Published June 15, 2015, on labdesignnews.com
In this month’s column for Lab Design News, we explore the role of visibility into and out of the specialty lab and how transparency impacts the research housed within these facilities.
A first priority of a lab is the ability to complete scientific research. To put it another way: The lab must allow the work to be done safely; it must meet the basic physical parameters needed, contain the equipment, accommodate the researchers and even provide a comfortable and attractive space in which to operate.
A second priority is the ability to foster relationships among the people doing the research. It should activate interactions which stimulate new ideas, provide spaces for informal and unplanned collaboration or even provoke new ways of working.
But there’s a third priority: The way the lab engages people who aren’t active participants in the science and don’t contribute to it. These people are visitors, tourists, sightseers or casual passers-by and they are essential.
Visibility is essential to the continuation of science. It’s the foundation on which the other two priorities are able to exist, and is the next logical step in the same chain. Science can be done if the space physically enables it (safety and the other basic requirements is the first priority), but the work is likely much more relevant if fueled by good ideas (collaborative thinking is the second priority). However, scientists will only exist to do the work if they are part of a society which considers it beneficial or even inspiring. Therefore, making the work visible and comprehensible (the third priority) is really the first step.
Read the full article.