When it comes to modern lab design, is process taking precedent?
Some may argue that it’s been 30 years since the last real innovation in laboratory design was introduced. Lab Design News asks: Other than the introduction and rapid incorporation of technology in the laboratory, what else has changed? It seems that the concept of innovative lab design focuses on the design process more than the actual physical space.
The introduction of larger, open “ball room” environments changed the scope of design nearly three decades ago. Initially, researchers and facility managers questioned the design’s ability to reconcile challenges like confidentiality and safety – but the benefits of an open environment outweighed those concerns. Since that time, the open lab approach has been adopted by many organizations, including corporate, academic and clinical institutions. Lab Design News notes:
“What has changed over the last 30 years is the way planners and designers bring new ideas to the organization of activities and people.”
The real changes, it seems, have been in design concepts that keep labs adaptable and collaborative in the face of changing technology and work structure. Keeping up-to-date with technology and challenging organizational models reflects how innovative process is becoming just as important as design.
True innovation in design must now merge with process. This leads to design concepts that support the goals of the institution, and integrate those ideas with flexibility and technology.