative of the unexpected but productive partnership between a curator and a monkey scientist. Set in Swiss 721 Rounded, the letter forms of the Lichen Lab logo reflect the organic qualities of lichen. The lichen icon grows from the bottom nook in the text, living alongside its environment in harmony. 

Lichen Lab Logo Options

Earlier versions explored different types of lichen; yellow green, abstract, leafy, and fruticose. Clarity of form and the blue/green won out.

Lichen Lab Sticker


The Lichen Lab sticker features text from a performance artwork by Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir, Icelandic artist who was part of the Lichen Lab Workshop and Residency. Gunnhildur's performance involved speaking all of the Icelandic names for Lichen, which took over 7 minutes to complete. 

Lichen Lab Website

The Website

Designed and developed by New Media student Katelyn Yee, the Lichen Lab website connects all the people, materials, and activities involved in the lab.

The objectives of the website are to:

  1. increase listener base for podcast (to be released in Winter 2018),
  2. introduce Lichen Lab to new visitors,
  3. provide access to resources through an annotated and hierarchical bibliography,
  4. profile artists involved in the program,
  5. provide a portal/system for accessing ‘residency’ and workshop info for participants,
  6. create a public record that the workshop happened,
  7. increase views for videos,
  8. and to direct people to social media channels.
Visit the site
Lichen Lab Logo

The Podcast

Lichen Lab Radio is a thought-provoking inquiry into the role of art in society and the gallery that brings together perspectives on art, public engagement, cognitive psychology, and curation.

Listen to the podcast