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LIMINAL Spaces | Social Enterprise Collaboration Elevating Education

Posted 27 November 2023

LIMINAL’s latest project promotes clandestine learning in collaboration with Kirsha Kaechele’s Material Institute.

LIMINAL The Beauty Lab Interiors 01Image: Yasmin Mund

LIMINAL’s latest contribution in enabling social enterprise opportunities to materialise, is the completion of The Beauty Lab an interdisciplinary learning hub conceived by Mona’s Kirsha Kaechele as part of her Material Institute organisation’s quest to keep students and disadvantaged communities engaged.

Based at Botanical, the home of Material Institute in Bridgewater, the project combines science, art, design, botany, health and entrepreneurship. It is available to children and young people from the 24 Carrot Gardens programme as well as local community members, and encourages participants to be active in what and how they learn.

LIMINAL Co-Director, Peta Heffernan, says: ‘LIMINAL wanted to support this social enterprise, as the process of creating, making, designing and distributing products exposes the students and participating community members to such a diversity of disciplines that can foster relevant and lifelong employable skills.’

The recently completed retrofitted building is the result of a unique creative collaboration between Kirsha and her team, Asha Ram, LIMINAL Spaces, skincare specialists RATIONALE and Georgina Freeman. LIMINAL’s in-kind support helped shape the adaptive-reuse modifications and interiors. The purpose built ‘lab’ combines an experiential science laboratory and educational facility with interiors redefining what a 'lab' can be.

LIMINAL The Beauty Lab Interiors 02Image: Yasmin Mund

Artist, curator and Material Institute founder, Kirsha Kaechele, conceived The Beauty Lab idea following conversations with young people in Bridgewater and Gagebrook in the northern suburbs of Hobart. She says: ‘We are delighted to celebrate the opening of the Beauty Lab. It is a direct response to the interests of young people. When asked what they wanted to do, again and again they said ‘beauty!’ So we’ve paired this natural interest with science and nature - it’s clandestine learning - science hidden in a very luxurious, fun package. And there is no end to what a student can learn through beauty - chemistry, Ph, weights and measures, marketing, design…It is wonderful to see the community already engaging with the lab, making gorgeous herbal concoctions from our gardens and learning through the process.’

The realisation of the Beauty Lab was made possible through a generous donation and industry knowledge from Sanctum Medical Aesthetics founder and philanthropist Asha Ram. She says: ‘The Beauty Lab project immediately resonated on multiple levels with my existing lifelong dedication to the empowerment of individuals through the aesthetic experience. This project particularly excited me as its placement of a functioning skincare lab in the community provides a mosaic experience including educational, mentoring, communal, economic and aesthetic opportunities allowing the process of self flourishing, broadening horizons and expanding identities. I’m intrigued to watch its progression unfold!

LIMINAL The Beauty Lab Interiors 03

Australian luxury skincare company RATIONALE came on board as a foundational partner, sharing their expertise on the set-up of The Beauty Lab and its equipment. The RATIONALE Research Team will provide technical instruction in the development and testing of product formulations, supporting The Beauty Lab in guiding pathways into science for young people. RATIONALE’s Founder and Director of Research, Richard Parker says: ‘Our collaboration with The Beauty Lab represents an exciting partnership for RATIONALE. We're delighted to be part of this initiative that combines education, social impact, and beauty to support the growth of young minds in the field of science today, for a brighter tomorrow.

LIMINAL The Beauty Lab Interiors 04

LIMINAL The Beauty Lab Interiors 05Images: Yasmin Mund

LIMINAL The Beauty Lab Retrofit Under ConstructionThe retrofit of a simple timber cabin becomes The Beauty Lab

The Beauty Lab is a project of the Material Institute Lutruwita / Tasmania. Material Institute is a not-for-profit entity founded in 2021 by Mona’s Kirsha Kaechele.

Material Institute runs community events, social enterprises and food education programs at community hubs and schools across the state with a vision for healthy, beautiful and resilient communities where children, young people and their families achieve their full potential.

Material Institute Lutruwita / Tasmania is an accredited charity and sister organisation to Material Institute NOLA, USA.