Derived from the Greek word for change, "metabolism” is the process that maintains life. In continuous cycles of creation and destruction, metabolism transforms nutrients into energy and matter. Lauren Bon’s studio practice includes a team of individuals that work together across a range of investigative platforms, transforming resources into energy, actions and outcomes. 

Ms. Bon is trained as an architect and is a practicing visual artist. Her Metabolic Studio creates "devices of wonder" that are specific to sites; interrogating land and water use and positing new modalities in thinking and behavior. The Inter-Mountain West, stretching from the Rockies to the Sierra Nevada is a terrain formed by the forces of water and fire over glacial time. It is our shared watershed that is the focus of the geographic scope of the Metabolic Studio’s work.

The Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio returns photography to its simplest technology, building its own tools and sourcing its own chemistry and even mining silver to produce emulsion. The Optics Division’s handmade processing and silver mining allude to the independent maker of images and the alchemy of silver and water and dust.

The Sonic Division of the Metabolic Studio uses sound as energy to remediate brownfields. Turning a silo on the edge of the Owens Dry Lake Bed into a musical instrument that plays itself—and reconnecting this industrial ruin with the city of Los Angeles, 240 miles away through sound. The Sonic Division plays, like sirens to ship wrecked sailors, weekly and filters that sound through  the silos that sit on the lake 240 miles away. 


  • Ned Raggett’s interview: Beauty In The Bleak can be read here


  • Listen to the live performance element of Beauty In The Bleak featuring Lauren Bon's Requiem for Water
    ​Saturday, January 24 from 10 am to noon PST at

  • The Los Angeles debut of Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio's IOU Theatre in WAR OF THE WORLDS (2015) a live radio play
    Friday, February 6 at 8:30pm at HIGHWAYS PERFORMANCE SPACE @18th St. Arts Center. To purchase tickets click here.  


  • SaisonscapeBEAUTY IN THE BLEAK in collaboration with Radio 3 Late Junction featuring Lauren Bon's Requiem for Water
    Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 11:00pm in UTC. For more information visit here.

  • Application for ROSE, COALITION OF WATERSHEDS passport apply HERE

  • Metabolic Studio welcomes Lenny Stienberg as Artist in Residence at the Quincy Jones Barn—she is activating the space while working on her furniture design archive.





  • View the Optics Division Collection Here.
    Enter user name: Optics Password: Optics

  • Under Spring: Voices + Art + Los Angeles by Jeremy Rosenberg published by Heyday Press is now available. Order Here

  • La Noria, the waterwheel will create a river the connects to the Arroyo Seco. Water lifted from the LA River bed will reenter the city creating the possibility for cooling, planting and playing and place making.

  • Upcoming Exhibition! The Liminal Camera: Chicago May 15-August 10, 2015 at DePaul Art Museum. The Liminal Camera: Chicago will feature newly-commissioned photographs made in and around Chicago by Lauren Bon, Richard Nielsen, and Tristan Duke of the Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio.

  • The Metabolic Studio announced its 2014 Chora Prize will be awarded to Detroit activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs in recognition of the work that spans her lifetime. For the press release click here