The urge to be busy defines modern life. Rest can seem hard to find, whether in relation to an exhausted body, a racing mind or a hectic city. Should we slow down, or should we embrace intense activity? What effects do each of these states have on the health of our bodies and minds? Such questions frequently find their way into media reports and everyday conversations, but there has never been any sustained interdisciplinary attempt to answer them. Through our residency, international experts investigating hubbub and rest at different scales will, for the first time, be gathered in a shared space – to breathe new life into the questions we ask about rest and busyness.


Hubbub is an international collective of social scientists, artists, humanities researchers, scientists, broadcasters, public engagement professionals and mental health experts. We explore the dynamics of rest, noise, tumult, activity and work, as they operate in mental health, the neurosciences, the arts and the everyday. We are based in London as the first residents of The Hub at Wellcome Collection from October 2014 to July 2016.

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The Rest Test: survey results announced on BBC Radio 4

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In Autumn 2015, Hubbub launched The Rest Test in collaboration with BBC Radio 4. The Rest Test was the world’s largest survey into subjective experiences of rest, investigating how different people understand and seek to rest and whether rest can be linked to wellbeing. A year on, and with the input of more than 18,000 people from 134 countries, Hubbub can share a slice of the information gathered…

Hubbub in the Press

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Hubbub is funded by the Wellcome Trust.
The grant-holding institution is Durham University.