Where we’ve been and where we are going: A look back at lab planning and design

When people think of a lab, they most likely picture rows of repetitive benches and fume hoods, where scientists hurry about their research in crisp white lab coats. While many of today’s lab environments may resemble this image, that picture is changing, and the research lab of tomorrow is evolving in different ways. However, in order to understand what the future of research labs will look like, we must first look back to understand the global scientific drivers that contributed to the popular notion of what a lab looks like. From the vastness of the space to the minuteness of our DNA, the lab design has continually responded to global shifts in research programs.

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