Two MIT community members have installed a hand-painted vending machine that dispenses small fun items for free just outside the Hayden Library. “B1 With The Universe” will remain in this location for two weeks, after which it will pop up in other places across campus.
“What an honor that the entry to the Hayden Library was chosen” for the vending machine’s first location, says Nina Davis-Millis, who is coordinating the MIT Libraries’ efforts toward campus stress relief and mental wellness. The machine contains stuffed animals, wind-up toys, and stress balls, among other items. It was designed and created by Eliza Kosoy and Anna McGrath, both staff at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.
Funding for “B1” came from the de Florez Fund for Humor. Since 1988, the de Florez Fund has helped the MIT campus out with “innocent humor” that did not cause damage or embarrassment. (A 2012 MIT News story has the full details on the Fund’s history.) Kosoy and McGrath’s project combines de Florez fun with a timely reminder to unwind.
“The “B1 With The Universe” project arrives just in time for the skirmish with end-of-term stress,” notes Davis-Millis. “The Libraries’ spaces are important in the life of our campus, and the decision to place the B1 station here is marvelously in synch with our current and planned efforts to contribute to student well-being.”