Finance Meets Design at Cornell Tech's Collision Lab by WRNS Studio

Collision Lab by WRNS Studio. Photography by Bilyana Dimitrova.

Cornell Tech officially opened in 2017 as part of the re­development of New York’s Roosevelt Island. The Tata Innovation Center by Weiss/Manfredi is a centerpiece of the 12-acre campus, and it’s this unconventional location that investment-management company Two Sigma, headquartered in Manhattan, has sited for its 5,700-square-foot Collision Lab. What’s colliding are start-up professionals with engineering and student teams to develop disruptive investing products. WRNS Studio was optioned for a work­place that would harness this creativity.

> Check out all 20 Big Ideas from the March 2019 issue

Collision Lab by WRNS Studio. Photography by Bilyana Dimitrova.

“Elasticity and informality are the central organizing structures.”

Senior associate Stephen Kelley responded with an open program centering on what he calls a multifunctional “gath­ering platform.” White oak and live Irish moss contribute natural inspiration—“tech ethereal,” Kelley says; a mix of banquette and café seating, as well as the flexible plug-and-play workstations throughout, encourage collaboration. The palette is soothingly muted, particularly in the conference room and the canopy of gray acoustic ceiling tiles. “It brings a sense of wellness,” he adds, “and unexpected com­fort.” Although a shot of bright yellow emits from a reading nook. It’s like a ray of sunshine, which the lab gets oodles of through an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows—the views of Gotham across the East River providing endless motivation.

Collision Lab by WRNS Studio. Photography by Bilyana Dimitrova.

Collision Lab by WRNS Studio. Photography by Bilyana Dimitrova.

Collision Lab by WRNS Studio. Image courtesy of WRNS Studio.

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