The Flexible Needs of Labs


The past ten years Boston has witnessed a boom in lab design. The city has become known for its cutting-edge research and scientific developments being published by its labs. As the demand for lab space in and around the Boston area has boomed, VC has gained valuable insight on what the future of lab design holds.

Labs are clinical; they are designed for maximum efficiency. It is imperative that, as designers, we understand workflow and circulation patterns of a given lab space. Through careful analysis of process and human behaviors in a lab, designers can optimize utilization of space. Modular furniture has begun to trend in lab design. Modular elements allow for reconfiguration, this is of major importance when introducing new equipment. Labs need to be flexible enough to adapt to changes in technology and employee needs, while maintaining the order and hierarchy needed carry out their work.


While labs are heavily focused on equipment usage and integration, designers must not lose sight of the needs of the users. Lab technicians work on teams. It is key that these teams have dedicated space to work together and collaborate. Lab seating is now seen to be grouped together in cohorts. The cohorts allow technicians to work side-by-side with their team. The introduction of dedicated communal areas within a lab allows for cross-team collaboration and better employee relationships. These collaboration spaces can range anywhere from employee lounges to group study rooms.

VC looks forward to deepening our experience in lab design. We strive and continue to push boundaries and define what the lab of the future looks like.